I suppose in reality what I should call this is LET’S TALK ABOUT BUST A MOVE 3DX OR PUZZLE BOBBLE 3 OR BUST A MOVE 99 DEPENDING ON WHICH TERRITORY YOU LIVE IN but to be honest, I really can’t be bothered to type all that out.
Yeah, it’s another one of those games that’s fallen foul of the name game in much the way that Rapid Reload did, being called Gunner’s Heaven and some other gubbins but at least they kept AXEL FUCKING SONICS and RUKA FUCKING HETFIELD in it because if they didn’t, I would be CRYING for all of the Japanese people who don’t get to experience the names of my future children (still unbeknownst to my other half… I think… at least I hope to spring the surprise in the future AHAHAHAHA). As such, well done Japan for keeping the names.
HOWEVER. Can we stop confusing the general public by releasing games in different areas under different names? I mean was there something so wrong with calling a game Puzzle Bobble in the UK? Realistically, we may not have got the original Puzzle Bobble but when we got the sequel, we still called it Bust A Move 2… because logic. Because gaming logic. BECAUSE NO REASON. But hey! It doesn’t matter when the core of your game is to try and make the gamer so addicted to your game that they forget what time of day it is or whether they even have eyebrows.
Yep. We’re onto those levels of addiction, people.
Sooooo how do you describe Bust A Move?
It’s a puzzle game. Are you expecting me to go into greater detail with that? Are you expecting me to start making up something to go along with that slightly unnerving reality? ARE YOU?
One day, a magical prince decided that he’d had enough of people EVERYWHERE EVER and sent eight random humans/non-humans to battle it out for supremacy TO THE DEATH by flicking bubbles into the sky until three congregated together. However, a deeper, darker secret was connected to the bubbles for each bubble is in fact SOMEONE’S SOUL and popping said bubbles resulted in a person exploding into a giant pile of glitter while bubbles that dropped from the sky resulted in people splatting onto the floor like butter OHHHH THE IGNOMINY OF IT ALL. And lo, the battle began and once the winner had been announced, the world was forever changed… for the worse.
I could totally turn that into a book.
Still a better love story than Twilight.
Old joke is old. Fuck it.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, above you can see the multitude of characters that await your… er… choosing. You can have Baby Dinosaur, Not-Ryu, Mophead Child, FACELESS, Clown Jailbait, SRSFace McColdbitch, Effeminate Magician and TECHNODUDE FROM THE NOT FUTURE.
I know who I’M choosing!
In reality, some of the characters bear some resemblance to other Taito game characters and I’m sure that all of these characters have some popularity in their own right, just nowhere we know. Unless you’re Japanese in which case do you REALLY know who these characters are? I mean… Bub and Bob ASIDE and MAYBE Technoboob or whatever he is… the man from that punching mitt game where you have to destroy a meteorite using only the power of your MANLY punches because punching is clearly the best way to assert your masculinity and what better way to do it than to save the Earth from a giant falling meteorite? Ladies, if you want to punch a meteorite, apparently you have to find a different game. Boo. Although the characters do have some bearing of the way the game plays, they’re not very exciting and they’re all pretty much a much of a muchness in a much contest featuring much muching. Yeah. A giant bag of wank really.
In the first game we received in the UK, the characters were all the same and when you attacked your opponent, you sent up randomly coloured bubbles to try and fill up their side of the screen. This time, each character has a certain attack pattern. Most characters attack by throwing bubbles from the bottom of the screen while a couple actually send a whole row down from the top if they’ve sent enough bubbles to do such an attack. In a sense, you do get an element of strategy but occasionally the attack patterns are a bit sporadic and they only serve as a bit of a gesture to the real core of the game. If you can discern a bit of tactical knowhow from it and master the game from that angle, hey, more power to you. Sounds like a plan.
However, I just like to switch between characters randomly because to be honest, this isn’t a game about the characters – mostly because they’re all a bit shit – because it’s all about that gameplay.
IT’S FUCKING GLORIOUS.
Honestly, it’s absolutely 100% slap-you-in-the-face-until-you-bleed-from-your-eyes GLORIOUS. It is insanely simple to play, insanely easy to just pick up and play and to be honest, if any of your friends have never seen a puzzle game before, even THEY would understand what you have to do within seconds.
“What do I do with this coloured bubble? Oh I have a blue one up there? Can I put them together and see what happens? Oh? Nothing? Oooh… another blue one? Let’s see if three will do anything… OH! THEY BLEW U- OHHHHHHHHH! I get it!”
It is THAT simple. To be honest, I’m surprised the game even bothered to come with a bloody game manual. It might as well have just read “PUT IN GAME, WORK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF” and unless you’re a cat who can’t be bothered to do things, ANYONE can pick it up and play it. It is that simple.
And that’s what makes it so brilliant. It is a tried and tested formula that they tweaked just enough for the third game in the series and it still worked wonders by this point. How many other games do you know that you could pick up for ten minutes for a bit of fun and still be playing by 4am in the morning? Unless you picked up the game at 3:50am… I didn’t make that clear enough, did I? Although seriously, if you’re playing this at 4am in the morning, you’re either a student (HEY, I DID IT TOO, Y’KNOW, I CAN SAY THINGS LIKE THAT), a VERY early riser or you’ve lost some sort of control in your life. Possibly. Or you’re somewhere between eight and twelve thinking you can get away with sneaking downstairs in the middle of the night to play on your older brother’s games when WE HAVE EARS LIKE HAWKS AND WE WILL FIND YOU OUT. DON’T THINK WE WON’T. YOU CAN’T PLAY GAMES ANYWAY. YOU’RE EIGHT. GET OFF CALL OF DUTY AND PLAY MARIO KART. IT’S BETTER. YOU CAN STILL BE ANGRY BUT AT LEAST YOU WON’T GET SNARLED AT BY THE MEDIA FOR IT, YOU LITTLE SHITS.
Also, stop reading this. I’m swearing too much, you little bastards. Go to bed. It’s almost 11pm.
I really don’t want to be THAT GUY but puzzle games are pretty much a dime a dozen these days because Bejeweled and Candy Crush Saga and that ilk of copycat identikit game shit ruined the entire genre into thinking it was about skill when in fact THIS is the type of game that brushes your skill set up a notch or two, not some tile swapping ZOO KEEPER clone that actually is EITHER skill or luck but-mostly-luck. Those aren’t as cerebral as they have you believe in my opinion and I played this game for years so my opinion on puzzle games is pretty much top notch although that sounds like I’m bragging which I totally am but fuck you, I play puzzle games that aren’t just swiping a finger across the screen thirty times and hoping for the best. NO, NO. My generation of puzzle games involved thought and tactics and SPLIT-SECOND TIMING and MINUSCULE LEVELS OF ACCURACY. If you could slot that bubble through a gap to send the whole screen tumbling down, you were a Puzzle-God and so you ought to be. If you tell me you’ve beaten level 320 of Candy Crush Saga, I have to wonder what you do all day sitting on the toilet. YOU CANNOT PLAY THIS GAME ON THE TOILET (unless you own the iOS version of the game but it’s not two-player so what even is that?)
Now go to bed and stop reading this. It’s 4am. YOU SHOULDN’T BE UP. NO ONE SHOULD BE UP. STOP BEING AWAKE. GO DO YOUR ESSAYS AT THE PROPER TIME.