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  • Sure, there have been puzzle games in the arcades, and sure, theyve been on home

  • consoles, but let’s be honest. The true test of any puzzle game is how well it entertains

  • you on the road. It’s been that way since Tetris. The short-burst, pick-up-and-go action

  • is ideal for handhelds. (And, well, for making people on the bus wonder what the hell youre

  • doing.) So it was only natural that Puzzle Fighter, full name Super Puzzle Fighter II

  • Turbo (though there was no regular-speed, and there was no Puzzle Fighter 1) would eventually

  • be adapted to the up-and-coming Game Boy Advance. And while porting a PlayStation game to the

  • GBA seems kinda ridiculous in hindsight, the one part that made it intact was the gameplay.

  • So at least they had their priorities in order.

  • For the maybe fifteen of you out there who haven’t played Puzzle Fighter yet, four

  • colors of gems fall from the top of the screen all Puyo Puyo style, though just collecting

  • a bunch of them together isn’t enough to remove them from your side of the screen.

  • Theyll just weld themselves together into more and more imposing configurations. Instead,

  • you need to connect a Crash Gem - those spherical looking ones - to gems of the same color,

  • which make them shatter and make a huge mess and make your super-chibi Street Fighter or

  • Darkstalkers avatar character in the middle there actually do something. Mind, there’s

  • no health bar or anything, youre just flinging garbage blocks onto your opponent’s side.

  • But unlike Puyo and somewhat like Puzzle League, these impediments can not only be removed

  • by creating a reaction near them, but will eventually turn into real gems that can make

  • for delayed-reaction combos, further punishing your opponent for throwing that crap over

  • here in the first place.

  • Some aspects are rather weak in this Game Boy Advance version - the graphics are grainy

  • to the point that the included artwork is pretty much illegible, the sound effects are

  • repetitive and every color, sound test, and other unlock involves having to take down

  • a vicious computer opponent. But youre on a train, or a long car ride, and youve

  • got nothing but time. And you don’t care how weird you look, throttling your GBA (or

  • PSP, with the Capcom Puzzle World collection). And as vicious as that computer opponent is,

  • it’s still damned fun, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in this turnabout-laden

  • game. That is, until your girlfriend reveals herself to be a tenth-level Super Puzzle Fighter

  • II Turbo grand mast...erm... mistress, capable of decimating the fiercest of opponents with

  • distressing ease. You think you know someone...

Sure, there have been puzzle games in the arcades, and sure, theyve been on home

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