Super Bomberman R's true meaning will remain a mystery and could become a point of contention for fans.
Konami, the game publisher that released games with titles like Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow — Mirror of Fate, releases the next installment in the long-running Bomberman franchise for the Nintendo Switch next month. Its title, Super Bomberman R, carries a little bit of mystery, especially since Konami itself doesn’t even seem to know what the “R” means.
“R is a throwback feel for the [developers] to when games could simply have a letter and allow that letter to carry many meanings,” said a Konami representative on the Bomberman subreddit. “It symbolizes ‘Returns’ and ‘Reborn’ because this game is such an homage to the SNES and Super Bomberman 3. But it also means “Rangers,” to represent the diverse and colorful group of Bomberman characters who patrol the galaxy.”
We suggest that it could possibly carry a fourth meaning: “redemption.” The franchise has existed mostly under the radar in recent years, with the 2006 travesty Bomberman: Act Zero serving as the series’ low point. Several of Konami’s other series have suffered a similar fate, including Silent Hill, which delivered several disappointing installments before effectively being canceled, and Metal Gear, which has now been relegated to Pachinko machines and a zombie survival game that has attracted the derision of the internet since it was first revealed.
Super Bomberman R, however, seems like it could be the game to break Konami’s adorable hero out of his slump. Its visual style draws heavily on the series’ cute, simple aesthetic from the ’90s while also introducing environments that show off the power of the Switch — almost like Pikmin 3 was able to do with the Wii U.
We called it “every bit as fun as its predecessors” and praised its use of the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers. The game launches alongside the Switch both digitally and physically on March 3.