I'm in the midst of doing some other things now, including potentially a write-up for the Base (haven't fully decided on it yet; not sure that anyone there really cares about what I think), so I'll refrain from gameplay commentary (of which I have Some Things to say) for the moment and go for a list of story/aesthetic/random stuff to start things off.
1) Welp, looks like now we know why Karasexy got her name change. I had to admit I wasn't expecting anything along those lines. Once again Konami displays more effort and thought than I was expecting.
2) I also hadn't been expecting the complete Heel-Face Turn of the Dastardlies, although I will say that having one big bomberbotfam was super cute so I'm not really complaining. Doesn't leave much of a sequel hook with them, but considering that Buggler is apparently some eldritch abomination formed from "the evil in the hearts of lifeforms across the universe" or something, it's open for him to come back as a recurring villain if Konami decides to make SBR its own 'verse, either as the outright antagonist or maybe something along the lines of Hijacked by Ganon.
3) While the English voice-acting as a whole leaves something to be desired, the writing in general is quite charmingly tongue-in-cheek. BDR went and looked things up and I guess Wikipedia (probably the Japanese one, though he didn't specify) already has the names of the three writers who worked on this game. Not sure yet if they've done anything else.
3a) The music was done by Elements Garden, which is a duo/group(?) better known for producing for artists than for video games. (Apparently they worked with T.M.Revolution before?) Seems like Konami pulled from some slightly unorthodox places when it came to creating this game's vibe. It served them well in the cartoony cutscenes, but I have to admit I was thoroughly underwhelmed by the soundtrack here, and even annoyed in some parts. It gets a little better for the final boss fights, and there's a Japanese ED song that's actually quite endearing and cute. I was too busy texting BDR to read who was responsible for the ED though.
3b) Contrary to my impression, it looks like each character was voiced by a single voice actor (again, was texting with BDR, so I did sort of miss fully reading the credits, but considering how short this game is it won't be a problem to get to the credits again). In contrast to the Japanese version, though, there weren't any names that I immediately recognized, so no "all-star voice acting" for us English-speakers. (Imagine if they got like Steve Blum to do Buggler...)
4) Speaking of the bosses! We saw pretty much all of the Dastardlies' mech forms in screenshots, but the final boss forms (Great Gattaida and Ultimate Buggler) are frakkin' awesome too. This definitely feels like the next-level of SNES-style bosses, moreso than in BM64 and even in Generation. Of course, I'm speaking from the POV from someone who hasn't properly played a SuperBomb game yet; the closest one would be Tournament, mainly because that was where the Dastardlies showed up again.
5) I have yet to see if the Konami Code works in this game.
Pretty Bomber's name change having a plot reason was amazing. I was really surprised! I particularly loved that her being Pink's older sister (meaning at least as old or older than Black) perfectly explains some questions that popped up in the other thread about the designs, such as the broken heart emblem, or the belt emblems on Pink and Aqua, or Pink not having a skirt. Pretty is essentially their prototype, so of course those elements all came from her! I also love that she sings the ED, though I've only seen it in Japanese. Does she sing an English version as well?
I wanna know this cute little guy's name and whether or not he's unlockable! I've been calling him "Plasma's little bro" and it's a bit awkward. Also, nice hat there, Plasma!
The ED for the English version is the original Japanese with English subtitles. I hadn't realized it was Pretty's VA singing, though, that's a great touch (and deliciously ironic considering Karasexy's reputation in-game).
Following up on #5, the Konami Code doesn't seem to have any effect as far as I can tell. Oh well.
I still can't figure out what the "special abilities" are. I bought Karaoke Bomber from the shop and tried her out in battle mode, but Y does nothing. In story mode, Y is the button used for the punch ability. I'm wondering if special abilities are unlockable after certain conditions are met, like how all the Dastardlies were available in the shop once you beat the game.
That's what I thought too. And I could see disabling them if you wanted to play as one of the Dastardlies against the bombersibs in multiplayer, that way things would be more even. But yeah, no dice on those so far.
You know, I thought that thing on Plasma's little bro's head was a cat ear or some other sort of weird protusion, but... is he actually growing an antenna? Sora, do they have a name? I notice you save some during a few stages.
Also, just noticed how even the shoes change for Plasma's ending redesign, pretty neat detail.
[EDIT]: Someone started posting the soundtrack. This is the ED, for anyone who wants to listen to it.
This is the mahjong stuff that I didn't want to post in the other thread because spoilers:
I've seen a few people comment on that, sounds like an update. Rather awesome!
On a completely unrelated note, I am still puzzling over Plasma's little bro and whether he's human or not. I even looked at the Japanese version to see whether they had a name in the stage objective tutorial prompt, but no dice, though there was a tiny translation difference.
I finally finished this game today. I had been busy with other things. It's a pretty solid game with a lot of love put in. That said, here's my thoughts:
- The isometric view is interesting but a bit annoying. Some moments are interesting but it's a little confusing at times making sure I'm not stuck on the edge of some object.
- Speaking of moving, I hate the joycon for this game. You pretty much have to use a joystick which feels unnatural most of the time for a game like this with a grid around you. Yes you can use the buttons on the left joycon but it's not a complete d-pad. The control scheme is out of Konami's control obviously, but it's still a complaint.
- The shadows that objects and enemies project often obscured my vision when a lot of them were clustered around. I just found it annoying in some stages.
- The music ranges from alright to really good. I like the final boss themes and some of the stage themes but others are not so good.
- Also the final bosses were incredible! It really was awesome to see not only Gattaida but to see Buggler pull out some crazy new forms. I really like what they did here and how they put plot into the latter half of this game so it's not all just jokes 24/7.
Overall, the gameplay is average to me but everything else hit some nostalgia and awesome factors for me at times. It's a solid entry just a very unique one compared to all the bomberman games we know. I'm hoping we see a return of this series, hopefully with the Four Bomber Kings maybe?
I had issues with the camera in this game too, especially combined with the finicky controls. Can anyone guess why they used a view like that? I think it makes the game harder than it should be. I used the joystick at first but eventually learned to adapt to the quasi d-pad, which simplified a lot (though not all) of the control issues.
I also have to take back my earlier comments about the contrast between the interactable objects and the environment. Initially I said that there was enough to tell things apart, but in actually playing the game I found the immense amount of detail in the environments to be quite visually overwhelming, and so sometimes I felt like it was difficult to get a read on my current gaming situation. (I'm not sure how much of this is actually in the game and how much is me needing to get a new prescription for my glasses though. Or how much is me just being terrible at video games.)
The actual story mode music for stages and scenes is fine. I'm really not a fan of any of the menu screen music, though.
I agree about the menu music. It really sounds generic.
I'm guessing the isometric camera was just to add a twist to the game since its always been straightforward for so many years. That and maybe it was to help show the Z axis a little easier with the elevations and such.
The shadows got to me but yes, there is way too much detail in the environments. It's very nice to look at, but the area of gameplay doesn't stand out enough. A simple change of colors could go a long way. It almost felt like the backgrounds/sidegrounds whatever were blended into the gameplay area and made it seem really confusing.
Ah! Good point about showing the elevations/Z-axis. It was admittedly nice to get a sense of the scale of a level. But IIRC the controls don't track to how your character appears to be moving on the field, e.g., your character looks like they're moving diagonally across the screen but in order to get that to happen you're pressing left or right.
I haven't been on here since the game came out, because I wanted to avoid spoiling any more of it before I finished the game for myself, (and because I've been too absolutely wrapped up in Zelda to even turn on my computer) but I just wanted to come here and express my adoration for this game's credit sequence!
I think a lot more effort could have gone into this game, story and cut scenes especially, but overall it was a great time. Satisfying enough to be a Super Bomberman game, no doubt.
Now I just need another in the vain of Bomberman 64 or Generation. I want to see Max and Mujoe again.