Thursday, 30 April 2015

Puzzle Bobble 2 - Various

Bubbles, Bobbles and Puzzles.

Bright, colourful, loud and cheerful. The key elements of a fun game aimed at as many audiences as possible and based upon the popular Bubble Bobble series, Puzzle Bobble 2 is Taito's foray into the world of bubble pop games, made more famous recently by games like Bubble Witch 1 and 2 on Facebook and smart phones and involves the player trying to overcome various set pieces or go toe-to-dragon-toe with opponents both of the Artificial Intelligence and the Stupid Intelligence.

So many choices, some more expensive than others.

Puzzle Bobble 2 takes the light-hearted approach to gaming with the use of Bub and Bob, the character bubble-dragons of the game Bubble Bobble, and sets them in the odd gaming world of Bust-a-move. Where players are presented with a wall composed of various coloured balls and bubbles and have to connect additional balls and bubbles together in order to pop them with the objective of either clearing the screen of bubbles or surviving longer than your opponent as they attempt to do the same.

This is just enemy one. He's a pratt.

After so many shots, Puzzle Bobble 2 will lower the arena or add an upper layer of new bubbles to the arena, giving a limit on the number of shots you can take or keeping the game flowing and continuing while you play against your opponent. If you manage to pop multiple bubbles, you'll be rewarded with bonus points for the feat while in Vs. mode you'll also begin to flood extra bubbles to the bottom of the playing field of your opponent. This being the only way to lose, when the bubbles in your arena extend beyond the point where you can launch them.

Fire bubbles, pop in sets of 3 or more and bonus drops fill up the opponents area.

The puzzle mode for Puzzle Bobble 2 sports a series of differing arenas with different balls and layouts for players to test their skill and accuracy while navigating a board towards a multitude of differing endings. That said, it's not an easy feat to get there and harder to actually beat some of the levels that will require some incredible trick-shots and ricochets to be able to win and progress onwards. The Vs. mode in the game pits the players against a series of cute creatures with increasingly difficult algorithms that will hit the best shot more readily as the player continues, up until a final boss battle and then receiving their well-deserved ending.

You win, "big whoop, wanna foight abaht it?"

The only real problem with the game is that it can be very difficult to judge where to place shots and how the physics of the engine works if you've already been used to playing more recent games like Bubble Witch, as in those types of games you could squeeze shots between gaps that you physically are unable to do in Puzzle Bobble 2, whether by design (to get more cash out you, oh spend-happy player) or through limitations of the hardware and programming (I'm still thinking it's the cash incentive), it can come across as particularly jarring when key shots that work in later games, do not work in this one and are likely to cost you that round of play (and a credit).

You're crap, and beaten by an annoying cartoon kid for that matter.

However, it's still a cute and very appealing game, the music and audio puts it on par with the cheerful Saturday Morning Cartoon Club of games and the presentation is one that puts the player back a few years to the point where cartoons were fun and interesting things rather than being the non-sensical meshes of animation and crowbarred plot devices they seem to have become today... Or I'm just old. Oh God I'm old.