As we shared earlier this week, SUPER BOMBERMAN R ONLINE will arrive First on Stadia on September 1. With this brand new entrant to the legendary franchise, Bomberman is as exciting as ever with many characters to choose from and familiar power ups. Use everything you have at your disposal as you strategize and scurry your way through 64-player battles to win the ultimate prize - being Bomber One!
We chatted with Tatsunori Matsuo and Takuya Sokukawa at Konami to hear more about the upcoming launch of SUPER BOMBERMAN R ONLINE on Stadia.
Hey! Could you introduce yourself and your team?
TM: I’m Tatsunori Matsuo, and I am the Producer of SUPER BOMBERMAN R ONLINE. This is my first time getting involved in this series, but my team is chock full of original staff members that worked on SUPER BOMBERMAN R and we have been very motivated to develop this game.
TS: I am the Game Director, Takuya Sokukawa. I was involved in the development of SUPER BOMBERMAN R and this makes it my second time having worked on this series.
What makes SUPER BOMBERMAN R ONLINE different from other Bomberman titles?
TM: What makes this game the most unique out of the series is the battle royale type mode called ‘Battle 64’, where players battle it out with up to 64 players simultaneously online. We were able to evolve the original game experience of Bomberman from being a game you enjoyed with your close family and friends to now an online experience where you can battle with anyone from around the world.
Why are you excited to develop on Stadia?
TM: In bringing our game to Stadia, I’m most excited about the Crowd Play feature where you can join a streamer’s game directly from the YouTube page. I can’t wait to see new online communities coming together through Bomberman.
TS: I’m personally a huge gamer, and one of my lifelong struggles is having to wait to get back to my house to be able to play my high quality games. Whenever I visit my hometown, I would even go out to buy the latest consoles so that I can play games. As long as you have a browser, you can get that gaming experience as if you were at home wherever you want, so I’m really stoked not only for Stadia, but also for the opportunity to bring this title to this new platform.
How does Stadia help with the brand new 64 player multiplayer mode?
TS: Being able to access the game and play Bomberman anytime anywhere on several different types of devices is by far the biggest advantage. Seeing how we can also utilize Stadia’s unique features like Crowd Play, which allows streamers to be able to host a 64-player multiplayer match where other users can join in very seamlessly through the video stream, is a fascinating endeavor. We’re very eager to see new communities form through these features that we’ve never had before.
How were you able to make such a large multiplayer experience without making it overwhelming to individual players?
TS: Bomberman has traditionally been a game where you can get the full gameplay experience with 4 to 5-player battles, so in order to allow a 64 multiplayer battle that does not detract from what made the original game fun, we had conducted a lot of testing through trial and error. If we had made it so that you fight against players in a large enclosed field like in other battle royale games, you would inevitably lose the tension and strategy that comes with having to fight in a closed room, which are essential elements to Bomberman. That’s why we made it to where players go through small rooms that are connected to each other, like what you see now.
On a micro level, the gameplay experience is very similar to the original Bomberman, so that I think helps it from being overwhelming. On the other hand, we’ve incorporated what makes multiplayer games so great, and designed the game to where players can feel the game escalating as you get towards the end of the match; much more so in this game than in other Bomberman games. It’s one of the biggest reasons why we daringly included the life-based system. More players will be able to survive the early stages, and players will be able to experience that multiplayer aspect when you get crammed into an area with 10 or more players and it just becomes a complete frenzy. You can also regain lives by knocking out other players, so you need be able to change your positioning throughout each long battle, and in doing so we made sure players are constantly on the edge of their seats throughout the game.
What makes SUPER BOMBERMAN R ONLINE unique?
TM: We haven’t changed the fact that it’s still a Bomberman game with simple controls and easy to enjoy mechanics, but what is unique in this game is the intense multiplayer experience of battling with 64 players at once. Even if you’re not so good at playing multiplayer games, I believe this is a good chance to give it a whirl and see how much fun online games can be.
What inspired Konami to add SUPER BOMBERMAN R ONLINE to their collection of Bomberman titles?
TM: We were thinking about ways to get more people interested in Bomberman, and so making an online game that had a large-scale multiplayer mode as the main content was how this project began. We saw a lot of requests from fans saying they wanted to play Bomberman with lots of other players, so we decided to really make it happen.
Any tips or strategies for brand new Bomberman players?
TS: Rule #1 - You probably want to avoid getting blasted. My advice would be to lay low in the beginning stages, try not to immediately blow up your opponents, and just watch closely where the bombs are planted and get away from the blast zone. There will be characters in this game with different types and abilities, so if you keep in mind what character has what ability than you might have a better chance at surviving.
What’s your favorite gameplay moment in SUPER BOMBERMAN R ONLINE?
TS: The tension that builds the longer you survive in a Battle 64 match is the most interesting part of the game. As time goes by, the battle field becomes more dense as areas begin to disappear, and you have to face opponents with lots of power-ups so it gets really intense. The players who can make it to the last remaining area are quite strong, so to battle against them is extremely thrilling. To survive until the end takes a lot of skill, but that exuberant feeling you get to be the winner is like none other, and it’s something I hope everyone would get to enjoy.
Who is your go-to Bomberman character?
TM: My go-to is Aqua. She’s the only character equipped with the Piece Bomb from the start, so being strong and able to easily collect items at the start makes it easier to be in the lead.
TS: For me it’s White. I’ve been using White Bomber since the first Bomberman, so I have an attachment towards this character. He’s also a well-balanced character and easy to power-up. I like how you can use this character without thinking too deeply about it.
How do you see SUPER BOMBERMAN R ONLINE paving the way for future games from the team?
TS: In addition to our current fans, we hope that this will be a great opportunity for those who’ve never played Bomberman before, especially the younger audience who do enjoy online multiplayer games, to get hands-on experience playing a Bomberman game. The Bomberman series has always been an easy to pick up and play battle game, and so we would love to see the series have a bigger presence now more than ever before.
For those who’ve played Bomberman before, and even for those who haven’t, SUPER BOMBERMAN R ONLINE is a great new way of playing Bomberman. I encourage you all to take on the challenge and aim to be the last one standing (BOMBER ONE)!
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