In the modern game industry it seems all too common for companies to simply forget about their older franchises. Even when people ask for these games developers seem to ignore them, and Bomberman was one of these franchises. After an unsuccessful reboot in 2006 for the Xbox 360 the franchise simply vanished, but now Konami has found the chance to bring the franchise back and return it to its roots with Super Bomberman R.
Emperor Buggler has awoken the five dastardly bombers and has begun to take over the starry sky solar system. With the goal of mass conquest it is up to the eight Bomberman brothers to gain some enthusiasm and take down their foe. In regards to the overall narrative it is never anything serious, yet does manage to be quite funny at the best of times with a slice of drama thrown in for good measure.
The story mode itself is nothing special but does provide a good amount of fun throughout. Just in terms of the story it is clear that the developers were simply having fun trying to add as many cliché story moments as possible, while also trying to deliver some solid humor to attempt having a story. Yet Bomberman proves it does not need a narrative to set up the action, but it can be appreciated that the developers went ahead and found a way to offer some extra charm with the adventure.
Where the game matters however is in the actual gameplay. Konami and HexaDrive have done an amazing job at redeveloping the Bomberman franchise to its original form. Just on nostalgia alone, Super Bomberman R manages to offer a breath of fresh air for those looking for some classic arcade style action.
In terms of the actual gameplay things are perfectly made, this is still a game about clearing out blocks from your path, and then working to achieve a goal often related to defeating your enemies. There is something that is so enticing about doing this particularly with the risk and reward system that often turns each level or match into a strategic game.
Your bombs act as your primary weapon, but also quite often they are your greatest enemy. Through each level you can find items that power you up which will offer a bigger explosion or faster movement speed, if you happen to even be slightly close to the blast radius you lose a life. With this you can often end up trapping yourself with a wrong move, or ultimately getting killed by an enemy you tried to trap.
There is so much satisfaction that comes from beating a level, and as part of that pulling off a perfect strategy that achieves your goal while also keeping all your lives. There is true intelligence built into this game that really forces you to think ahead before you move or ultimately die, a lesson that is quickly learned.
Mission variety is also a strong element of Super Bomberman R, while most missions fall under the somewhat tiresome framework of defeat all enemies. There are other mission types which offer stressful but enjoyable design, in one mission you have to find all the buttons to leave the level, in another you have to escort people to a safe zone.
The strength of these different tasks falls into the well-made levels which make it easy to lose a life, with respawning enemies often causing a problem and an interesting maze that needs to be navigated. There are even survival missions which require you to not lose all your life’s and survive against a constantly respawning army of monsters for minutes at a time which proves quite challenging when your bombs become your biggest enemy.
The enemy types are also well implemented, across the story modes five main acts Super Bomberman R manages to add a good variety of different enemy types on a regular basis. Even better as you progress through the story many of the older enemies get new forms which require you to employ new tactics to deal with their increased intelligence.
What makes enemies even more enjoyable is that they harken back to classic Bomberman further cementing this installment as a greater nostalgia trip. From small basic enemies, to the annoying frog type that requires even more forethought, the enemies are so well put together and show that the past can be adapted rather than being changed.
Super Bomberman R’s strongest element comes from its multiplayer, up to eight players can join in the standard battle mode, while two players can take on the story. This game managed to become even stronger when the second another player joined in. The story mode becomes a hectic challenge of trying to avoid your own attacks as well as your partners and requires a lot of communication and planning to best optimize your teamwork.
Battle mode on the other hand is a truly quick and devastating mode, whether you are fighting real players or the computer this mode is fast paced. There is nothing that can truly match the amount of joy and chaos this mode brings as you attempt to take out the opponents with your bomb’s while trying to avoid theirs. Then after dying trying to bring yourself back into the game by defeating someone from the sidelines. There is no denying the amount of fun battle mode brings to the table especially through the random chaos that the mode provides which will act as the greatest reason to keep coming back.
Super Bomberman R is a wonderful nostalgic throwback to the golden era of gaming. After years of absence Bomberman R manages to make up for it by giving fans the Bomberman experience that they wanted, a simple and to the point arcade adventure that understands how to have fun. If you want something that has plenty of replay value and will offer a distraction for a couple of hours, Super Bomberman R has you covered.