Bomberman’s Rocky PC Arrival

Game Title: Dauntless
Developer: Phoenix Labs
Platform: 
PC
Price: $39.99
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCDICqjyoxI

What is it?

Super Bomberman R was originally released on the Nintendo Switch last year as a launch title for platform, serving as a new entry in the popular classic series.  Those familiar with the series should have a general idea of what to expect coming into both its story and battle modes.

The story takes the player through a series of worlds that each have 10 total stages.  Each stage typically has some simple task, whether it be blowing up all the enemies, hitting buttons, or surviving for a set amount of time.  Each world culminates in a boss encounter starting with a typical Bomberman style match with a unique AI foe with special abilities followed by an encounter with a much larger foe.  This mode offers a few different difficulties, the higher ones offering more in-game currency rewards to spend in the shop.

In the shop the player can unlock new characters, stages, and cosmetics to use in any mode.  It should be noted that this currency is only earned through gameplay too, there are no microtransactions.

The battle mode is a standard Bomberman style experience with up to eight players starting around a top-down stage, blasting their way through blocks and gathering power-ups with the ultimate goal of blowing up the other players.  There are variety of rulesets players can customize however they see fit in the more open free mode, however those looking for a core experience can find that in the more serious League mode.  There is also even a new Grand Prix mode which was added to the Switch version in a post-launch update that pits two teams of players against each other in a match.

What I Liked:

  • Includes all the updates that came to the Switch version plus some additional new content in the form of new character options.  This results in a more polished and complete feeling product.
  • Classic style Bomberman experience for original fans.
  • Some of the massive boss encounters were neat and changed up the pace from the lackluster majority of stages which mirrors a classic Bomberman experience rather than the some of the more memorable entries like Bomberman 64.
  • Can unlock everything in the store just by playing.  There are no microtrascations.
  • Smooth and stable framerate from my experience so far
  • Pleasant soundtrack that has a Bomberman feel and catchiness to it.

What I Disliked:

  • While heavily improved since its original launch the Switch, the controls aren’t quite as solid as they could be.  While now being actually responsive compared to the original input lag issues, I still sometimes found myself getting caught on edges of blocks when moving around.
  • Story mode is overall a bit lackluster in terms of content variety.  The only thing it has going for it really are the cutscenes and boss encounters.
  • I was unable to find any online matches, a problem which I wasn’t sure if was on Konami’s end or just a lack of players.  Supposedly it is a issue with the game, making online impossible at the time of this review.
  • I’m still not a fan of the visual style in stages.  I would have preferred the more fun and cartoon style we see in the characters.
  • No input rebinding
  • Stage selection is quite limited and requires you to grind up tons of in-game currency to unlock the full set of them.
  • Still no online support for Story coop.
  • I wish they went with a story mode that was more in line with what we saw in the Nintendo 64 era’s full fledged adventures.

Final Thoughts:

Super Bomberman R was not something I could recommend back when it launched on the Switch, however in time it moved into a territory where it was a decent game if bought at the right price.  With its arrival on PC I fear the price may be an issue with a lot of players which is no good for the game as it having a solid community is key.  With no current functional online play and a tiny community, there is little reason to want to play a Bomberman game on PC unless you have a good set up for playing local couch coop with friends and family.  I think this game could have potentially took off if it was offered for at least half the price it is right now and had working online.

I’m hoping Konami doesn’t give up on this game or IP for the future.  With a little patching this could be a solid port and great Bomberman title and maybe they can get that community boost it needs someday with a free weekend and a good sale.