Hard to believe, but the PC hasn’t seen a new Bomberman game since 1997. A thousand clones and imitators, yes, but nothing official outside of some emulated compilations. Boundaries between PCs and consoles are crumbling, though, and Konami’s recent Super Bomberman R is headed to PC this June, along with a platform-exclusive playable character: P-body, one of the two co-op robots from Portal.
As with the best games in the long-running series, Super Bomberman R boasts a singleplayer/co-op Story Mode, tasking players with clearing mazes of semi-predictable wandering enemies and wrapping each set of levels up with a multi-stage boss battle. It’s a good warm-up for the main event: Competitive play. Up to 8 players can join in either locally (hope you have a USB hub or two) or online, and all the classic game-modes are present and correct, plus a good range of maps to play on.
The arenas are a bit more complex than you might be used to, if you’ve not played anything official in the series since 1997’s Atomic Bomberman. Interactive items, bounce pads, multiple levels of elevation, ramps and other such gimmicks are all over the place now. Purists can still play on the tried-and-tested green n’ grey grid that everyone remembers. That said, half the joy of Bomberman is embracing the chaos, so the more weird quirks the better, I say.
One of Super Bomberman R’s defining traits is the introduction of guest characters. For the most part, they’re lifted from Konami’s back-catalogue (including some worrying tonal mismatches, such as Dracula from Castlevania and Pyramid Head plus one of the horrifying nurse-monsters from Silent Hill), each with some kind of special power. The PC version comes with P-body from Portal, able to open portals to warp between points on the map and escape potentially nasty traps.
While I do have some issues with Konami cramming every single character they can (including Master Chief on XBox and Ratchet on PS4) into Super Bomberman R without really pausing to think if it’s a good idea, it’s good to see the series coming back to PC after more than 20 years away. As a quickfire multiplayer game, it really hasn’t changed much, and that’s fine, because it’s as fun as it’s always been.
Super Bomerman R is due out on June 12th with an RRP of £35/$40. You can wishlist it here on Steam.