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  • I never understood the need to change the name of this game. Puzzle Bobble makes so

  • much sense... well, if youve played Bubble Bobble, that is, and honestly, who hasn’t?

  • It was one of the most ubiquitous NES titles back in the day, reimagined recently on XBLA,

  • and some rather laughably horrible DS versions. But no, it’s Bust-A-Move now, which means

  • that the other game called Bust-A-Move has to switch to Bust-A-Groove, and all of a sudden

  • were onto a whole Lord Bravery-style chain of name changes and it’s MADNESS. MADNESS!

  • And bubbles. And puzzles. That you bobble... like an outfielder about to be sent back down

  • to the minors.

  • Playing as either of two bubble-spitting dinosaurs or any of an assortment of monster-looking

  • things, your goal is to clear the screen of bubbles... by way of more bubbles. They can

  • be removed either by getting a bunch of the same color together to detonate them directly,

  • or by removing their means of connection to the top of the screen, thus causing any so

  • orphaned bubbles to drop and score exponential masses of points. It’s a pretty simple concept,

  • and devoid of any semblance of plot or explanation of exactly why these dinosaurs blow bubbles.

  • The simple reason is: Plot wouldn’t fit, cuzthe puzzle gameplay itself is diversified

  • into several alternate modes for even more strange, bubble-bouncing action.

  • Here we have Ghost mode, where the bubbles you shoot are insubstantial until they bounce

  • off a wall, all billiards-like. And Blind Mode, where you have no idea what colors are

  • up there until you fire a bubble next to something... and no, it’s never what you want it to be.

  • There’s Running Launcher mode, where the shooter at the bottom of the screen constantly

  • runs back and forth, threatening motion sickness as well as making lining up shots a royal

  • pain in the bum. There’s the downright evil seesaw mode, where the playing field itself

  • lists to theheavierside after each shot; if it goes three clicks in either direction,

  • the whole thing just falls over and ends the game. There’s Mix-’em-up, where the colors

  • of the bubbles themselves are subject to change without notice. And then there’s Shot mode,

  • where youve got one shot - emphasised by a dramatic countdown once youve laid in

  • your course - to hit a target in juuuuuust the right spot, likely by applying an OED’s

  • worth of English, bouncing off two walls, and winning a Big Mac from Larry Bird. All

  • in all, there’s over a thousand puzzles included on this disc, and while each can

  • be a bit on the short end of the spectrum, they feel perfectly bite-sized for on-the-go

  • portable puzzle gaming. So submit to the siren’s song of Taito, embrace your bubble-spewing

  • dinoverlords, and grease up your shooting contraption. Youre gonna be here awhile.

I never understood the need to change the name of this game. Puzzle Bobble makes so

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