When I attended Ohio State University, I spent many quarters on the Bust-A-Move arcade game. It’s a simple puzzle game yet highly addictive. There have been a few sequels to the original that’s been released in the past years but the game hasn’t changed much. For those with a Playstation 2 and are looking to burst some bubbles at home, Taito has released Super Bust-A-Move 2.
Like most good puzzle games the concept is simple. In Super Bust-A-Move 2, you try and match up to three bubbles of like color to make them disappear. Shooting a bubble up will make it adhere to other bubbles unless you make a color match of at least three. As long as one side of the bubble is attached to another, it stays up on the board. When you pop a bubble that’s holding a line underneath it, everyone drops and gives you mucho points. On some boards the line of bubbles move down after you shoot ten bubbles up, being replaced at the top by a random sequence of bubbles. Some of the bubbles you shoot will perform some sort of action such as changing the color of the ones it hits or destroying any adjacent ones regardless of color. The gameplay is very very basic yet very addicting. It’ll take you about ten minutes to learn and then you’re hooked.
The look of the game hasn’t changed much in the past few years. Being the puzzle game that it is, I can’t think of any improvements needed to the graphics as it does suite the game well. The characters almost have a cell shading quality to them. They dance around as the action happens on screen reacting to certain situations. As you rotate the bubble shooter, the character does a little dance. When you shoot down a good number of bubbles at once, some special effect such as fireworks go off on screen.
There’s a story mode where you take one character and traverse the story in between game sessions. As you progress through the different stages, you’ll be treated with more of the tale. The cut scenes are interesting for a few of the characters but nothing that really exciting.
Chain reaction makes another appearing in Bust-A-Move and the gameplay might appeal to you more than the regular mode. Dropping bubbles can fly back up and knock down bubbles of the same color. I’ve had games where I was on my last few shots when I was able to get a few chain reactions and eliminate more than half the screen clearing the way for me.
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