Super Bomberman R Review: The Return of a Classic

Super Bomberman R is a great return to Bomberman, but doesn't push the series forward.

Super Bomberman R makes a comeback as a launch title on the new Nintendo Switch console. This series started in 1983 on the original NES and many games in the series have come out since then.

Bomberman is a unique strategic experience that fans have grown to love over the years. The good news is that you can expect that same great game in the newest entry.

What I Liked About Super Bomberman R

The base gameplay is the best part of the game. If you are wondering if it plays like classic Bomberman games -- it sure does. The intense four or eight-player action is back, and the satisfaction of successfully blowing up another player never gets old.

For people that have never played a past Bomberman game, this is mostly strategy with a little action. Sure, there are bombs exploding everywhere, but you have to strategically place them and use power-ups to catch your opponent in one of those blasts.

The game involves setting a timed bomb, then waiting for it to explode. You blow up blocks to make room to move, and they sometimes contain power-ups.

People can easily escape a bomb before it goes off; that's why you have to trap them or block their path in some way. You can even catch them off guard and make them accidentally run into another explosion.

Games don't usually take too long; Even if you have a three-minute timer, there is usually a winner before times runs out.

Multiplayer in Super Bomberman R

super bomberman r multiplayer

Each Bomberman has a personality; which brings more character and life to even the multiplayer. You can either play online or locally by using one joycon each. Many power-ups are in the game, but there are some missing, too, like the Set All Bombs power-up, which adds to the game's frenetic tension. 

There are multiple stages and many are multi-tiered or have some kind of interesting mechanic that set them apart from each other, adding a layer of strategy when deciding what to do. If you're old-school, there's even a classic level without any tricks -- so you can just blast the AI into oblivion the old-fashioned way. 

Online mode has Free Battle, where you can customize your game however you want, and plays like Local mode. And on top of that, there's League Battle, which acts as the game's ranked mode. This mode uses set rules and has fewer types of power-ups. Winning gives you points and losing takes them away. When you get enough, you rank up.

The problem is that the amount of points you get when you win or lose is the same, so it can be hard to rank up unless you get winning streaks and don't lose much.

What I Didn't Like About Super Bomberman R

This part is tricky because the parts I didn't like still have parts that I actually enjoy.

Story

It is cool that there's an actual story and the bosses are great fun. What I didn't like is the "busy work" to get to those bosses. There are 50 levels, with a boss every 10 levels. This means you have to play nine normal levels first.

That in itself isn't bad, but these levels did not feel as exciting as playing multiplayer, and I found myself just wanting it to be over so I could fight a boss. The bosses are really fun, though, and worth playing the story just for that.

Customization

super bomberman r customization shop

I applaud the effort at putting customization in the game, but there are only head-customization options, and not very many of them. What sucks is that you have to continually buy the same item if you want alternate colors -- you can't just, uh, change the color on the one you already have. The worst part is that the price goes up each time.

The Verdict

Overall, Super Bomberman R is a nostalgia trip, but one I think is worth playing after it that glow has worn off. This is a nice break from the overwhelming complex games of today, and the fun never gets old. It may not be groundbreaking in the series, but Bomberman R is one of those games that doesn't need that.

Our Rating
7
Super Bomberman R is a great return to Bomberman, but doesn't push the series forward.
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
Published Mar. 5th 2017

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