When Super Bomberman R launched on the Nintendo Switch it came with mixed reviews. Whilst gamers and critics enjoyed the gameplay, it didn’t have enough content to justify the price. Since then, Konami have released plenty of free updates that has seen it grow with new characters, modes, and even customisation options, with the title slowly start to feel like a full-fledged release.
Now, over a year on from its debut on the Nintendo Switch, it’s finally out on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in the form of the Super Bomberman R: Shiny Edition. This includes all of the additional content that’s been released for the game over the last year and even has a few extras of its own, essentially making it the most complete (and enjoyable) version of the game yet.
Everyone knows how the Bomberman series works, so it feels unnecessary to go into too much depth here. In a nutshell, you work across a small maze-like map, all whilst blowing up bricks around you to make new pathways and trying to defeat your foes by catching them in your bomb’s explosion radius. The different power-ups that are available offer you new skills to use mid-battle whilst the varying arenas you battle across often have unique features too, with everything coming together nicely to make for an old-school experience that has certainly stood the test of time. Bomberman is just good, unpredictable, silly fun.
There’s a decent variety of modes available in Super Bomberman R, though the most prominent at the start is the Story Mode. Story Mode sees you working through a variety of stages with different objectives in order to take down the Five Dastardly Bombers. You’ll face off against these nefarious villains in boss battles too, which were surprisingly enjoyable and unique. It’s a neat little mode and one that can be played through in co-op with a friend, so there’s plenty of fun to be had with it.
The Grand Prix Mode is another enjoyable way to play Super Bomberman R, with it putting two teams of up to three players against each other in varied multiplayer matches. With all of the different arenas available in the game and the different ways to play Grand Prix (you can either play a ‘death match’ variant or ‘crystal collecting’ where players compete to collect crystals), you can have a completely different experience each time. The team-focused nature of the mode just makes it even more entertaining, especially when tackling other players online with friends.
Outside of those, you’ve also got your traditional Battle Mode where you can take on either AI or real-life players in classic action. This is the purest Bomberman experience available in Super Bomberman R, and in honesty is probably where I’ve spent most of my time with the game. There are plenty of customisation options in place for players to set up the matches they want, whilst the sheer amount of arenas you can battle across (seriously, there’s an absurd amount available) that each have their own unique features ensures you never grow bored of each mighty showdown.
As expected, the multiplayer features of Super Bomberman R are one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game. I’ve played a good amount of games online and haven’t suffered from any lag too, so the netcode seems to be pretty sharp. Of course, you can play locally too, so you can live out childhood memories and just get a group of friends together for epic battles if you want. It’s a lot of fun and I can easily see myself coming back to the game time and time again for some multiplayer bomb-blasting action – even if I do seem to be severely under-skilled compared to the rest of the online community…
One thing that I absolutely loved about Super Bomberman R is the wealth of characters you can play as. It’s not just traditional Bomberman favourites either, but also Konami legends from their other titles – you know, characters like Pyramid Head, Simon Belmont, Vic Viper, Goemon, or Anubis just to name a few. The new PC and console editions of the game have a few unique participants of their own too, with Ratchet and Clank dropping in on the PlayStation 4, Master Chief on the Xbox One, and Portal 2’s P-Body on PC. Best of all, all of these characters offer something unique, with each having their own special ability to help them stand out amongst the crowded selection.
A lot of the game’s content is unlocked by spending in-game currency, though I found that you earned it at a fast enough pace that nothing was held to ransom. Don’t get me wrong, some things would take a short while to earn, but given that you earn currency by simply playing the game it shouldn’t take most gamers too long. It’s worth noting that some of the more interesting content is cheap to purchase anyway, with a lot of the additional characters only costing a measly 10 gold in-game. You’re actually given enough cash at the start to unlock them from the get-go if you want, so you can immediately lay bombs as characters like Pyramid Head, Dracula, or even WWE superstar Xavier Woods. It’s a commendable effort, especially given how far some video games go these days as far as charging players for content is concerned.
Bomberman has always been a series that I’ve held close to my heart, and whilst it might have got off to a rocky start on the Nintendo Switch, the commitment Konami has shown in releasing free updates has been commendable. Everything has been packaged together nicely in Super Bomberman R: Shiny Edition, and it’s helped make it a genuinely worthwhile title in the series that’s an absolute blast to play (both figuratively and literally).
Whilst Super Bomberman R’s original release on the Nintendo Switch might have left gamers feeling a bit short-changed, the new ‘shiny’ edition is simply jam-packed with enough content to keep you bombing your friends and online foes for a long time.
Release Date: Out Now
Platform(s): PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC