Sometimes you just need to blow something up, no matter when or where; now you can! – Super Bomberman R Review
I remember being a kid, and I had one friend who had that controller splitter that allowed you play 4-player games on the Super Nintendo. The game we played was Super Bomberman. I don’t remember much other than never winning a match and swearing we could use the splitter to play 4-player Ninja Turtles, but Super Bomberman was my first experience in 4-player local co-op. It wasn’t until Bomberman 64 that I really developed a love for the franchise, probably because I was winning. Super Bomberman R brings that love full circle to the Nintendo Switch.
Super Bomberman R was developed by HexaDrive and Konami, and published by Konami and is the first Bomberman title for the Nintendo Switch. The game is about the Bomberman Bros (6 brothers and 2 sisters) who are tasked protecting the universe from an evil mastermind who resurrected 5 dastardly bombers to wreak havoc. The story is a bit cliche, nothing really new, but the personality of the Bombers really gives the game a lot of character. The protagonist, White Bomber, is the steadfast leader who plays by the rules; Blue Bomber, is the lazy lethargic one; Red Bomber, is hot-headed and act before you think type; and I don’t feel like going into the other five. But each is a typical archetype that works great for comedy and keeps players engaged and giggling the whole time.
New story, new graphics, but same classic gameplay. The gameplay is not new in any way, I can’t emphasize that enough. But that is the best thing about the game! It is what you want from a Bomberman game, and it delivers. The story mode is surprisingly deep, the level designs and enemies really make you utilize and calculate your explosive abilities. It’s simple in concept, but complex in execution. Trying to calculate enemies that can jump over walls or who know to avoid explosive lanes is a frustratingly fun challenge. Then there are the boss fights! The boss fights are at the end of every world, and they are epic! The boss battles are challenging, head-scratchingly strategic, then tension killingly funny afterward. It’s a lot of work with but gives an unexpectedly rewarding payoff. Then there’s multiplayer, which is as much volatile to friendships as it is nourishing to them. You know you’re true friends when you can share a pizza with the b!@#* who just threw a bomb across the level to hit you in the head and cause you to die by your own bomb… [I forgive but I don’t forget Aileen!]
Where the game doesn’t match up are the mechanics. The game looks and sounds great, and might be the best looking Bomberman out. It does a beautiful job of distinguishing each of the bombers and rendering the different environments. But the in-game shop system is where the game stumbles. Mainly, even after hours of playing, I wasn’t sure where or how I earned the currency. I mean I was earning it but I don’t know how and why. Also, the customization in the multiplayer matches are not as extensive as they were in other versions. I’m not sure if it gets unlocked later. in which case I guess it’s okay, but features like being able to individually select power ups that spawn or choose the exact number of players, other than 4p and 8p, are absent and kind of a let down. Lastly, the price point. The game has an MSRP of $49.99. Which is technically cheaper than most video games upon release. While Bomberman is fun and unquestionably a great game in its own right, it does not have the depth and longevity of say The Legend of Zelda. This is by no means a knock against Bomberman, but in comparison, they released Bomberman LIVE on the Xbox Marketplace for $9.99, and Live appears to have a much deeper multiplayer. To be fair, the on-the-go playability is easily worth an extra $20. Technically being an adult, I find it is a fair and just way to find out who’s buying the first round of drinks.
Super Bomberman R is another fun and friendship-testing addition to the Bomberman Franchise. It perfectly transitions classic Bomberman gaming to the newest console. Having the ability to bring it with you on the go is a huge factor on the game’s draw. Price wise it is a little steep in comparison to other versions of the game on other platforms, but it can be overlooked if you and your friends are hardcore fans of the game. The multiplayer customizations are a noticeable letdown, but not one that ruins the game. Overall, it is without a doubt a fun and worthy Bomberman that will not disappoint fans of the series. My Super Bomberman R review gets a 7.5/10