Many moons ago, we reviewed Super Bomber Man R for Nintendo Switch – it’s a lovely game with a lot of heart and passion and the main focal point is, was and forever will be the tried-and-true multiplayer battles of two or more bombers lighting up the square arena they find themselves in. This is all still true months after the release; so what’s the point of making another article about it?
It’s not the same lovely little game that we left behind as we moved on to bigger and better loves on our Switches. Oh no, she grew out her hair, graduated college and has a nice steady job…and everyone that left her should be turning their heads to catch a glimpse.
The game has been receiving free updates and DLC ever since shortly after launch, giving us new characters from other Konami masterpieces like Castlevania and Silent Hill (Pyramid Head Bomber is my spirit animal), new stages and plenty of other knick-knacks to give the game a little more umph. It has always felt like more of the same thing, and nothing really substantial to bring in new gamers or
even getting the man that reviewed the damn game for us to play with me every now and then old fans again.
Last week however, the long-awaited 2.0 update fell upon us and breathed new life into a game that deserves a second look. Right away, what we’re welcomed to is a brand new title screen with a more energetic theme (which is a statement since Bomberman music is ALWAYS energetic) and a whole new submenu to divide between the original 1.0 version’s “standard” modes with the story, battle, and online modes that are all still just as fun as before – but what’s a whole new feature is the “Grand Prix.”
Unfortunately, it’s not a racing mode (which I would have loved more than anything), but it does give us a whole new story. The Bomber Brothers -and sisters plus an extra spoiler character- are training for the Big Bang Grand Prix, a universal tournament meant to show true bombing talent. Suddenly, Dracula Bomber from Castlevania breaks scene and tells the Bomber Brothers that they’re weak and shouldn’t enter, as Pyramid Head Bomber and Anubis Bomber stand as threatening bodyguards. Suddenly, Simon Belmont Bomber comes in alongside Vic Viper Bomber and Jehuty Bomber and shares with our heroes the enlightenment that they’re all made from one original Bomberman that held the abilities of every other bomber, and they can tap into these powers at will.
It’s nothing but fan service that gives reasoning to the crazy awesome DLC characters, but the actual mode itself doesn’t just tiptoe in behind this prologue. Grand Prix, like the rest of the multiplayer modes, can be played locally or online with up to six players breaking into two teams (you don’t need six players! If you’re short on friends or short on desire to play against bots, you can come into this with a 1v1 option) of three in a team deathmatch or team collecting battle, each with their own gigantic stages. Pick your favorite character, each with their own unique stats (although you can change the stats of Bomber Brother characters to match those of unlockable characters and their abilities as well), and squad up to throw down in the most flair-filled tournament this side of the galaxy.
No, not that kind of Flair
The tournament mode plays like the other battle modes with just a bit of extra danger in that you have multiple lives and don’t come back once you’re all out. You’re also not immune to friendly fire, so you really need to hope your random online matchups are with competent people and not clumsy chumps casually excreting explosives everywhere. That being said, the pure calamity and tension really gives the game a bump up that it’s needed since the start: constant critical thinking – the old game could get intense with a few other skilled players, but now you have five other wild dogs to contend with. Winning gets you coins and ranks separate from your “standard” online ranking, so go for gold on both versions!
What’s new isn’t the only new additions; a new story map has been added if you complete any difficulty with three stars on every level. Isolated from the main plot, this world is solely on Planet Bomber and upon playing, my first thoughts were “oh, my god, I wonder if you can blow up a planet called ‘Bomber’ because this is absolute hell and I’m getting so mad but I’m still having weird fun.”
There is definitely a difficulty increase here, which is well-received by me because the original game became clockwork with how each level was completed. The story is goofy to the fullest extent of Konami’s possibilities, something about new kinds of pets being manufactured but everyone is going insane and the pets are wreaking havoc all over the planet. I don’t know, all I know is they kept killing me and I wasted a lot of gems just trying to beat the damn world.
All these updates are amazing and nice and Konami doesn’t need to be so wonderful by giving us free content…but why does this deserve to be played again? What’s really gonna make you put time into this and take time away from your Zeldas, and your Marios, and your Car Soccers and Stretchy Arm Fighting and Penguin Wars and Ben 10’s?
Well, this game ain’t no Super Mario Odyssey that’s for sure, and that’s okay. What it offers is what you expect, but it gives a unique kind of multiplayer experience that gives high energy without ending friendships, competitions without creating a hostile environments. It brings humor, amazing music and graphical designs, it hits your nostalgia nerves (freaking Mystical Ninja Goemon!) and makes you simultaneously look forward to future updates. I wholeheartedly think that you all need to look towards Super Bomberman R; if you haven’t played it before and are looking for a discount, the game is definitely worth 30 or 40 dollars. Just like the high school girlfriend you had and left and is now amazingly beautiful, it’s worth at least catching up.