Bomberman has been around for a loooooooong time. I remember first playing the original on the NES. I didn’t really like it then but my tastes have changed over the years. That’s partly why I asked Konami for a code for Super Bomberman R 2.
I wanted to dive back into bombing stuff and give the series a second go. After all, it’s been around for so long, there’s bound to be a reason why, right?
What is Super Bomberman R 2?
Super Bomberman R 2 is an action game where you have to use bombs and power ups to blow up items (and enemies) on a grid. The game is developed and published by Konami and is available on every modern platform.
Our copy was graciously provided by Konami! Thanks so much!
Over the years, the Bomberman series has tried a ton of different things. It’s been a platformer, an RPG and more! No matter what though, the games always returned to the core gameplay style (running around in a maze, get power ups and blow stuff up) because it works.
Super Bomberman R 2 tries to have everything under the sun to cater to everybody. It has a story mode (where the Bomberman Brothers travel the galaxy), it has its multiplayer modes (including a 64-man battle royale) and it even has a basic level editor (which is more restrictive than you’d expect) so you can even create your own maps.
The problem is, it doesn’t do everything well.
Let’s start with the single player.
The plot is all told through low budget slideshows and while I personally love the kitschy B-movie feel to it all, I do have to admit that the cutscenes are rather amateurish. They look like Flash games that used to be super popular online. Remember them?
In single player, the one screen map is gone. It’s replaced by a series of interconnecting maps that you have to move in sequence. In each map are enemies and obstructions you need to blow up, as well as Ellons (cute blue aliens) that you can find and use to power the machines in the maps.
While you can pretty much ignore blowing stuff up if you want, it’s not really optimal. Enemies and some obstructions drop XP when exploded and picking them up increases the World Level, which in turn makes Bomberman stronger.
He can move faster, his bombs have a longer reach and he can lay down more explosives.
You can see right how it actually means that you’d want to blow everything up before moving on? That unfortunately slows the game down. Instead of bombing and running, you’re killing enemies and then bombing everything in sight to get XP. It’s super repetitive and is boring. It kills any sort of pace that’s been established.
While I love the RPG-lite aspects, I don’t love how their implemented in the game sadly.
The single player mode in Super Bomberman R 2 is also tied to the game’s new Castle mode, which has you protecting your castle while enemies swarm in or assaulting an enemy stronghold.
Your goal is to prevent your treasure chests from being opened (if you’re playing defence) or opening the chests to win (if you’re on offense).
It has potential but I honestly found it a bit too slow and unlike a typical game of Bomberman. Spending hours setting up your defenses is not my idea of fun, yet it’s forced upon you in the story mode.
It’s the multiplayer modes however that make or break the game…and here’s where some really questionable decisions affect the game.
For one, if you want to play in the game’s Ranked Mode, you can only play the two modes that’s available. Gameplay modes cycle so if you have a favourite mode, you’ll have to wait until it makes its way back into rotation again.
Umm…that’s crazy. It’s basically gating off modes until the game wants you to play them. Imagine if other games did this…the furor would’ve been insane!
Weirdly, there’s no Quick Play or Unranked option. You can play all of the multiplayer modes offline with the CPU though, so that’s at least a plus. In fact, you can even play the best game mode (Battle 64) offline if you don’t have friends. Just be forewarned that the bots can be braindead most times.
I love that Konami actually went and included a ton of their characters to unlock in the game. Contra, Castlevania, Gradius, Metal Gear Solid, Suikoden and more have representation in the game. It’s really cool! Plus, each character has their own skills that set them apart.
It’s by no means a huge roster like Nintedo’s Smash series but it’s sizeable. I just wish Konami had shown some love to Zone of the Enders and included Jehuty or Anubis too! It’s kind of disheartening to see that Goemon made it in but not those orbital frames.
Despite that, online Super Bomberman R 2 is fun as hell. The netcode is decent and the game modes (especially the 64-man battle royale mode) are tremendous fun. The gameplay’s simple enough that anybody can jump in and start blasting away but deep enough that it takes skill to truly master.
I did have issues getting matches (which is rather troubling for a game so early in its life) but the game is crossplay with all platforms so hopefully the player base doesn’t die out.
No matter how ridiculous the hoops you have to jump through, at the end of the day, when you’re playing online, everything just fades away. There’s a certain kind of zen to be had playing Super Bomberman R 2 and not many games can say that at all.
The Bottom Line.
There’s a reason why the Bomberman series has been around for so long. Nope, it’s not because of its art design. It’s the gameplay.
Super Bomberman R 2 has that in spades…and then some. However, that gameplay is mired in some silliest game design choices I’ve ever seen.
There are issues, but they don’t really detract from the core gameplay of the series, which is a great thing. Multiplayer is a blast, literally! That’s pretty much the only reason you need to pick up the game.
Get the game despite its boring single player and spend all your time in multiplayer.
- Multiplayer is insanely enjoyable.
- 64-man battle royale mode is addicting.
- You can play every mode with bots.
- Bomberman gameplay is still fresh and fun.
- Lots of Konami characters playable.
- Story mode is just plain boring.
- Rotation of game modes in Ranked.
- Can take a while to get into a match.