May 10, 2011 8:00 AM | Danny Cowan
Though the American branch of once-prominent Japanese game publisher Hudson is unfortunately no longer with us, having been swallowed up by parent company Konami, a recent thread at unreleased game haven Lost Levels has reignited discussion of one of the company's long-lost obscurities: Hi-Ten Bomberman.
Hi-Ten Bomberman, which was only publicly playable during a single promotional event in 1993, was a high-definition, widescreen Bomberman game in which up to ten players competed in the franchise's familiar explosion-filled deathmatches. It's interesting to note that the recent HD Bomberman games on Xbox Live Arcade are limited to only eight-player matches.
The game was likely an expensive venture for Hudson; plasma televisions were pricy rarities in 1993, and the "Tetsujin" hardware used to power Hi-Ten Bomberman was never used for another game. The hardware was eventually retooled and released as NEC's PC-FX console, which hosted a library of 64 titles -- mostly mediocre FMV games and dating sims -- before being discontinued.
A prototype version of Hi-Ten Bomberman has not yet been discovered or dumped by game preservation groups; even Hudson figurehead Takahashi Meijin offered few details when quizzed by Gamasutra's Brandon Sheffield several years back. The new discussion did, however, bring about the release of a high-quality video documenting the game's presence at Hudson's 1993 event, which is embedded below.