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Bomberman: Act Zero is an action game developed by Hudson and released by Konami for the Xbox on August 29, 2006. Bomberman: Act Zero attempts to reinvent the series by introducing a dark, gritty tone and using the concept based on the artwork and story from the original NES version of Bomberman, in which the protagonist is a robotic humanoid fighting for freedom from a vast underground facility. Some of the gameplay mechanics are also based on the original NES version of Bomberman, including power-ups that transfer between levels, and having to progress through a high number of nearly-identical floors that progressively become more challenging.
The single-player campaign can be played as two modes: Standard and FPB (which stands for First-Person Battle). Despite the name, FPB Mode is in the third-person perspective rather than first-person. The FPB Mode also replaces the simple heart system with vitality meters. While the game supports no local or system link multiplayer, it supports online multiplayer via Xbox Live for up to eight players at a time.
By destroying soft blocks, players have a chance of collecting power-ups that aid them in battle. The status of these power-ups are displayed at the left of the HUD. These power-ups can also be collected by computer opponents (giving them the side-effect instead) or destroyed by bomb blasts and pressure blocks. All power-ups transfer between rounds in the single-player campaign.
- Health - In Standard Mode, they allow you to survive one more bomb hit. In FPB Mode, they just restore 10-20 life. Can be collected indefinitely.
- Speed Up - Increases the player's movement speed. Can be collected up to five times.
- Fire Up - Extends the range of the fire blasts of the player's bombs by two squares. Can be collected up to eight times.
- Bomb Up - Adds one bomb to the total number of bombs you can lay at one time. Can be colelcted up to nine times.
- Penetrating Bomb - Replaces Remote Control. Player bombs create powerful purple blasts that blasts its full range, destroying all soft blocks in its path.
- Remote Control - Replaces Penetrating Bomb. Player bombs (which are now green) are now detonated remotely, instead of being timed.
- Unlimited Bombs - Replacement for Bomb Up that allows the player to lay an infinite number of bombs at a time.
- Line Bomb - Allows the player to set a line of bombs down automatically in front of him/her (by pressing the bomb button twice in a row).
- Bomb Through - Allows the player to walk through bombs.
- Block Through - Allows the player to walk through soft blocks.
Hidden along the single-player campaign are Secret Panels, which can only be unlocked by performing a special feat in a certain level. Along with an achievement, collecting these panels also grant the player a certain reward.
- Secret Panel 1 - In each round that ends with 5 or 0, destroy a Fire Up power-up item with a bomb blast to unlock this panel. Grants a Heart power-up.
- Secret Panel 2 - In each round that ends with 1 or 6, destroy all blocks. Grants a Heart power-up.
- Secret Panel 3 - In each round that ends with 2 or 7, survive two minutes without setting any bombs down. Grants both a Heart power-up and a Bomb Up power-up.
- Secret Panel 4 - In each round that ends with 3 or 8, set and detonate sixteen bombs during the last minute of the round. Grants both a Heart power-up and a Infinite Bomb power-up.
- Secret Panel 5 - In each round that ends with 4 or 9, do not move at all for the first minute. Grants a Heart power-up in Standard Mode while sets the player's life to maximum (999) in FPB Mode.
Most critics panned Act Zero, both for its tonal shift from previous Bomberman games and for its gameplay and content; Greg Mueller of Gamespot called it "paper-thin" and criticized it for a lack of standard Bomberman features. Its GameRankings score is just under 34%, making it the fourth lowest-rated of all Xbox 360 games that have 20+ reviews.