BUBBLE BOBBLE's release in 1986 introduced the two bubble dragons, Bub and Bob, and brand new play mechanics, with players defeating enemies by trapping them in bubbles and then popping them. Although the puzzle-action game can be beaten by clearing all 100 rounds, it also contains secret elements such as not being able to get the 'true ending' in single-player mode; hidden commands that lead to secret rounds; and a ton of different items.
These elements are some of the game's most memorable and important features. Each round even has different air currents that are not visible, so bubbles rise in unpredictable patterns. Aspects like forcing players to understand and utilize these different patterns while playing help make this a revolutionary game that is fun to play anytime.
This classic game is part of the Virtual Console service, which brings you great games created for consoles such as NES™, Super NES™ and Game Boy™ Advance.
Or Puzzle Bobble, is a favorite puzzle game of mine. It's got adorable characters, skill-based gameplay that leaves me with a crick in my neck, and some of the most heated head-to-head multiplayer battles around.
Online Internet Security Software. Has delivered Bust-A-Move Plus to WiiWare, but the 'Plus' in the title is a little misleading. This is actually a very straightforward edition of the game that doesn't offer anything new. It's still a good time, but features from other games in the series are not included and there is no online multiplayer -- quite a missed opportunity. If you haven't had the pleasure of playing Bust-A-Move at some point in its 15-year history, by all means give this one a download.
The match three gameplay is very easy to grasp and you'll be shooting bank shots and dropping combo bubbles in no time. Multi-colored bubbles need to be cleared from the playing field by shooting more balls from the bottom of the screen and creating matches of at least three. With your Wii remote held horizontally (or with the Classic Controller) you aim your cannon with the D-pad and the B button can be held for fine tuning your shot. Every few turns the ceiling will drop and push the bubbles towards the bottom of the screen. If they reach the 'zone line,' it's game over.
In addition to the standard bubbles, there are also a handful of super-powered orbs that randomly appear in your canon that can give you an edge. Each time you start a new game or continue, by default the first level you play will grant you an aiming line that will indicate the exact trajectory of your bubbles. This means every time you continue you will most likely pass the level you just failed. It definitely eases the challenge of the game, but it also keeps it from becoming frustrating. If desired, the guide line can be turned off in the options menu.
Each time you continue your score will be reset, so if you're going for a high score you'll want to try and make it through the game without continuing. The single-player game is the traditional Bust-A-Move progression through tiered stages that branch off from one another, letting players choose their path. This gives it some replay value as you will have to play through many times in order to experience every stage. The two-player head-to-head mode is called Battle Mode and lets you take on a friend or the computer. Here, racking up combos will send garbage over to your opponent's screen to trip them up.
Unfortunately, Battle Mode is only available locally. It would have greatly increased the value of Bust-A-Move Plus if you could play against people online. The score rankings, again, only track local scores. Taito loves to charge you for downloadable content, and they're doing it again here. For two dollars a piece you can buy two additional level packs. One includes stages from 1995's Bust-A-Move 2 and the other is made up of selected levels from Bust-A-Move 3 and Super Bust-A-Move.
I love me some Bubble Bobble on the NES/VC. The infectious music, mere presence of dinosaurs (or “bubble dragons”), the silly enemy designs, and creative levels all come together to make a fantastic game that I still play today. Bubble Bobble Plus is a WiiWare remake that features a whole slew of new.
So while the initial download is $6, the entire package will set you back $10. Bust-A-Move Plus is so light on features on its own, these extra levels really should have been included at no extra charge. The Verdict If you've never played Bust-A-Move, by all means have a blast with this WiiWare version. But those that have been enjoying the game for years won't find anything new here. The initial $6 game feels pretty light, and the downloadable level packs probably should have been included instead of nickel and diming gamers.
The lack of online multiplayer is also disappointing. Still, this puzzle series is popular for a reason: it's got charm and addictive gameplay mechanics. The title is just a little misleading: Bust-A-Move Minus is more like it.
• 6 Presentation The initial $6 download is pretty light on features and doesn't offer anything new to the franchise. • 7 Graphics The visuals are cute but don't dazzle. • 7 Sound What's here is catchy, but the classic Bust-A-Move theme song isn't included! • 7.5 Gameplay One of the very best match-three games.
The multiplayer is some of the best around -- too bad it's not online. • 6.5 Lasting Appeal You'll have to play through the game several times to see all the stages, but, again, the lack of online play limits the appeal.