During Nintendo’s press event for the unveiling of the Nintendo Switch, one game that caught my eye in the sizzle reel was a new Bomberman game. As a huge Hudson Soft fan, I love the little bomber, and after a long absence in gaming he has returned with some friends in Super Bomberman R, a launch title for the Nintendo Switch. So is it really worth picking up?
Super Bomberman R is broken up into two main modes: Single Player and Multiplayer. Single player seems like an afterthought in a game based on multiplayer, but Super Bomberman R actually packs a decent punch in terms of solo play. The story goes that the Bomberman Bros. have to stop Emperor Buggler and his evil plans. It’s not a great narrative or anything, but it does suffice. The single player plays out like little mini-Bomberman matches, with a variety of objectives. Some levels have you blowing up everyone, some have you getting keys, and so forth. There’s a decent little bit of variety, and each main level is planet, so there’s always a theme to them.
The nice part of the single player campaign are the Boss Battles, which are really fun. You square off against a huge boss in an open area, trying to exploit their weak spot on them. It requires fast thinking and is pretty frantic and fun. Another nice addition is the ability for any local player to drop in during single player via a Joy-Con.
The cut scenes are also pretty decent as well, reminding me a bit of an early 90’s cartoon, right down to the voice acting. It’s nothing spectacular, but I did find a certain charm in it. The rest of the presentation is solid, with maps and characters looking bright and colorful. The music is average at best and nothing to write home about, but gets the job done.
Of course all of this information is just leading up to the most important part of the game which is the multiplayer. Local multiplayer is an absolute blast (no pun intended), filled with customizable options, maps, and characters. All of the Nintendo Switch control variations are supported, which allows a great ease of use when hopping into the Bomberman world. The game supports up to 8 players via Joy-Con or any other variety of Switch controller, so the game really shines in this aspect in terms of local multiplayer.
On the online portion, things aren’t quite as grand. At the time of this review, Konami has noted that there has been reports of input lag in the controls, and sometimes it’s much worse than that in terms of general lag. Some matches I have played have been very smooth, where others have been slowed to a trickle in terms of online play.
The online is broken up into two segments. There is a competitive mode where you gain points and unlock additional tags for your character, and a free play mode where you can set the rules and match up with friends for a more laid back experience. This was my preferred mode, but the input lag did creep into this mode as well.
Super Bomberman R is decent for a launch title on a system that is a little lacking in retail titles, but it has it’s issues. Fans of Bomberman and people who will use the local multiplayer option will get more enjoyment out of this title than the average person, who will probably wait for a price drop. It’s not perfect, but when the game shines, it does shine pretty bright; there’s just not enough moments of that brightness unfortunately.