The ex-Hudson bomber returns to do damage: we discover the joys and sorrows of Super Bomberman R 2 in our… explosive review of the sequel
Imagine what it would feel like to enter the trade press halfway through its life cycle Nintendo Switchand then write the review of the sequel to one of the first titles (as well as ex-exclusive) for the console: this is the feeling with which the writer took turns with Super Bomberman R 2. The original was a grand return for the deceased’s iconic bomber Hudson Soft (also known for the first Mario Party!), now in the hands of one Konami which seems to have rediscovered the trebizond after its darkest period, especially with Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1 on the horizon.
After the absorption of Bomberman by Konami, the crackling mascot (as well as the cornerstone par excellence of chaotic multiplayer) found itself in a phase that can only be defined as abandonment. A disuse of which, with “only” six years from the first chapter, it is certainly easier for us to mark the end. Bomberman is officially back, and with the modes introduced in the game it seems like it’s here to stay. Not necessarily for an excellent success across the board, but for the mere desire to reinvent itself. After all, it is done by those who never really need to try as we will see in a month with Super Mario Bros. Wonder, let alone a franchise that (in the eyes of the publisher) always has everything to prove.
Planets flambé | Super Bomberman R 2 Review
With a multiplayer game like Super Bomberman R 2, you will be surprised to find a section dedicated to it in our review plot. Make no mistake: there really isn’t much to say. The Story mode, in terms of narration, provides just the mere pretext needed to keep things going. The various Bomberman, distinguished by their color (which coincides with the name of each), encounter a threat capable of destroying entire planets: the Lugion. It will be up to White and his disorganized gang (Nero the narcissist, Yellow the clumsy, Blue the lazy, Green the big boy, Azzurra the pacifist, Red the violent and Rosa the graceful) to save the poor Ellon defenseless.
The role played by Story mode, after all, is that of a glorified tutorial, in an even more accentuated way than what happens with the Pokémon series. This doesn’t mean we intend to denigrate it completely: it does what it does in terms of unlocking content and preparing the player for the metagame, but it doesn’t go beyond the role given to it by the development team. It all consists of interconnected maps to explore and in which to defeat the various enemies to gain experience and level up, permanently unlocking (in the mode) the various power-ups that would otherwise be disposable, between an enigma and a clash with the Lugions in Castle mode ( we’ll talk about it shortly).
“In previous bombings” | Super Bomberman R 2 review
What does it consist of basic formula? In reality there isn’t much to say here either. Multiple players find themselves in a grid screen full of sharp turns, in which to destroy walls (first) and opponents (then) with bomb. Each bomb placed causes an explosion with a cross-shaped range if placed at intersections, or otherwise only vertical or horizontal. Power-ups are hidden between the walls of the playing field with which you can kick bombs away, increase their range, place more bombs or run faster. Whoever remains standing at the end of the match wins or, depending on the case, whoever makes the most eliminations.
That’s all. There’s really nothing else. It’s one of those basic premises that’s as simple as it is ingenious, as fun today as the original was on ZX-Spectrum in 1983. However, we’re a little torn about the muted presence of the classic battle in the sequel, in favor of of the innovations introduced by the latter. On the one hand, it’s a shame to see such a valid idea less exploited than usual. On the other hand, however, we appreciate the intent to enhance the reinterpretation of the canons of the saga that we alluded to before: the game has every intention of affirming its space in the multiplayer sphere, and we must acknowledge this.
Marcondirondirondello | Super Bomberman R 2 review
So let’s talk about this blessed one Castle mode. This is the attempt (successful or not, it will be up to time to tell) of the series to enter the world of asymmetric multiplayer. On one side of the arena there are seats attackers. Their aim is to attack the enemy base, avoiding getting in each other’s way (read: without killing each other) and making use of numerical superiority. Once all the keys have been collected and all the chests of the “castle” in question have been opened within the time limit, the game is won by default.
On the other side of the barricade, a single “Re” he must defend the fort with every means at his disposal. Of course, standing up for yourself has its pros and cons. Naturally, defending against multiple opponents at the same time includes a need for micromanagement which makes the experience more similar to the frenzy of Overcooked! than to a “simple” Bomberman. However, there are many aces up the sleeve that the King can draw on. For example, the laser attack boasts a greater range than the “usual” bombs, which are however present. Then, obviously, shields allow you to take more hits. There is also a third advantage, but we’ll talk about that later.
The others | Super Bomberman R 2 review
Let’s briefly review the other types of clashes. Nothing to say, in particular, for the rules that include i Crystals. Very simply, we strive to obtain the greatest number of precious stones. We would gladly specify that the battles are team-based, because technically that’s how it is: two factions compete for who has the most when time runs out. However, the final score also includes the stones pocketed by each player. You can imagine how, in this clear moment “Oops…!” of game design, the need to backstab the same team prevails in the final moments of the match.
The strong point that comes to our attention, however, is Battaglia 64. Along the lines of Nintendo’s battle royales (which show no signs of slowing down, as F-Zero 99 demonstrates almost literally), here 64 players compete in multiple interconnected arenas, with the aim of surviving until the end. Only one explosion per game is allowed; the second is decisive. Obviously, similar to the shrinking of the Fortnite storm, in some sectors of the arena the game will be quick to invite us to hurry towards the nearest exit. Being able to afford to stay in the same field is not the luxury it seems; in fact, it is necessary to get rid of the unpleasant “guests” who have arrived from other areas. So yeah, it’s like Fortnite.
Godzilla Sets: Made to Be Destroyed | Super Bomberman R 2 review
In all of this, there is a editor! Once you have chosen the basic template from which to start, you can make all the changes we deem appropriate to the arena. Every aspect of the scenario is customizable: the number of destructible walls, solid walls to place, traps such as cannons and lasers, conveyor belts and more. There is everything you need to meet every possible and imaginable need, but since we start from a basic situation without even the dimensions and boundaries of the scenario being customizable… you may have guessed where we are going.
Well yes: the traps are aimed at the invaders of the Castle mode, sole beneficiary of the editor. Even leaving aside the lack of depth of the tool made available to the player (it is not Maker 2, after all!), this constraint can prove limiting for anyone who has already indulged in flights of fancy in reading “Bomberman” and “editor” in the same sentence. The game, for its part, does its best to emphasize the symbiosis between editor and Castle, given the numerous Lugion attacks in Story mode to deal with. The player is encouraged to prepare the most effective defense, in order to lure online opponents into his hellish trap.
There are no more mid-seasons | Super Bomberman R 2 review
The game aims to a “live service” approach divided into seasons which we will come to understand better in the coming months. In this regard, despite some hiccups we ran into just before writing the review (read: completely inaccessible online), in the first few days the experience proved to be fluid and functional. Like almost everything in the game, the online game also focuses more on the Castle as a regulation of the clashes, which extends to the matchmaking in which we are offered to choose between defenders and attackers. Based on your requests, you should be able to play the aforementioned mode on the side of the fence that suits you best.
In this sense, the live service-like component of the game also extends to customization of their avatars. Everything, from the ponpon (or bonbon, given the gameplay?) of the character to the shape and color of the bombs, is customizable. The in-game store allows you to purchase everything, including battle music and, most importantly, skins with on-theme abilities. The one dedicated to Fall Guys is free, but in general the skins cost 1000 game coins which can be obtained by playing many, many matches. Regarding the grind, as reviewers we have a countermeasure: if after launch the game dares to include microtransactions as an “option” to “save time”, just subtract a point from our rating.
Bomb squads and artists | Super Bomberman R 2 review
We are at the end of the line: all we have to do is evaluate the game technically before taking our leave. The question of graphics it’s very open to debate, actually. She does her job, for goodness sake, but her eye has sometimes fallen on details that are a little less cared for than the rest. Visually, the game is mostly clean; which is why, for example, those low-poly mushrooms on the sidelines on the first planet in Story mode are very jarring. Which brings us to the most questionable point of the discussion: can we really talk about an eyesore for the occasional smudge, when the gameplay normally requires us to pay more attention to the devices ready to explode?
We have decidedly less to complain about on the front sonorous, Instead. Certain songs prove tremendously catchy (without saying anything about the music from other Konami series that pop up in the store), and the dubbing of the characters is perfectly suited to its context. We’re not just talking about “Time to make a comeback!” to Bianco’s respawn, delightfully allusive towards his return to the video game stage, but in general to the Saturday morning cartoon theater set up for the Story mode. The plot straddles the line between serious and humorous, and the same goes for the performances of the voice actors.
It won’t be a review like this that will convince you whether to open your wallet for Super Bomberman R 2 or not. Simply,…