Review by Bender-678

"Solid, but flawed."

I've played very little Bomberman. The most exposure I've had to the character is the N64 game Bomberman Hero. I never really grew up with the classic Bomberman formula, although it always did fascinate me. Having recently got a Switch and needing a fun little multiplayer game to play besides Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, I decided to head to the e-shop and download Super Bomberman R, which seems to have taken the formula straight back to the basics.

Was it worth the money? Well... I'll get to that.

Pros:

- It's had a lot of mixed reception, but personally, I really enjoyed the cutscenes and voice acting. It had a very bright and cheery Saturday morning cartoon feel, and they had a certain bouncy charm to them that made them pretty fun to watch. The art style kind of reminded me of Puyo Pop Fever. All of the characters had a surprising amount of personality to them, even if they all did fall under stereotypes.

- The music is catchy. The first world, Technopolis, probably has my favorite soundtrack. The menu theme is a little repetitive, but otherwise the tunes are very solid and compliment the overall vibe of the game incredibly well.

- Most of the story is fun to play through. I really enjoyed how strategic it could sometimes get, especially in the later worlds. The various gimmicks introduced in each world provided extra challenge as well as means of getting through the stages.

- While it's no graphical masterpiece, it is a very nice game to look at. Visuals are clean and colorful, and it runs at a nice 60 FPS (thanks to an update Konami made).

- The promises of free DLC. 4 multiplayer stages and 2 toppers have already been released for absolutely free, and there will soon be 3 new Bombers to play as (not yet released as of the time of this review).

- The Switch's portability really compliments the simplicity of this game. It's very pick-up-and-play whenever you feel like some online multiplayer or taking a quick jab at the story mode.

- The local multiplayer. You just can't talk about the classic Bomberman formula without talking about the local multiplayer. I own a Pro Controller, and with the two joycons, I was able to get a 3-player game going. I don't think I've ever had so much fun with local multiplayer in a very long time. Depending on how many joycons you have, you can actually play with up to 8 players on one Switch! Matches can get intense, and with how simple Bomberman is, anyone can hop in and have a good time. On top of this, the story mode supports 2 local players for some co-op fun.

- The online multiplayer is also worthy of mention. Personally, I never had any connection problems, though your experience may vary. Games are very easy to hop into, and there are "leagues" that will allow you to play with players around your skill level.

Cons:

- The story mode is unfortunately quite short. It only consists of 5 worlds (each with 8 normal stages, a Bomber boss, and a mech boss), and a 2-parter final boss. It would've been nice to have more single player content to play through.

- I wasn't a big fan of some of the bosses. The Bomber bosses in particular were very boring and irritating, generally leading to a long, slogging one-on-one as both you and the boss easily dodge bombs, waiting for someone to finally get hit. It was generally faster and easier to simply run in and sacrifice one of your lives, taking out the boss in the process. A majority of the larger bosses were better, but they could get quite repetitive, and some of their hitboxes sometimes just made no sense.

- THE GEM GRINDING. This is what hurt the score the most. The gem grinding is awful! A lot of content is locked away within an in-game shop, including some multiplayer maps, and just about everything costs thousands and thousands of gems. You can only earn gems in two ways: grinding the short story mode, or grinding online multiplayer, both of which are very slow and tedious processes. Local multiplayer, bizarrely, gets you nothing. One unlockable in particular costs 30,000 gems. That is absurd. All it does is pad out what very little content there actually is.

Verdict:

I wish I got into the classic Bomberman formula sooner. It's overall a very fun little package with a ton of charm. However, this was certainly not worth the $50 I paid to get it off the e-shop. I will not let that affect this game's score, but I do feel it's fair to mention that anyone interested should find a cheaper physical copy of this game. With more upcoming DLC and patches, maybe my opinion will change, but for now, I'd say shoot for $30-$35 at the highest.

If you love Bomberman, you need a party game to play with friends, or the formula interests you, I recommend giving this game a go as soon as possible. Just be prepared for a lot of grinding if you want access to all of its content.

3.5 out of 5


Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 05/16/17

Game Release: Super Bomberman R (US, 03/03/17)

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