Bomberman Jetters is the sequel to Bomberman Generation, released for Gamecube and Playstation 2, and a tie-in with the TV anime series Bomberman Jetters. Despite its title, it has only a tenuous connection to the anime it claims to be based upon, aside from the character designs, and some sparse, vague references to certain aspects and events of the show. It released only half a year after Bomberman Generation in Japan, so the two games may have been developed simultaneously.
Mujoe and Dr. Mechado have devised a plan to destroy Planet Bomber by crashing the Dark Star into it. Shout informs White Bomber of the impending threat and he sets off to stop the Star's four engines. Max catches up to White Bomber in his ship and agrees to join him in his mission.
This plot is very loosely based on the anime, although many plot points differ, as this was designed to be a sequel to Bomberman Generation rather than a video game adaptation of the anime series. For instance, White Bomber acts far more mature and capable than his portrayal in the anime, and Shout never argues with him, acting only as his guide and mentor. Bagura does not appear anywhere in-game, despite being a major character in the anime.
Furthermore, characters like Shout, Dr. Ein and Birdy have a very disconnected role in the game, only ever communicating with White Bomber through their radios, and never appearing in person. Outside of a non-story related playable appearance in the Battle Mode, there is no mention of Mighty at all. Perhaps the most jarring difference is that Max is never portrayed as a villain, and is only ever an ally to White Bomber. Oddly, Gangu is the only other member of the Jetters who has an in-game 3D model.
The gameplay is similar to that of Bomberman Generation, however the one major difference is that you can switch between playing as Bomberman and Max. While Max can use the Hyper Plasma Bomb to destroy obstacles and enemies, White Bomber can use Charaboms and their abilities. They can be switched out anytime with a single button press.
Gangu makes an appearance in certain levels to transfer and operate the Bomb Merge Device. This allows White Bomber and Max to fuse special, hidden items with their Fire Bombs to create new types of elemental bombs. Obtaining all of these elemental bombs is necessary to unlock and defeat the true final boss.
Charaboms also return from Bomberman Generation, although the Pokémon style battles from that game are no more. Instead, Charaboms are hidden throughout the stages, sometimes being held captive by the Hige Hige Bandits. Others are awarded at the end of boss fights. There are less Charaboms than in Generation and some have different effects.
The Battle Mode is quite similar to the one in Bomberman Generation, but with a new selection of maps and game types, as well as the new Killer Shot ability, which is different depending on the character selected. Shout is the host of this mode. In between matches, there is a minigame that dispenses items, which are carried over into the next match.
After quitting from the Game Over screen in Story Mode at least once, the Bomber Mansion mode becomes available. It is very similar to the Master Game in Saturn Bomberman, except that it only lasts for five floors, and is hosted by Momo. Like in the Master Game, the player is ranked on their performance at the end. The condition to unlock the mode is possibly intended to reference Episode 15 of the Jetters anime, where White Bomber returns to Momo's house on Planet Bomber after losing to Flame Bomber, and is convinced by Momo to train himself there. While Bomber Mansion is presented as training for the main adventure, it uses the same traditional grid-based map setup as the Battle Mode, instead of the free-roaming open environments of Story Mode.
Voice Acting Criticism
The American version of the game has been criticized for its "inaccurate" voice acting. While the voice cast is mostly the same as in Bomberman Generation, it might also be due to the fact that some characters act too differently to their anime counterparts, which was not entirely the fault of Majesco. For example, Shout is a lot nicer, maybe even "too nice" in the game compared to her anime self, and White Bomber is also more mature than his anime self, probably to reflect his character in Bomberman Generation. Furthermore, Gangu's English voice is considered to be extremely irritating and unfitting, and the player is forced to listen to it while creating new elemental bombs. However, at the time of its release, most American players of the game were not familiar with the anime, which has never been officially released in the U.S.
There are two versions of this game: one for the GameCube and one for the PlayStation 2. There are no differences between these versions, other than the GameCube having slightly better graphics and loading times, and the PS2 requiring a multi-tap for more than two players in Battle Mode.
There were two separate Jetters games released for the Game Boy Advance that play differently than this one. They are also much more faithful to the anime, and Densetsu no Bomberman even expands on its storyline. (The other is Game Collection, a pack of themed minigames along with a traditional Battle Mode.) All three Jetters games were released in Japan alongside the initial run of the anime series, between 2002 and 2003. For reasons unknown, the only one to get localization was the GameCube version of the console game, which was only brought to the USA, and not until 2004. The game was never released in Europe or Australia.
- In this game, Bagura only appears in the opening video, which is lifted directly from that of the anime.
- In the American version, this video has been edited to replace the Japanese logo with the English one, and the usual opening theme has been substituted with a generic instrumental track that is not from the anime. This could be either due to rights issues, or due to Majesco not wanting to dub the theme.
- Some players may have assumed that the FMV anime cutscenes preceding most boss battles are excerpts from the TV series, but they were specifically created for the game. The opening video is the only clip recycled.