Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading.
In this explanatory review, we’re covering Bomb Rush Cyberfunk by developer Team Reptile:
Bomb Rush Cyberpunk (The Explanation)
Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is a sports platformer game that will have players roam the fictional city of New Amsterdam. The game was developed and published by Team Reptile and is considered by many a spiritual successor to Jet Set Radio for its similar themes and gameplay.
In the game, you play as Red, a Graffiti Writer who has lost his head when it was decapitated by a rival street gang member, DJ Cyber. Fitted with a standard Cyberhead, Red is aided by Tryce and Bel, of the Bomb Rush Crew (hence the name of the game) and agrees to help them go “All City” in the hopes of recovering his human head and lost memories.
The premise of Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is to venture into the neighboring boroughs of New Amsterdam and challenge rival gangs for their territory. In order to do so, you will need to spray over their graffiti tags with your own in order to increase your REP (Reputation). Spraying graffiti requires you to move the joystick in certain directions by following the on-screen prompts. The design of the graffiti will depend on which prompts you followed.
Once the rival crew members start to notice you, they will challenge you to show off your skills like grinding rails, performing powerslides, and outscoring them with tricks and combos. You will then be able to challenge the rival gang to a crew battle and put all the skills you have learned together to get the best possible score in a limited amount of time.
It is worth noting that while your REP increases in each borough, so will your Heat level. The Heat Level works much like the Wanted Level in Grand Theft Auto games. The first level will garner the attention of the New Amsterdam Police service, and every subsequent increase to your Heat Level will introduce new types of police units to the fray.
The police will fight you in order to detain you. You can fight back by using tricks (I will get to these in a bit), or you can simply evade them where possible. The police can be quite sluggish and are no real threat until your Heat Level rises and you get the likes of Armored Units and snipers who can administer some serious hurt on you unless you take them out or find the means to change your outfit and therefore, take the heat off you. Bear in mind that if you start tagging again in that area, the police will be all over you again.
To traverse around New Amsterdam, you can equip your character with either a skateboard, inline skates, or a bicycle. You can ride these pretty much anywhere in the game with the exception of going uphill on a ramp or stairs. To get around this though, you can grind the rails on basically anything, you can even ride along the side of billboards and use your boostpack to reach ledges and certain areas that are not possible with a standard jump. There is plenty of verticality in Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, which makes each stage feel even bigger as you not only have to traverse on reasonably flat ground but also on the side of buildings and suspended objects.
As Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is very much into the urban lifestyle, your modes of transportation are more than just that. You can perform all kinds of tricks in the air, on rails or when riding across flat ground. The Y, X, and A buttons are designated for performing tricks and the B button is used for jumping. You can build up combos by leaning into turns on rails, and by riding along billboards.
Combos can be lost when returning to flat ground but you can keep it going by performing a manual by holding ZR. You can only hold a manual for so long though as the Manual Bar will diminish over time. If you can reach another rail to grind or a half-pipe / quarter pipe to launch off of, it will refresh the manual bar and will allow you to keep your combo going.
Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is one of those games that at first glance, you may instantly dismiss it for being a nostalgia trap for those who may have played the original game it was inspired by. I will admit that I did the same thing until I saw my friend playing it and was made to do a double take. The game looked interesting and while the general gameplay is quite repetitive at times, it was fun. I loved the idea of pulling off crazy tricks, tagging turf with graffiti, and challenging rival gangs to a crew battle. It was weird, wild, and wacky, and I am all for it.
The game also has a lot of content and collectibles to find. You can find alternate outfits for your characters to wear, as well as new boards, skates, and bikes. You can change whatever you are using at the Bomb Rush Crew Hideout so if you find a particular look that you like, you will have to return to the hideout in order to change to it. Other collectibles include new Graffiti patterns and music tracks. I recommend trying to go out of your way to find the Graffiti patterns and the music because there are some absolutely stunning artwork and a good number of banging tracks to be found as well
As to wear you can listen to music or see what graffiti patterns you have unlocked, you can access both by accessing your mobile phone using the Right button on the D-Pad. You can change the music in-game from here as well as check what graffiti patterns you have unlocked. You also have access to a map of the area you are currently in as well as Messages from your crew members, and a camera app to take photos because “why not?”
By default, you will only have access to Red and two other characters when you start. You will however be able to unlock more characters and you can change between them by starting a cypher (dancing by pressing the Down button on the D-Pad) in checkered areas. Other characters that have joined your crew will come over and dance with you, allowing you to change your character to another.
Wrapping up, Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is a pretty neat game that you can enjoy in short bursts or fully commit to for long sessions. It is reminiscent of classic Skateboarding and urban sports style games from the PS2 / Nintendo Wii era but has plenty of its own charm to be interesting and fun. The gameplay is easy enough to get to grips with, though it can be a little clunky at times. The combat is certainly a weak point but on the whole, it is still a lot of fun.
A multiplayer mode is lacking and it would have been a nice touch to challenge friends in head to head or by taking it in turns in completing challenges. Still, that said. I am really enjoying playing Bomb Rush Cyberfunk and am grateful to my friend MYT for encouraging me to pick it up. I would also like to thank Team Reptile for providing us with a review code for the game.
Bomb Rush Cyberfunk (The Gameplay)
Developer: Team Reptile
Publisher: Team Reptile
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Action, Platformer, Sports, Lifestyle
No. of Players: 1 (Single System)
Release Date: NA: March 14, 2023 | EU: August 18, 2023
File Size: 2 GB