Super Bomberman R 2 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Jorge Ba-oh 15.09.2023

Review for Super Bomberman R 2 on Nintendo Switch

If there was any video game icon to stand on the podium of retro giants alongside Mario, Pac-Man, and Sonic the Hedgehog must be the explosive Bomberman. With the long-running Hudson Soft and Konami series having turned forty in 2023, it's time to celebrate a wealth of bomb-spawning multiplayer antics with the latest release, Super Bomberman R 2.

As the follow-up to 2017's Super Bomberman R and 2021's Super Bomberman R Online, can the sequel hit even more explosive notes than its predecessor?

At its core, Super Bomberman R 2 is all about the classic grid or maze-like setup that defines the essence of a Bomberman game. Players start on different corners of the map, armed with a bomb to plonk on the stage. Seconds later an explosion paves the way through blocked paths and against unsuspecting foes. That original feel is very much intact, with classic power-ups to boost the bomb detonator's abilities, including "fire" and "skate". Newcomers and seasoned veterans can leap into the grid foray with relative ease. Bomberman games have historically been fairy easy to pick-up, but difficult to master!

But what makes Super Bomberman R 2 stand out in the long-running series and recent explosive entries? One of the new modes this time round, "Castle", is a surprisingly enjoyable twist on the Bomberman concept. In this mode, players form two sides in a map packed full of obstacles and breakable terrain. The "attack side" dashes to find keys littered about the map, whilst the "castle side" patrol and protect a set of treasure chests. Having played online on both sides, it's a refreshing take on team play - rather than just trying to pelt foes with bombs!

In addition, there's a stage editor that allows players to use a template, or go at from scratch, to scatter obstacles and blocks. Unique gimmicks and items can be plonked along the map to shake things up. It is a robust stage editor, allowing for interesting combinations to be brewed up and shared with others online. Having tried to build a simple stage, it works well, however can become a tough fiddly to compile something a bit more fleshed out. That said, there are some impressive maps already uploaded to the service at time of review, so there is potential!

Screenshot for Super Bomberman R 2 on Nintendo Switch

In addition to the standard Bomberman matches and Castle, a new mode called "Crystals" has players forming two teams, each running about collecting crystals that are littered across the map. Think of it like the "Coin Runners" of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Any foe that makes contact with a handy bomb drops a handful of their collection, with others able to desperately scramble in to scoop up the remains. It's a fun mode that - like Castle - offers a fun twist to keep things familiar but fresh. Sadly, this reviewer had a low personal record of approximately two, yes two, crystals in a handful of online matches. Enjoyable, nonetheless!

Another shake-up takes a page out of those big online multiplayer romps like Tetris 99, where 64 players are plonked into maps, battling it out for survival and ultimate supremacy at the end. Think of it as a Squid Game-esque match, desperately scrambling about to survive. After a period of time, the maps shake-up and progressively become smaller. Having smaller hordes battling it out at the start instead of 64 players going-toe-to-toe works well and keeps that frantic intensity until the very end.

Screenshot for Super Bomberman R 2 on Nintendo Switch

Super Bomberman R 2 is very much a party or multiplayer game at its core. There is a strong focus for having as many bomb detonators zipping about as possible. It's frantic, borderline barmy in some modes and the bulk of where most players will likely spend their time. Those craving something relatively more relaxed pace can dive into the single player Story campaign.

There are stories within the Bomberman universe, surprisingly, and Super Bomberman R 2 sees the return of the squad of bombers called Bomberman Bros. First introduced in the Bomberman World arcade game and see once again in Super Bomberman R, this colourful posse are all about saving the universe by, well, blowing things up. A new villain has a huge planet ship known as the ominous "Black Moon", equipped with an army of alien critters.

Unlike some story modes in past Bomberman entries, Super Bomberman R 2 features a more open like approach, with connected maps for the bomber to explore. It's an interesting twist on the age-old formula, and almost feels like a pseudo 3D platformer in ways. Puzzle rooms, enemy hordes and stat boosts are in place to keep players going, but ultimately this feature feels more of a side-entry than the main dish. The pacing at times does grind to a halt, with bomb dropping becoming a fair bit cumbersome.

Screenshot for Super Bomberman R 2 on Nintendo Switch

Beyond the various modes are unlockable content in the shop, including a neat roster of unlockable characters. Those who love Konami gems can tap into iconic characters like Simon Belmont from the Castlevania series, or the gruff Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid. There's a good amount of fan-service to keep fans entertained and continue to grind through matches to accumulate in-game currency.
Visually the game shouts classic Bomberman, but with a contemporary feel. Is it a shame that the game's variety in design didn't push further beyond the fairly similar concepts across the various maps.

Single player in particular could have benefitted from an additional spruce of design magic in places. It doesn't detract from the explosive gameplay, but the development team could have pushed further to make Super Bomberman R 2 stand out alongside other recent entries.

Screenshot for Super Bomberman R 2 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Super Bomberman R 2 is an explosive romp. Classic Bomberman grid mechanics with neat twists in additional modes, with new rules to keep things fresh. In some ways it is a fitting celebration of four decades of bombs - fast, nippy multiplayer gameplay at its core, with cute, colourful characters to tie everything together. Does it push beyond Super Bomberman R? In some ways, yes, but there could well have been more to take this sequel to the next level.

That said, those looking for a Bomberman adventure on the Nintendo Switch should hop on into Super Bomberman R 2 with open arms, preferably holding a bomb or two.

Developer

Konami

Publisher

Konami

Genre

Action

Players

16

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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