Written: 10.10.06 Acquired: 6.19.06 Status: Cart only Price: $14.95
When I was searching for information on Spark World on the internet, it, pardon the pun, shocked me there was nothing. Sure the game's highly unoriginal, but it's pretty good regardless, so I thought I'd find SOMETHING on it. I wasn't expecting to find a full-blown write-up, but at least a blurb in a "Recommend me some good SFC games" topic. There was nothing to be found. It's sadly another case of an obscurity left lurking in the shadows. That's a shame, so tonight let's shine the spotlight on this little gem
IfBattle Cross was sort of like Mario KartmeetsBomberman, with emphasis on the former, then Spark World is the same -- only with the emphasis placed on the latter
The story goes as follows:
It's a distant world where intelligent cars rule, a shady casino operator who is actually a drug dealer casts his shadow over the alleys and streets. Two young cop cars, Beat and Barts decide to take matters into their own hands (so to speak) when they learn that the police department is riddled with corruption by the syndicate Boss. The intrepid pair must set off to points around the globe and blow up enemies by denotating fuel barrels. If you're not in the mood for saving the world you can always play against 3 friends (or CPU's in the battle mode)
The Story mode allows you to select any one of nine stages. Each stage has three zones with the 4th being the boss. 4-character passwords are given after each stage
The classic themes are represented: jungle, river, ice, desert, etc.
City 1's boss is the TERROR TRAIN
The meat of the game, like Bomberman, is the battle mode with 12 selectable stages. Any combination of 2-4 players can play, and CPU AI is selectable from 1-9. You could set CPU 1 AI level nine, CPU 2 AI five and CPU 3 AI one if you so choose. Very user-friendly
And of course, by blowing blocks sky-high, you reveal items that can either help or hinder. Longer sparks, more bombs dropped at a time, jelly bombs (I told you this game was highly unoriginal...), a boxing glove (though instead of punching bombs you punch the OPPONENTS... sweet) etc.
? marks are a HUGE gamble. If you get the bad side of it, a grim reaper appears over your head with a 30 second countdown. When it reaches 0, whoever has the icon dies. Luckily, you can transfer it to anyone you touch, and it can be passed back and forth until the timer reaches 0. It's a riot making the switch to someone with 1 second to go! *evil laughter*
There are no dinosaurs or animals here, but each player can sustain two hits
BATTLE ZONE 1
Basic plain classic stage where pure skills reigns supreme
BATTLE ZONE 2
At first glance one might assume the arrows indicate where bombs go, but rather than COMPLETELY ripping off Bomberman, the arrows actually indicate where YOU can go
BATTLE ZONE 3
Red button = no pass. Blue = OK. The colors switch occasionally and shrewd timing is the key to surviving and creating traps
BATTLE ZONE 4
I thought my SNES broke when I first played this zone. You're moved automatically! Challenging zone indeed
BATTLE ZONE 5
When the sides are bombed, the doors on the floor opens up. Get called up to the big house if you fall through!
BATTLE ZONE 6
Ahh the classic stage with 4 exit points. I love the look here. Unfortunately, the sparks will NOT go through the exit points, unlike Bomberman. Shame, but oh well
BATTLE ZONE 7
I love this stage: design and gimmick alike. Once the boulder is free it'll roll around the stage. Sparks influence its direction. Don't let it crush you! There's nothing better than blasting the giant rock right through your friend!
BATTLE ZONE 8
Ahhh the classic conveyor belt stage. I also love the look here. Good, GOOD stuff
You can set match victory to 1-5 matches much like Bomberman. The victory screen is a hoot
While Spark World is a rip-off almost through and through, it does have a sweet feature that draws the battle lines in the sand quite emphatically. At the end of a round the game lets you know who your "Rival" is
Yellow car is SO screwed for round 2... haha
A solid, fun Bomberman clone -- not as good, but makes for a decent alternative. If you love these games as much as I do, it's a must-own. The four stages not highlighted all have crazy gimmicks (i.e. gun placed in the middle, mega bombs, etc.) but they all use the same stage design
When the sparks get long the battles get really intense. It's neat how the spark color indicates who dropped the bomb(s). Overall, worth a look! SW, you were born for this moment