Why Bomberman’s Return Could Be Important

Among the many important bits of information Nintendo glossed over in their mess of a presentation, the one that I’ve been thinking about the most is the return of Bomberman and how the comeback of the multicolored Bomber could signify something greater than many realize.

The first Bomberman game was released for the PC in 1983 and later ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985.  I was introduced to the series with Bomberman: Party Edition for the original PlayStation, which is apparently one of the lesser ones. The opening makes it look pretty awesome though.

There have been a handful of Bomberman games since the release of the original, including a couple of Super Mario 64 like platformers, some others with a hint of Pokémon sprinkled in, and a terrible reboot, while plenty of other games have blatantly ripped off the core gameplay of the original. The beloved multiplayer game is due to make an official comeback with the new Super Bomberman R, exclusive to the Nintendo Switch, to be released on the console’s launch day. This is the first Bomberman game to be released in seven years, and the first to be on store shelves in nine. Recently,  a representative for Konami, the current owner of the Bomberman IP said on Reddit, “R is a throw back feel for the Devs. to when games could simply have a letter and allow that letter to carry many meanings. It symbolized Returns & Reborn because this game is such a homage to SNES and SB3 (Super Bomberman 3). But it also mean Rangers, to represent the diverse and colorful group of Bomberman characters who patrol the galaxy.” Having Bomberman return to it roots after a near decade long absence could prove to be a beneficial move for both Nintendo and Konami, despite those who remain skeptic due to the companies involved.

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Konami has not been it a favorable position in the past few years. From cancelling the unreleased P.T., to making pachinko machines, to taking Hideo Kojima’s name off of Metal Gear Solid 5, to possibly ruining that same franchise with quick cash-in zombie spin-off game, Metal Gear Survive, Konami has not had the best reputation as of late. Having merged with company Hudson Soft in 2012, now owning the latter’s IP’s, one would think Konami would have done more with what they gained, though due to the negativity surrounding the company, it may have been a wise decision to wait. Matt Hawkins, of gaming news site Siliconera, reported the team responsible for Super Bomberman R is made up of Konami’s internal team, made up of former Hudson Soft employees who have worked on other Bomberman titles, and indie game developer Hexadrive, who have helped make games like The Wonderful 101 and Final Fantasy XV , among others.  Nintendo haven’t had the best standing recently either, with a lackluster presentation for their new console as well as not yet answering important questions about it, while still believing it will succeed. While Nintendo’s approach to talking about their new console is a bit odd, funding smaller games like Super Bomberman R  could be the start of leading the Nintendo Switch to success.

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It may seem like Nintendo and Konami are just using an older IP to try bring in some extra revenue, and it’s fair to be skeptical of these companies, but hands on impressions of the game so far have been mostly positive. According to Kinda Funny Games co-producer and former IGN employee, Tim Gettys,”Super Bomberman R is multiplayer perfection. It is the definition of a “one more match and all of a sudden it is 6 AM” game.” You can see Tim’s Let’s Play of the game here. Additionally, according to Lee Meyer of Nintendo Life, “the prospect of eight-player battles is glorious, and the 50-stage story mode should make for some classic arcade-style fun. Super Bomberman R isn’t going to break any ground with its familiar explosions and mayhem, but it doesn’t have to; sometimes, colorful old-school gaming is refreshing in this era of progressively darker and more complex titles.” From these impressions it’s not hard to see  Super Bomberman R  has the quality gamers want in a modern Bomberman title.

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While Nintendo supporting Super Bomberman R is not quite as impressive as bringing back titles like Metroid or F-Zero, it’s still a start at bringing old IP’s back. If Nintendo can keep this up as a trend, who knows what IP’s could make a comeback on the new hybrid console? We’ll have to wait & see to find out.

NP Optimism

What do you think of the return of Bomberman and what IP’s would you like to see make a comeback on the Nintendo Switch? Let me know in the comments, and as always don’t forget to like & follow! New articles posted every week!

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