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Super Bomberman R

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action
Publisher: Konami
Release Date: June 13, 2018

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PC Review - 'Super Bomberman R'

by Cody Medellin on Aug. 17, 2018 @ 1:30 a.m. PDT

In Super Bomberman R, the simple rule remains the same: operate Bomberman, place bombs, and battle with enemies & rivals, but it’s coming back in a modern style with 3D stages and photo-real graphics.

Buy Super Bomberman R

Unless you count Bomberman Online, which was released exclusively to a few East Asian countries in 2003, or Dyna Blaster, which was released in Europe in 1992, then 1997 marks the first and last time a Bomberman game was released on the PC. Atomic Bomberman was a different beast, as it stuck with polygons and lots of voice samples, but it was a solid game at heart with support for 10 players online if you had the networking knowledge to do it. In the years since, PC players had to stick with emulation, clones, or homage games to get their bombing fix, but that changes this year with Super Bomberman R, a port of the Nintendo Switch launch title.

The game is split up into the series' usual two modes: campaign and multiplayer. If you've played the single-player campaigns in other Bomberman games, what you find here isn't what you'd expect. Instead of a big, sprawling adventure, you're fed a number of arena battles with a particular theme before fighting a boss. The arenas are anything but square, the enemy monsters are fairly pedestrian, and only a few of them bother to attack. Bosses, on the other hand, are huge and provide very few opportunities for a bomb barrage.


Much like the other campaigns, this one is merely serviceable. None of the regular enemies are difficult, so your deaths are primarily from your own carelessness, whether it's running into your own explosions or enemies that you somehow didn't see. The bosses prove to be much tougher to conquer, but with so few of them, the sense of challenge is fleeting. On the bright side, Super Bomberman R comes with a bonus campaign once the initial one is finished, so there is plenty of game content for those who want to go solo or with another person locally for co-op.

The meat of the game is in the multiplayer, which is where you'll find the now-standard gameplay of a modern Bomberman title. Aside from the gimmicks of certain playfields, like having pits or large structures that temporarily obscure your viewpoint, the arenas are perfectly symmetrical. Old power-up stand-bys, like kicking and punching bombs, are still present. Revenge carts allow fallen players to return to the fight, albeit without all of the powers they had when they blew up the first time. Aside from the standard arenas, the game also features a Grand Prix mode, where six players are split into teams with variations that involve gathering items or gaining points by holding down marked territories.

The good news is that the PC iteration contains all of the updates that Konami has released for the Switch version, so that includes a few new playable arenas and a bevy of new characters for purchase. The characters are the real highlight, as the company has dug in pretty deep with its lineup. Dracula and Jehuty make appearances, as do both Naked and Solid Snake. The Vic Viper is present, along with personified versions of the Options from the game. Then there are the deeper cuts, like characters from the Goemon titles, the two soldiers from the original Contra, Princess Tomato, Reiko from Rumble Roses, and even Ayako from Tokimeki Memorial. The only one who may feel out of place is wrestler Xavier Woods because he doesn't have his New Day brethren with him. As for exclusives, the PC gets P-body from Portal 2, which is a nice but expected counterpart to Master Chief for Xbox One and Ratchet & Clank for the PS4.


One of the more interesting things given to the special characters are special moves. For example, Solid Snake can activate active camo for a limited time, so no one knows where he is. Simon Belmont can use his whip to snap up bombs and throw them behind him, while Reiko can put up a temporary wrestling ring that acts as a shield from explosions, and P-body can toss up portals for a quick escape. All of the powers run on fairly lengthy cooldowns, so you can't abuse them, and there's an option to turn them off completely if you want the characters to be more cosmetic in nature.

Those who have followed the series for a while know to expect to see some of their favorite features and power-ups from previous games disappear in newer entries, and this is no different. The animal companions from Saturn Bomberman are still missing, and fans of Bomberman Live on the Xbox 360 (or Bomberman Ultra on PS3) will find that multiple bombs, like the dangerous and remote varieties, are also gone. In lieu of this, you get a new bouncing bomb type that won't stop moving until it explodes. It's a nice addition, but you'll wish that Konami would simply throw together all of the old powers and abilities to create a more definitive multiplayer experience.

Missing features aside, there are two things that hurt the PC version. The first is the online experience, which is both broken and barren. Steam forums are already lighting up about people having poor experiences, and lag is a constant issue. We tried to check this out ourselves, but after about an hour of waiting, we saw no other games going. It's tough to say whether the difficulty in finding an online game stems from the net code or if people are avoiding that portion due to reports, but for now, consider this to be a mostly offline experience.


If you care more for local play, then the second issue could also potentially ruin that because the game seems to have difficulty using control pads from time to time. We've tested the game with four wireless Xbox One pads, and we've played the game just fine. Others, however, are reporting issues ranging from controllers not being recognized to suddenly dropping out, regardless of whether they were using Xbox One pads, Xbox 360, or PS4 pads. There's a good chance that you may not experience this, but there are enough reports on the Steam forums and reviews about this issue that one should be aware of the bug.

At the very least, the presentation is good enough. The graphics are fine, but the shadows are a very low resolution, with jaggies appearing at every opportunity. The frame rate is solid throughout, while the particle effects are at a minimum; it's a curious choice, since the game is all about explosions. Character designs are good, since they follow the old aesthetic, but the environments lack any pop, so everything feels homogeneous. Meanwhile, the music is lighthearted fare, and the voices are good. The effects are also fine if you dismiss the lack of thunderous bass that should be present from all of the bombs getting detonated.

If it weren't plagued with issues, Super Bomberman R would be a fine return to the PC for the series. Both the campaign and the multiplayer lack the flourishes that make some of the older entries memorable, but the core gameplay still holds up enough to remain enjoyable for newcomers and more casual players of the series. You have to treat the game as a local multiplayer title instead of an online one and hope you don't get hit with controller issues. Considering both the price point and the fact that other indie titles have already run with this concept to a much better execution, however, your best bet is to check out the game once it goes on sale or has a good price drop.

Score: 6.0/10



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