After a few forgettable outings on the previous generation of consoles, it seemed Bomberman’s time had come to an end. That is, until Super Bomberman R was announced for the Nintendo Switch as a launch title. The gameplay hearkens back to the series’s early days of 2D plus-shaped blasts wrecking havoc on enemies and blocks. And now, players can cooperate for the first time since Bomberman 64: The Second Attack, with a selection of eight bombers to pick from. Speaking of, Konami released a trailer showcasing Super Bomberman R’s main villain and the bomber brothers’ personalities. And it’s truly cringe-worthy.
Fans of Bomberman games past will recognize Bagular, a recurring bad guy most notable for his presence in Bomberman Hero. And although the white bomber’s games have always been far from serious, there’s a whole new level of cheesiness this time around that both detracts from and adds to Super Bomberman R’s overall charm. Bagular is suitably nefarious, while some of the bombers’ voices just don’t seem to fit. Green’s nearly-successful attempt at extorting money from white, though, is a fine punchline to a joke you didn’t know you were being told until just then.
Super Bomberman R’s Treehouse gameplay session revealed story mode levels requiring strategic placement of your dangerous explosives, and a multiplayer mode made for mayhem. The animated opening fits well with the theme of campy silliness the series is known for, but it completely leaves out the darker aspects many of the other games have included – think Rukifelth’s demonic possession or Sirius’s ultimate treachery.
In the end, it will be the gameplay that sells Super Bomberman R, not the story or the casting. The voice actors seem as if they’re trying too hard and end up coming off as artificial and childlike. Considering Bomberman’s main fan base has grown up since the N64, that could be a dangerous way to alienate them, and to utterly turn off potential newcomers past a certain age group. Luckily, the explosive action is 99% of any Bomberman game, and that alone is plenty reason to pick up a copy and literally have a blast.
Matt Eschbach is a PC, Mac and Android indie game developer and fiction writer. His works have won multiple monetary awards from various contests. Graduating college in 2012 with a major in Game Design, Matt spends his time making stuff up and then building it. His favorite hobby… is sleeping.