Now 33 years old, does Bomberman need to be put to rest?
Super Bomberman R – Nintendo Switch – Released: 3/3/2017 – $49.99
I loved Bomberman growing up. I didn’t experience his early years but was passed down an NES when I was a child with Bomberman but after that he faded away until the N64 came out. Bomberman has always had a special place in my heart during the N64 era with Bomberman 64 and Bomberman Hero, I never got Bomberman 64: Second Attack and never sure why not. I guess it was a short run even back then. I remember setting it up to play with my father almost every weekend and sitting with my cousins playing Bomberman 64’s multiplayer. It was a style that I would grow up with and fall in love with.
Super Bomberman R is in the style of the original Bomberman series of using bombs to defeat enemies, rinse and repeat until you beat the game so it didn’t sit well with me but I did pick it up day one and it was a mess. I only played through the story mode and played a handful of times with friends in multiplayer. Surprisingly it is a fun game that reminds me of Powerpuff Girls with the narrator talking over what was going on and trying to be somewhat funny. I enjoyed every cut scene since you can tell the voice actors enjoyed playing their parts. The worlds are pretty boring and the gameplay is the original but they have a normal boss followed by a big bosses at the end of the world. I loved the one vs one fights at higher difficulties since they are so good you would think they are cheating. These parts I enjoyed even though they were just laying down a row of bombs to damage the boss. If you like the original Bomberman series you would likely love it but for me I would say wait for a sale of at least half price. Konami did come back and fix online and it does runs great but I can never find many matches with most being against the same people. TO THE ICON!
Bomberman is no slouch when it comes to his history certainly when it comes to the Bomberman game we shall never speak of that was on the Xbox 360. Bomberman has been on almost every console in one way or another even getting his own Baseball theme game on the PS2 that never came out in the US but was available in EU and JP. I’ve already mentioned the 64 and Hero games but he started on the MSX before coming to the NES where he would solidify his future that would turn into almost 25 years of never missing a yearly release…. then one year it just stopped. After the release of Bomberman Act Zero it was a character we never talked about.
Several years later with the Switch on the horizon there was a glimmer of hope, Bomberman was coming back. The trailer wasn’t anything special but I did enjoy the last few seconds. This is what drew me in another Bomberman and it had cutscenes that felt like an old Saturday morning cartoon. So at $50 it was a bit steep for what they were offering but it was a good test for rebooting these older series and Bomberman is a simple series that can be loved. Launch came and it was a real mess, the game had some framerate issues and didn’t play well with online so it was a bust for most people resulting in a lot of mediocre reviews.
Konami issued a statement that they will be fixing online and the framerate issue. Several weeks later we finally get the fixes…. and they were great! Konami decided it would be best to drop the resolution to get a full 60 FPS with no drops, online was playable compared to the laggy mess it was, and the final nail to pull was the input lag from multiplayer matches which was fixed thankfully. Now we have a great Bomberman game in our hands but was it too late? Konami I guess didn’t think so while they released more DLC includes stages and characters to support the game and it sold pretty well with Konami even stating that they are looking into other series to revive.
Bomberman isn’t known for his amazing adventures but this was pretty comedic. A portal open with Emperor Buggler to bring back the Five Dastardly Bombers and it cuts to the Bomberman Bros. This made me ask a lot of questions like why Bomberman Bros why not Bombermen? Bomber Brothers and Sisters? Bomberman Team? So I guess Bomberman are sexless? That would make sense but they call each other him and her when they are talking to each other. They get into their rocket ship to go and stop Emperor Buggler who plans on taking over the 5 worlds in their solar system and yup it is your job to stop him. The game tells all of its stories in these miniature cut scenes before entering a world, fighting the boss, and after you defeat the boss. That is actually the entire story until the ending as you fight each of them one by one until the final world. I would say story isn’t its best feature but the scenes are funny and if you can laugh at one liners or just stupid jokes it is up your alley like it was for me.
I said this in the short review but is plays just like the older Bomberman games. That isn’t a bad thing if you enjoy it but it gets repetitive and boring quickly if you don’t like it. The game shines best in its now fixed online and multiplayer modes. This is exactly what you expect from Bomberman multiplayer with multiple players set up in each corner and you bomb your way through and then you try and kill the other players. These are the best parts of Super Bomberman R since the game is built for a party setting so playing this with friends is always a great experience when you don’t want to play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or ARMS or Snipperclips. The game has great modes and stages they included in free updates as well as buyable characters like Simon Belmont or Pyramid Head.
Multiplayer Battle is where you will be spending the bulk of your time while playing SMR. It has the classic Battle Royale which is a free for all mode and Team battle which is obvious what that is. The game has the option of having 8 players but now is the best time to get involved with something like this since there is a range of controllers that now work on the Switch due to a recent update that allows you to connect a lot of different controllers. The most at a time I’ve gotten is 6 players with 4 JoyCons and 2 8BitDo controllers. This starts an issue though, the game if you haven’t put a ton of time into it you will have none of the stages or customs for the characters. If you wanted to personalize your character you would have nothing. Now stages are a bigger issue than that though with them requiring you to farm coins like crazy so it is best to play through story mode on easy multiple times before playing with friends. You start off with 8 stages but can unlock 20 more…. but to get all 20 you would need to spend 68,000 coins. To put it into perspective I was only able to buy 3 stages and a few hats which were 500 each after beating the game on medium. Thankfully the characters are cheap at 10 coins but everything else is expensive.
Super Bomberman R was unique because I was looking forward to it for a long time and on release it was pretty bad but now it is great. I like playing it with friends and going online compared to day one. It really is a different game today and for the better so hopefully Konami keeps delivering us great reboot series like this. Even if they are slightly broken at launch if they make sure to keep up with fan criticism they will be back in our hearts.
Single player is still a fun and enjoyable time but don’t pick Expert…. I think it cheats. On Expert boss battles are so hard it you will lose lives so quickly and use up all your coins you don’t be able to buy anything. I still loved running through this game again and listening to the voice actors that really bring out the different characters. Multiplayer is great with friends and easily a game my friends will pick over ARMS and Mario Kart to just get frustrated with each other and hit each other over the head with after a block them with a bomb. The entire game is a great experience today and people really shouldn’t pass this one by.
Buy the game! I believe it is a great game if you get it on sale but if it is full price or purchased at Best Buy with GCU it will get its time in the sun with yourself either online or with friends. You can’t really go wrong with the game if you want something different to play with friends. Bomberman overall is a great starter for new players and an easy gateway to keep people to fall in love with multiplayer gaming. If you are an adult it is a great drinking game and for kids it is just a good time. I was able to play with my dad who doesn’t game and he had a blast playing it with me. Sadly mom didn’t want to play games so I guess somethings will never change.
I feel as though after a year and seeing as the game now be released on other consoles I still agree this was a great game that didn’t get much love. It finally sold over 1 million and that is amazing to see. I highly doubt the other consoles will make a dent in those but glad to see a game I thought highly of is still getting a ton of love. I will gladly give this game an 8 out of 10 today!