I’ll admit I was never a die-hard Bomberman fan in my formative years of gaming. I am extremely aware of the concept and the formula of the franchise and I proudly owned a copy of the Sega Mega Drive version and have in the years that past, enjoyed many hours with my friends playing competitive multiplayer and co-op, sometimes victoriously, sometimes passionately but never furiously. I’ve even wasted some of my time on the dreadful reboot Bomberman Act: Zero (if you don’t know, find out and avoid) but my experiences with the Bomberman franchise have always been generally pleasant and full of fun. So when Super Bomberman R was brought to the Game Hype Office (our group chat) I absolutely dove at the opportunity to review it, and I have always made it my business to be 92+8 with my readers and from the bottom of my heart I can tell you that this is gleeful Bomberman action that makes an amazing emphasis on its roots while still bringing forth an extremely fun and steady challenge in its 50 level story mode but sadly doesn’t offer much else in terms of game modes, however this is redeemed in the PS4 version in terms of a price tag, making up for the massive price sticker that was slapped on the Nintendo Switch version.

Super Bomberman R’s story mode is a fantastic demonstration of the charming and simple plots that graced us in the 16-bit area. Emperor Buggler has resurrected the five dastardly bombers, meanwhile, on Planet Bomber the 8 Bomber siblings train reluctantly, with their leader ‘White’ being the only one with a shred of focus. This is when Buggler shows up on a television broadcast claiming that he and his five bombers are intent on taking over the galaxy and have taken over the 5 planets of the Starry Sky Nebula for starters, and dares anyone to try and stop him. This is just cause for White and his Brothers and Sisters to spring into action thus setting the wheels in motion for this charming title. This no-nonsense narrative is a sign of the times where the Bomberman franchise was at its peak and suits this entry down to the ground and is a welcome sight for the current generation of consoles where deep and intricate storytelling are commonplace. The plot is also told through some fantastically crisp and enthusiastic cutscenes that are a real treat but brought back to reality swiftly with some on the fence voice acting that ranges from devilishly cartoonish to hilariously awkward.

Super Bomberman R features some gorgeously rendered and lively environments that are complemented by those classic maze-like layouts and fans of the franchise not only know and love but will also relish in the challenges that each level brings in the story mode. Each of the 5 worlds you visit each have their own unique quirks and guises, with Plant Technopolis showing heavy emphasis on futurism, a theme often associated with Bomber, Planet Timber being shrouded in lush greenery with some excellently executed shading to help give presence to the trees and Planet Brainwave being a science fiction utopia powered by a single giant brain. The character models also hold true to the classic look that has helped the franchise remain firm for the past three decades and even gives you the option to unlock a number of different characters from Konami’s history which include Simon Belmont and Dracula of Castlevania, Pyramid Head from the Silent Hill series and even WWE Superstar Xavier Woods! All of which have been crafted to fit in perfectly with the more tradition bombers and look awesome. All of this is tied together nicely by a lively and upbeat soundtrack which again nods to the series’ retro roots.

The gameplay is exactly what you would expect from a Bomberman title. It’s fun, strategic and things can also get extremely intense, especially during the awesome looking boss battle and multiplayer modes. Destroy boxes to find stat boosting power-ups and trap your opponents in the many different mazes with bombs to dispatch them. It’s a formula that has stood the test of time and sure enough, Super Bomberman R sticks to this giving it the potential for hours of fun. Potential being the operative word due to Super Bomberman R having a lack of game modes, it boasts a 50 level story mode which is a decent time killer but other than that only features 8 player competitive online multiplayer, couch co-op and the Grand Prix, 3vs3 battles that can be played online or offline where victory is determined b collecting gems or alternatively by the most ‘blow-ups’. However, the blow of this lack of game modes is softened in the PS4 version with a price tag of £25.99 on Amazon whereas the Switch version was asking you for almost £50 upon its initial release. Nonetheless despite these cons I still had a great time with the games story mode particularly with the variety of goals you must achieve, these range from simply destroying all the enemies, activating switches, finding keys or keeping allies safe while making your way to the goal, this helps to keep the trek through the story fresh and unpredictable and in my opinion, this works really well. Another great point is the awareness you must have in each stage, particularly when there is an abundance of enemies on screen and being mindful of your bombs blast radius and the position of your character.

Super Bomberman R is available now on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC

Game code was provided by Konami