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January 12, 2004
Puyo Pop Fever - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
27/2/2004AtariSega/Sonic Team1-2$49.95

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The simplistic game screen.
Tetris is generally regarded as the world's most popular puzzle game, mainly due to the games inclusion with the orginal Gameboy for many, many years in the 1990's. No game has been as popular. In recent years however the game seems to have lost some of it's shine as newer versions added more and more features taking away from the games simplicity and core gameplay. Realising the success of such a title Sega devised a similar puzzle game, titled Puyo Pop. The game has been a massive success in Japan with over 3 million sales over the years, but the west is yet to catch onto the craze, although Megadrive owners may remember the Sonic tied-in name with Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine. PS2 owners are about to get the lastest, and possibly greatest game in the series, Puyo Pop Fever and it looks like a steal with a launch price of only $AU49.95.

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Fever Time!
Essentially, this game plays very similar to Tetris or even the old Columns games from the Megadrive days. Basically a series of blocks (or Puyo's) will fall down from the top of the screen with our task simply to connect as many as possible of the same colour together. Connect four together and they burst. Of course it's not that simple as the action speeds up as you progress and when battling another player they can affect your side of the screen by obtaining combos. An additional fever mode adds a slightly different twist to the gameplay, providing opportunity to create a string of chain reactions that will annihilate your opponent if executed correctly. The only disappointment is that there is no online gameplay, nor a 4-player mode (but these aren't appearing in the Gamecube or XBox versions either).

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Anime styled characters.
This isn't a short preview due to a lack of interest in the game, that couldn't be further from the truth. Rather there is little that can be said. There is no storyline, the graphics are simplistic, but very pretty and the gameplay is pretty much the same as ever. Still, this is one of the best puzzle games of all time and I will be among the first to get the disc into my Playstation 2. If you want an engrossing, extraordinary multi-player game then this is it. Oh yar, did someone also mention that this game is developed by one of the most exciting development teams in Japan, Sonic Team! Puyo Puyo Fever will be released in Japan on February 4th, 2004 - only a matter of weeks before the PAL release on February 27. Mark this game as a "must have".