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Casey Scheld ReviewsGame ReviewsPC Reviews

Puzzle Bobble2X/BUST-A-MOVE 2 Arcade Edition & Puzzle Bobble 3/BUST-A-MOVE 3 S-Tribute Review

Official Score

Overall - 50%

50%

Puzzle Bobble2X/BUST-A-MOVE 2 Arcade Edition & Puzzle Bobble 3/BUST-A-MOVE 3 S-Tribute are barebones ports that deserve so much more. Those looking to play as Bub or Bob should look elsewhere.

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A double dose of Bub and Bob has hit PC and consoles with City Connections’ the mouthful of a title Puzzle Bobble 2X/BUST-A-MOVE 2 Arcade Edition & Puzzle Bobble 3/BUST-A-MOVE 3 S-Tribute. Should players dive back in, or are these ports less than stellar?

Puzzle Bobble 2X/BUST-A-MOVE 2 Arcade Edition & Puzzle Bobble 3/BUST-A-MOVE 3 S-Tribute Review

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Puzzle Bobble (or Bust-a-Move for the yanks) has created a simple formula that’s easy to learn, being a matching game at its core. As a lovable creature at the bottom of the screen, it’s up to players to shoot bubbles up to the top and clear out the screen or dominate your opponent. Beat your opponent or clear the screen, and victory is in your grasp.

The formula has remained steadfast after all these years, still providing a captivating experience. It’s far from the deepest game around – that’s what Puyo Puyo is for – but it still manages to create a winning formula with just a few simple elements. After all, there’s a reason it has spawned so many imitators.

This collection, made up of the second and third entries of the series, makes a number of questionable tweaks of varying success. These sequels added Star Bubbles, Rainbow Bubbles, Trouble Bubbles, Metal Bubbles, and Trouble Blocks, but all feel like gimmicks rather than main additions. The formula was pretty well established in the original, and the tweaks made to the formula are the equivalent of adding additional blocks to Tetris 2.

Versus play is a mixed bag too – fighting against the opponent and dumping bubbles on their side sounds great on paper, but the end result feels like a mess. There’s no way to play quickly like in Puzzle Fighter or Puyo Puyo, and matches are over before they even behin.

The same goes with the suite of options in each one. There is a Challenge Mode in 2 and a Collection Mode in 3, but these two titles are more or less straight arcade ports. There is no online play, and little has been done to improve the experience. After Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection and the Capcom Fighting Collection, it feels lacking.

It’s also a shame that these are roughshod ports as well. While it is nice that one can choose between the English and Japanese versions of the titles, little has been done to improve these SEGA Saturn ports. Loading screens are still prevalent, there is a lack of background choices, and there are no extras to speak of. There is the ability to add scanlines, turn on anti-aliasing, or rewind, but it’s not enough. There’s even typos in the instructions included for each title.

Puzzle Bobble2X/BUST-A-MOVE 2 Arcade Edition & Puzzle Bobble 3/BUST-A-MOVE 3 S-Tribute are barebones ports that deserve so much more. Those looking to play as Bub or Bob should look elsewhere.

[infobox style=’success’ static=’1′]This review of Puzzle Bobble2X/BUST-A-MOVE 2 Arcade Edition & Puzzle Bobble 3/BUST-A-MOVE 3 S-Tribute was done on the PC. The game was purchased digitally.[/infobox]

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Casey Scheld

Casey Scheld has more than 15 years of experience in the gaming industry as a community manager, social media director, event specialist, and (of course) gaming editor. He has previously worked with gaming start-ups like Raptr, publishers like Konami, and roller derby girls at PAX West (check out Jam City Rollergirls)! Gamers Heroes is a passion project for him, giving him a chance to tap into the underground side of gaming. He is all too eager to give these lesser-known heroes of the indie space the attention they so rightly deserve, seeking out the next gem and sharing it with the world. Previously making appearances at events like CES, GDC, and (the late) E3, he is all too happy to seek out the next big thing. For those that want to talk shop, send over a tip, or get an easy win in a fighting game of their choosing, be sure to check out his social media channels below.

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