Written by Jon Scarr
When I heard that Konami was releasing a brand new Bomberman game, Super Bomberman R, for the Nintendo Switch—I was bouncing off the walls with excitement. Finally, after a seven-year hiatus the king of multiplayer games was making its return.
You see, Bomberman and I go all the way back to 1989 on the NES. Ever since then, I have been blowing up enemies with my friends on just about every system the franchise has been released on. It’s no secret, one of my most anticipated launch titles on the Nintendo Switch was Super Bomberman R.
As the days grew closer to Super Bomberman R’s launch—it had me dreaming of all the fun I have had with the franchise over the past 28 years. And to think, Super Bomberman R is the first in the series that allows you to play wherever, whenever and with whomever you want.
Needless to say, I was raring to go to get my hands on Super Bomberman R to see how it stacks up with other games in the series.
Stop Professor Buggler and save the universe
As with other Bomberman games in the series, Super Bomberman R features a story mode. Though the story modes in Bomberman games are never really the selling point in the series, Super Bomberman R’s story mode is pretty fun.
Super Bomberman R’s story starts out when the evil Professor Buggler reawakens the Five Dastardly Bombers: Magnet Bomber, Golem Bomber, Phantom Bomber, Plasma Bomber, and Karaoke Bomber. The evil mastermind, Professor Buggler, uses the Five Dastardly Bombers to seize control of the five main planets in the Starry Sky solar system.
Anyone who disagrees may challenge the Five Dastardly Bombers themselves. So, the White Bomberman takes his seven not-so-enthusiastic brothers and sisters with him on his quest to defeat Buggler and save the universe!
Okay, so its not the most original story—but it gets the job done and gives you a reason to taken on Professor Buggler one more time.
One of the things that I like best about Super Bomberman R is that each character has their own unique personalities. You’ll even notice that half of the Bomberman characters have rounded heads instead of square heads, and two have been retconned into female Bomberman.
White is still the “big brother” of the group, and never gives up. While on the other hand, Blue lives the life of leisure and can fall asleep whenever, wherever, and for however long.
My absolute favourite Bomberman has to be Aqua. She is the youngest of all and looks like a polite, gentle young girl. However, if you get on her bad side—she transforms into a wild berserker who battles violence with violence. She is awesome!
Classic Bomberman gameplay
Super Bomberman R’s story mode contains 50 levels with classic Bomberman gameplay. These levels require you to complete objectives that range from defeating all the enemies to walking over a certain number of switches to collecting keys to rescuing people and escorting them to safety.
You’ll encounter a boss every 10 levels, and they are really fun to play against. Each world has two boss levels, the first is against one of the Five Dastardly Bombers and the other is a fight against a giant machine version.
After completing the story mode, which can be played with two players, you unlock the ability to buy all Five Dastardly Bombers in the game’s shop—using in game currency that you earn. You can then use them in online multiplayer.
Additionally, you can replay any world to earn more money. You earn money based upon the number of lives you have at the end of the level, the number of items you collect, and by not using any continues.
Just remember though, you have to play the entire world, and you can’t just go back to each boss to collect your money. To be honest, I found playing the story mode with a second player made it a lot more fun than by myself. Though, that’s not to say single player isn’t fun—it’s just better with a friend.
Super Bomberman R’s AI is no slouch. Even at the easiest level, it’s going to give you a good challenge though out the game. It is particularly noticeable when it comes to the bosses.
You must strategically place bombs in order to corner your opponent and defeat them. However, the game’s AI does a great job in making it difficult to anticipate the boss’s move while you are placing traps for them.
Honestly, sometimes it was just good luck that helped me overcome these enemies. Regardless, don’t expect a cake walk coming into the game.
It’s not only the bosses that will give you a challenge, but the enemies leading up to the boss as well. Some can jump over obstacles, while others can teleport through walls. There is never really a pattern that I could see to these enemies either.
So, you’ll need to be alert and try to anticipate what will happen next. I loved that even from one planet to the next, enemies were varied and kept things fresh.
Multiplayer is where it’s at
As with previous games in the series, you’ll be buying Super Bomberman R for its multiplayer goodness. You can play up to eight players locally and online and up to four players in tabletop mode on the Nintendo Switch screen.
I was surprised at how easy and fun it was to play multiplayer in tabletop mode. Each player can be easily seen, so you always know where you are. Feel like bringing out that competitive edge? Super Bomberman R has a ranked mode that allows you to play against other players online to see who is the supreme Bomberman player.
It’s worth noting, that just recently Konami released an update for Super Bomberman R that fixed some severe control issues and lag that people were experiencing while playing. Let me just say, before this current patch—online was a nightmare to play.
Since the update, I am happy to report that out of the 30 or so online matches played—I only had experienced brief lag approximately two or three times. Control is now more precise, and this feels like the Bomberman we all know and love.
Super Bomberman R is a welcomed addition to the Bomberman franchise and the Nintendo Switch library. Complete with a solid multiplayer mode, a catchy sound track, and some very colourful visuals—this is the party game to get for the Nintendo Switch.
Konami promises to update Super Bomberman R, so I hope we see some additional stages and characters available for download that will make this game even better.
Super Bomberman R’s League Battle, online ranked mode, and story mode will bring your competitive edge out and test your endurance. Do you have what it takes to be the ultimate Bomberman player?
Let me know in the comments section below, what excites you most about Super Bomberman R.
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Konami Digital Entertainment, HexaDrive
Publisher: Konami Digital Entertainment
Genre: Action, maze
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
Final Score: 78/100
About the Author: Jon Scarr
Based in Toronto, Jon is a proud Canadian who loves all things gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been in love with technology and gaming for over 20 years. Come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Twitter.