Bomberman is one of the classic games that you might have a fond memory of, but it has sadly failed to transition to the current generation consoles. The last good Bomberman game was nearly two generations ago so it is hard to see the appeal for the series in these days. Super Bomberman R is thankfully one of the better games that released under the Bomberman name, and one of the reasons why it has managed to succeed where others failed is because it sticks closely to its gameplay roots.
Super Bomberman R is a fun little take on the Bomberman formula that thankfully doesn’t diverge too far from it. It is still the same Bomberman game that you might remember with the wacky humor and challenge of throwing bombs, but it is now presented with a modern twist. The visuals are in full 3D and benefit from an increased frame rate. The maze design is in full 3D but the game still settles on a top-down view that gives you a complete look at each level.
As the game launched originally as an exclusive for the Nintendo Switch, it has been more than one year since its initial launch and during this time Konami has added a considerable amount of new content to the game ranging from a Grand Prix mode to several new playable characters. One of the major criticism that the game faced at launch was that it lacked content and this was true in the start, but I feel like the updates that released so far have made it a solid product overall that offers just enough to satisfy the fans.
In Super Bomberman R, you will play a simple story mode that takes you through multiple mazes, usually ending with a boss fight. The story mode is also entirely playable in co-op with a friend and this is the ideal way to experience the game because the single player portion can get boring quickly. The co-op experience is seamless and any player can join with another controller and help to clear the story mode. There are a grand total of 6 worlds with one secret world unlocked after post-game. Each world offers a different theme for them ranging from forests to snow filled mazes. The end of each world usually results in a traditional Bomberman boss fight that can have multiple phases.
During the story mode, you get a set of goals and offered a limited amount of lives. The goals simply amount to defeating a number of enemies, or they can require you to find switches that will unlock the portal to the next level. The maze-like design is full of power-ups ranging from increasing the radius of your blasts, increasing character speeds to improving the limit of your bomb dropping ability. These are all classic power-ups and they even feature the same icon design giving the fans a trip down the memory lane.
The co-op gameplay expands with a traditional battle mode. The game brings back the ‘revenge cart mechanic which might be a bit controversial but it definitely seems to work well here. It works for the player who gets knocked out of the maze after losing all lives. Basically, these players won’t be completely removed from the battle but can still take part in them by throwing bombs inside the maze from a cart. If the outside player manages to defeat someone, they will be given their place in the maze by replacing the defeated player.
Super Bomberman R features a diverse range of characters and with the latest patch, you have some of the all-time favorites like Solid Snake, Naked Snake, and Simon Belmont. There are other cameos from Castlevania, Zone of the Enders, Metal Gear Solid and even Silent Hill, so the game doesn’t lack in the fanservice department. These new characters are available in battle but you have to get them first using the in-game currency, and each of them has a certain unlock requirement that requires you to earn a set amount of gold coins. You can also unlock extra battle arenas along with the characters. The currency is easily earned by playing local or online multiplayer matches but it can still be a grind to acquire enough to unlock almost everything offered by the game.
Outside of the story and battle mode, Konami also later added a Grand Prix mode that is playable only in multiplayer. You can either play it with local co-op or go online with a friendly or competitive Grand Prix match. The issue here with the online multiplayer for me is the time required to find a match. More often than not, you will be waiting for a long time just to get into a match. The net code is subpar and results in a lot of jitters so you won’t be able to enjoy the matches with the same experience as a local multiplayer match.
Super Bomberman R Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Super Bomberman R is an action-maze game developed by Konami and HexaDrive. The game was released worldwide in March 2017 for the Nintendo Switch as part of the Bomberman series. It was later ported to the PS4, PC and Xbox One.
Super Bomberman R is a fun multiplayer game that offers a traditional story mode that is incredibly short in length. As a result, it is hard to recommend it for a purely single-player experience. Despite offering online multiplayer, it is still a wonky implementation which makes it best suited for local multiplayer.