This Bomb is a Dud: Super Bomberman R Review

Posted in Kulturecade by - April 09, 2017

It’s been a long time since we last saw a proper Bomberman game, and I’m not ashamed to admit just how excited I was when Konami announced this game as a Switch launch titles. I have a lot of fond memories of this franchise, from as far back and the Nintendo 64 up until the release of Bomberman Live on the Xbox 360. So the release of Super Bomberman R brings a lot of promise, not only as the revival of a dormant franchise but also the return of the Bomberman franchise for the first time since its original developer, Hudson Soft, shuttered in 2012.

When you begin Super Bomberman R, you’ll be introduced to the Bomberman Brothers. The brothers and their two sisters have become lax in their training thanks to their world being at peace. This all comes to an end when they learn that Professor Buggler, with the help of the Five Dastardly Bombers, plans to take control of the five planets of the Starry Sky solar system.The story mode takes you across fifty levels, with the last two stages of each world being a boss fight. The boss battles are the highlight of this mode, as the remaining stages come off as little more than filler between these more entertaining segments. The single player campaign is single-handedly the biggest disappointment of Super Bomberman R. This mode feels tacked on, and ultimately the package would have been far better served if the development team had focused on the multiplayer aspect of the title and scrapped the single player portion entirely.

If you’ve ever played a Bomberman game, then you should know exactly what you’re getting into. In the game’s multiplayer modes, the objective is to eliminate the opposing players or AI characters. This isn’t as simple as rushing to the enemy, however since the area is filled with obstructions that you must destroy with your bombs.

Power-ups are randomly distributed throughout the map, beneath the blocks on the map. These power-ups help mix up the gameplay by allowing you to place additional bombs or increase the radius of your explosions, among various other options. This helps shake things up and keep the multiplayer mode from feeling too slow. Super Bomberman R’s single player follows much of the same formula but instead sees the player completing a set objective to advance to the next stage. These objectives can range from simply destroying all of the enemies to collecting a set amount of objects.

Super Bomberman R has retained the simplistic gameplay of the classic Bomberman titles, along with much of the game’s charm. While the game has plenty of unlockables, they are mostly cosmetic and don’t offer much to the title’s longevity. Fans of the franchise will likely enjoy the title, but newcomers to the series are unlikely to find too much to enjoy here, especially with the game’s hefty $50 price tag.

Much like the game itself, the presentation package for Super Bomberman R is basic. The game’s audio harkens back to the classic titles in the Bomberman series, but the game’s music is hardly memorable and becomes repetitive quickly. On the other side of the spectrum, the game’s voice over work is, at best, barely passable. Much of the voice over performance feels phoned in and comes off as an afterthought. I have tremendous respect for the voice over community, but Super Bomberman R is one of the worst dubs I’ve heard in a long time, and honestly feels like an anime that was dubbed in the 1980s or early 1990s.

I’m very torn when it comes to Super Bomberman R. While the game was one I was very excited for leading up to the launch of the Switch, it’s also the biggest disappointment I’ve played on the console thus far. The core Bomberman gameplay is just as good as it ever way, but with the limited content available out of the gate, the game just feels empty. The story mode features unlikeable characters with stages that wear out their welcome very quickly.  The presentation doesn’t help matters with a very basic presentation and a subpar audio and video presentation. Super Bomberman R may have looked like the premiere multiplayer game at the Switch’s launch, but with the veil lifted we see a barebones attempt to appeal to the older gamers in the room.

Super Bomberman R comes off as a missed attempt and little more than a launch day cash grab. Hopefully, this doesn’t set the pace for the future of the classic franchises of both Konami and the other licenses they obtained from Hudson Soft.

  • Release Date: 3/3/2017
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He is a senior editor at Kulture Shocked. A seasoned gamer, Zach has been playing video games since the early 90s and have owned everything from the NES to the Xbox One. Aside from video games, Zach is a nerd of all trades and dabbles in everything from collectible card games to Gunpla.
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