Review – Super Bomberman R 2

Back when the Nintendo Switch first came out, a whopping six years ago, the first game I got for the system wasn’t Breath of the Wild. It was Super Bomberman R. Given how I had decided to purchase the Switch about a month after its release, I had decided to play the then-latest Zelda adventure on the Wii U instead. Super Bomberman R wasn’t exactly the most groundbreaking title in the world, but it was decent enough. It showed that Konami still gave a crap about some of its franchises. That was 2017, though. Since then, even though many will disagree, I do think the publisher has shown remarkable signs of progress. The announcement of Super Bomberman R 2 actually felt exciting, as I was curious to see if the base game would finally receive some much-needed improvements.

Super Bomberman R 2

It’s not like the exploration from Bomberman 64, but it sure scratches the itch.

Is Super Bomberman R 2 a better game than its predecessor? Yes, easily. There is a lot more content, almost rendering that first game useless in comparison. Is it fantastic? Well, not really. I’m not saying the game is bad per se, far from it, but let’s get this out of the way: this is Bomberman. The formula has been the same for basically the past forty years. We know what to expect from yet another iteration on one of the most “comfort food” franchises in gaming’s history.

The game starts off, once again, with some humorous, but atrociously-voiced cutscenes (whether they were supposed to sound terrible or not remains a mystery). It also has a brand new take on level design. Well, almost new. The core appeal of Super Bomberman R 2 is its story mode. It’s not a simple gauntlet of levels featuring the classic Bomberman gameplay and the occasional boss fight. There is a big map to “explore”, where you can collect experience points and recruit allies. The exploration is simplistic, but it did remind me a bit of the Bomberman games released for the Nintendo 64, which are usually considered the best in the franchise alongside the Sega Saturn entries.

Super Bomberman R 2 MP

Be it locally, offline, or with bots, the multiplayer is where this game still shines the brightest.

The soundtrack in the story mode also surprised me. I am not sure if Konami kept Hudson Soft’s old composers, but Super Bomberman R 2‘s sounded very similar to some of Hudson’s catchier tunes from the late 90s, such as their Mario Golf and Tennis soundtracks. I wasn’t expecting a lot from then, considering how atrocious the voice acting is, but damn, what a pleasant surprise.

Another good chunk of Super Bomberman R 2‘s story mode is comprised of a very divisive addition to the Bomberman formula, even if it’s indeed creative: a tower defense mode. You can collect resources which will then allow you to customize a traditional Bomberman battlefield, where the objective isn’t to just kill every enemy in sight, for they constantly respawn, but survive for a set amount of minutes, stopping them from attacking your base. The game gives you a sizeable amount of freedom to set up barriers and traps to deal with these foes, but to be honest, you just can’t beat traditional Bomberman gameplay. At the end of the day, you will set up a small corridor and blast everybody with a bomb regardless.

Super Bomberman R 2 level creator

A level creator for people more talented than me to create what I’m not able to.

Traditional Bomberman modes are still present, and the multiplayer is still Super Bomberman R 2‘s bread and butter. No gimmicks, just some good, old fashioned Bomberman fun. The multiplayer highlight is the mode where 64 players battle at once. A tower defense mode is also included, but just like in the story mode, it’s fun, but not exactly what we are here for. Finally, a level creator is included. Super Bomberman R 2 features a lot of content right from the get-go, even if a chunk of it is just… there.

Super Bomberman R 2 tower defense

This brand new tower defense mode is nice… but I’d rather just play old-school Bomberman.

Super Bomberman R 2 is a nice improvement over its predecessor, and it features a lot of content, but be realistic. Do not expect it to be the most groundbreaking experience out there, because Bomberman is, has been, and will always be a very simple arcade-like experience with cute visuals, cheerful music and accessible controls, meant to be played for a couple dozen minutes at a time. It does everything it was meant to do with honors, and I’m happy about it. I wanted a an improvement over the flawed, but interesting Super Bomberman R from 2017, and got exactly that. 


Graphics: 7.0

It looks as good as the source material can, and it runs superbly well.

Gameplay: 7.5

The controls are as simple and responsive as a Bomberman game should feature. The RPG elements are minute, yet welcoming, but the tower defense mechanics feel a bit confusing at first.

Sound: 7.5

Even though the voice acting is atrocious, the soundtrack is shockingly catchy, reminding me of the best tunes Hudson Soft would come up with back in the late 90s.

Fun Factor: 7.5

There are more modes for players to enjoy, even if some of them feel a bit disjointed. Local and online multiplayer are still the highlight, however. It is significantly better than its predecessor, and possibly the first attempt at shaking up the Bomberman formula in a right way in decades.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Super Bomberman R 2 is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on PS5.

A copy of Super Bomberman R 2 was provided by the publisher.