It is hard to imagine that Bomberman is almost as old as I am. The series was the pinnacle of party gaming back in the day, and Konami has decided to grace the Switch with a new chapter in the series for its launch. It is also interesting that the series is so well known, but so many of its iterations have a negative connotation surrounding them. Need I mention Bomberman: Act Zero? I think not. Still, this entry goes back to its root on a machine that is designed for ease of use and playing with friends. What could possibly go wrong?
The concept behind Bomberman is one of the most simple in gaming. Start on a board with other players, bomb areas, gather upgrades, and obliterate the competition. It also lends itself to great multiplayer, and the Switch version embraces that with local and online play. Players can even share Joycons and play on the tablet, although that scenario is not as great as those fancy commercials might make it seem.
Price I’d Pay: $19.99
Believe it or not, this iteration actually contains a story mode, and a sizeable one at that. There are 50 stages to complete, boss fights to encounter, and even anime style cut scenes to progress the story. Sure it isn’t anything memorable, but it is a nice addition. The boss fights are by far the highlight here, featuring some interesting uses of the mechanics. It is also really cool that players can drop in and out of co-op during the campaign at any time. It is actually designed quite well.
Of course, multiplayer is where Bomberman shines though, and this iteration packs plenty to keep players busy. As I mentioned the options to play with friends is plentiful. There is local play with two Joycons, up to eight players locally, tablet mode, TV mode, and of course online play that holds up better than I expected, well when I could find a game at least. The modes and maps keep things interesting, and for those willing to lay down the coin, there are plenty of items and cosmetic goodies to purchase to spruce things up, which is where one of my biggest issues with the game comes into play.
This game is $50, and it is hard to swallow. When considering there was an Xbox 360 downloadable game, with close to comparable content, released for $10 almost ten years ago, this price is hard to swallow. While the campaign is admirable, it still doesn’t make up for the steep entry price. Combine that with the fact the game comes packed with micro-transactions and things start to get messy. There is fun here, but the price feels just too much to justify it.
Super Bomberman R is a decent game that asks too much to jump in. I get it, the Switch launch is lacking titles to purchase, but I still cannot recommend this title at its current price. I would wait. This is a fantastic $20-$30 game, and should have been priced accordingly.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.