I think everyone in the world has played Bomberman at least once, or perhaps a good clone. Just explore levels, bomb rocks or obstacles (and enemies, of course) and get to the end of the level. That’s the classic experience, but what else is new? We’ll find out in our Super Bomberman R2 review if there’s anything worth coming back to.
When the Switch launched, Bomberman was one of the first classic series to jump the gun, arriving with an interesting little title that seemed to take inspirations from both past and present. Clearly, it did nothing new for the series, but it was okay for the Switch in its, then, state of a new launched console in need of water. But now the Switch doesn’t really need another Bomberman title, right? So what is R2 bringing to the table?
Well, not much new that I would consider worthy of spending time, as the best parts of Bomberman R2 are still the classic series gameplay. The story – because now every Bomberman title is required to have one apparently – is that we are looking for cute little aliens, Elon, in an open-world map. Do you need to know more than that? No, you don’t, as most sane adults will clock out of the story ten minutes in and just stay for the gameplay.
So, along with a new story, R2 brings along some new costumes (like uh, Pyramid Head?), a couple of new online modes and, perhaps more interestingly, a level editor. Using that, you can share levels with whoever you want, which is a pretty neat feature. Also yes, this year marks the 40th anniversary of the series, so R2 brings a truckload of stuff to unlock playing both the story modes and multiplayer.
The main gameplay works perfectly fine, as Konami hasn’t really touched anything. This is still all about bringing your character to an arena, blowing up everything in sight, collecting powerups, killing enemies (or trying to bomb your friends). It worked forty years ago and, we’re happy to report, it still works great today.
New to the series is a mode called Castle, players are in the role of attackers or defenders of a castle. If you’re trying to conquer the castle, you will just be playing in a usual Bomberman arena, grabbing keys and opening up chests, often guarded by enemies and other players. Once all five keys (and chests) have been captured, the attackers win. If the time runs out, the defenders win. Also, the Bomberman 64 mode is back, which is nice to have.
Unfortunately, while the single-player mode works fine, there are some current issues with the multiplayer mode. Fans are not happy, since Konami took down the free-to-play Bomberman R online and replaced it with R2. The way the current system works just waits a few seconds for other players. If everyone doesn’t start matchmaking at the same time, it will just fill in slots with AI bots. Yes, even if you are the only player in the session, you can’t wait for other human players.
Obviously, if you are a fan of the series, then there is enough new stuff here to justify the full game price tag of 50 buckaroos. Otherwise, if you’re just interested in the gameplay and don’t want to waste time on a thin story mode, we would recommend just buying another game in the series, possibly a cheaper one, and getting your money’s worth there.
Our Super Bomberman R2 review was made possible with a key provided by PR. Super Bomberman R2 is available on Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X | S and Steam.
Super Bomberman R2: While this is a must for fans of the series, there is not much to recommend for those looking for a quick match. – Damiano Gerli