Some games never go out of style. Bomberman has very much always been one of those kinds of games. It's just as much fun to run around a maze blowing your friends sky-high now, as it was back in the 80s when Bomberman blasted his way onto our TV screens through the power of the NES and ZX Spectrum. These days, the only difference is that the graphics are HD, and the controls are slightly more complicated than in the past. Oh, and the petty big factor that you can play online with people all over the world. Enter Super Bomberman R Online, an online-only version of Super Bomberman R, which includes an all-new, 64-player Battle Royale mode.
It's a good thing that Bomberman's base gameplay is still fun because that's all there is going on in Super Bomberman R Online. You run around mazes with several other players, dropping bombs to take out enemies and blocks, and avoiding getting blown up by those enemies. For an online only game, though, the amount of content on display is acceptable. There's no shoe-horned-in story mode, so all of the focus is on the online modes that shine as a result, though admittedly, one of the online modes shines more brightly than others.
Super Bomberman R Online - Battle Royale With Cheese
The most significant addition for Super Bomberman Online R, in fact, as far as I can tell it's the only addition for the game, is the 64-player battle royale mode called Battle 64. In this mode, you and 64 other players take to a battle together in typical Bomberman style. Four players duke it out in one of 16 standard Bomberman levels. You play in rounds that last about 2 - 3 minutes each, and after each round, a few battlegrounds become inaccessible. As you play through the rounds, you're eventually forced into a single battlefield and have to try to be the last (bomber)man standing. There's also a classic mode: your standard Bomberman experience, and Grand Prix, a team-based mode with respawning. However, neither of these modes seems to get much play online, as every single match I ended up in was a Battle 64 game.
It almost feels pointless talking about the gameplay of a Bomberman game. It's been virtually unchanged since it first launched in the 80s, with minor additions of various power-ups. Most of the series' early additions have come back for Super Bomberman R Online. From bomb-kicking booties to gloves that help you chuck bombs over walls, the whole gang is here. Well, I say the whole gang, a few power-ups are missing from earlier entries such as the line bomb or remote control power-ups, but there is a new one that seems to make your bombs bouncy.
Super Bomberman R Online - The Purest Gameplay
When I said that the Bomberman experience was very pure, I meant it. If you spent hours as a child "gitting gud" at the original game, then your skills will very much carryover. The entire game is based primarily on your ability to trap your opponents in corners with your bombs or hit them while they're distracted. To do this, you can't just run around like an 8-year-old, spamming bombs. Your best bet is to combine power-ups, such as the throwing gloves and the bouncy-bombs, to throw bombs off the edge of the screen and catch your enemies off guard. Either that, or you could do the easy thing and go for the character that starts the game with wall-penetrating bombs and catch everyone off guard that way.
Speaking of characters, Super Bomberman R Online does include a wide variety of characters to choose from, at least it does if you pick up the extra character packs. The familiar Bomberman characters start the game with different abilities and power-ups and have other stats that you can upgrade. Some characters even have various power-ups blocked off completely, so if it's pretty essential to understand the different characters before you select one, especially since characters like Pyramid Head can't have any power-ups at all.
Super Bomberman R Online - Countless Cameos
You might be thinking, 'did he just say Pyramid Head?', and the answer to that question is a big, fat yes. Pyramid Head, Naked Snake, and various other characters have come over to the roster for Super Bomberman R Online. Each of them has unique abilities that can turn the tide depending on who you pick. It's sort of the case that some of the characters are entirely overpowered. For instance, Alucard can turn into mist and walk through both bombs and explosions, and Bill from Contra can shoot four squares ahead, destroying bombs. The only thing to bear in mind is that these extra characters are only available if you purchase the extra character pack or premium edition of the game.
There's also a fair amount of customization you can do beyond selecting your character. There are different costumes, titles, musical scores, etc., that you unlock as you play. You choose these before matches, presumably to give yourself a sense of identity when your character pops up at the end of a game, especially if you win. The only issue with these collectibles is how few there are. There are four music choices, two or so head accessories, five or six costumes, and in general, the extra content feels lacking.
Super Bomberman R Online | Final Thoughts
All-in-all, if you're already a fan of Bomberman, then Super Bomberman R Online does an excellent job of presenting an online version of the same game that's been around for nearly 40 years. The new battle royal mode is completely madcap and is ultra-satisfying if you can pull off a number 1 spot against 63 other people. While the other two modes don't seem to get that much play, they're included if you feel like reliving the classic Bomberman experience in a more traditional way. Super Bomberman R Online is the best way to play Bomberman online with your friends. It's also the only way to play Bomberman as Alucard, a bonus in my books.
TechRaptor Reviewed Super Bomberman R Online on Google Stadia with a copy provided by the publisher.
- The Classic Bomberman Experience
- Battle Royale Mode is Insane Fun
- Plenty of Cool Characters to Choose From
- Lacking in Content
- Not Many People Playing Classic or Grand Prix Modes
- Some Characters are OP as Hell