February 10, 2001
I am going to say straight away to get it off my chest. Exactly what the Acclaim marketing men were thinking of when they made that cover I'm not sure. It's not nice to look at. It has little relevance to the game. It makes you feel uneasy just looking at it in the store. Now the truth. Do Not Be Put Off With The Cover On This Game. Super Bust-A-Move is one of the greatest puzzle games ever. It's quite possibly the most addictive game in years. It must be in every hardcore gamers video game collection now.
The Bust-A-Move game are one of the most loved puzzle series' in gaming history. The idea is so simple, and yet so addictive. Your task is to link up at least three of the same colour bubbles by shooting additional bubbles from the bottom of the screen. By linking up three or more of the same colour the bubbles will burst and clear a part of the screen, especially if that colour has other colours linking below it. Beware however, as the bubbles all move down a row after you take several shots from the cannon. The game ends if the coloured bubbles fill up the screen to the bottom because of your inability to burst enough bubbles.
While the single player modes are a lot of fun, and include a nice training mode for newcomers to the series, it's the 2-player mode that is the most enjoyable, by a long shot. With half the screen each the adrenaline pumps as you try to clear the screen while completing combo's to send dozens of balls onto your opponents screen. It's fast, frantic, a tonne of fun and for those of us who have to work in the morning, too bloody addictive.
So what is new between this version and past versions of the game? The first enhancement is the graphics. The resolution is slightly higher then in the past but the variety and detail in the backgrounds hasn't been seen before either. The number of puzzles has also been significantly improved with thousands of different levels. This is one game that you won't see every level within a couple of days, or in a couple of weeks for that matter. Some other brand new features include the very tricky tiny bubbles, trapped bubble captives and sneaky hidden characters. Conveyer belt walls and changing backgrounds make a re-appearance from past versions and all up the variety in the game has been improved immensely.
The only areas where this game could possibly be improved is to include a 4 player mode and internet gameplay. Hopefully Taito will consider these in the games (inevitable) sequels in future.
As mentioned previously one area where the game has improved is with the graphics. The resolution is higher, there are now more characters in the game then in previous versions and the animation has been improve, although it's still not exactly jaw dropping. The game includes a lot less slowdown then in previous versions although some is apparent in the 2-player mode especially. Still it does very little to detract from the gameplay thanks to the nature of the game.
One area which I really would like to see the game improved is with the sound. The music is just a little too cutesy and the sound effects, while adequate, haven't really progressed at all in the last couple of years.
Super Bust-A-Move is definitely the best game in the series. A 4 player mode would have been nice but the graphics are as good as the series has ever been. It's the gameplay that has always been a high priority and in this department Super Bust-A-Move shines. If you've never played this series in the past then you are really missing out on one of the best puzzle games ever, if you do decide to buy this game you won't be disappointed. It's will have you dreaming bursting bubbles.