Well, the good news is that pretty much all of the fun of the previous Bust-A-Move
titles is in Super Bust-A-Move
. The bad news is that there's not much new here -- certainly not enough to warrant a purchase if you already own a title in the series. A compendium of the previous games would have been a better buy. That's not to say that Super Bust-A-Move
is a bad game. Far from it -- it's some of the most addictive gameplay next to Panel de Pon
. It's just that it's the same game we've been playing since the early 90s.
In Super Bust-A-Move, you take control of one of a number of characters in an attempt to either clear various puzzles or beat the stuffing out of an opponent. When by yourself, the Puzzle mode is definitely the way to go; when with friends, the only choice you have is the Battle mode.
The Puzzle mode pits you against devious constructions by the Taito team. There's a set of puzzles all-new for Super Bust-A-Move, and then a selection of "classic" puzzles from games past. The new tweaks in gameplay that you'll find in Super Bust-A-Move are tiny bubbles, which slip in the cracks between bubbles, oddly-shaped battlegrounds, which require you to do more thinking than usual when it comes to aiming your shot, and conveyor belts, which make your shots deflect in odd ways.
The problem is that these generally end up feeling like gimmicks instead of real play innovations. Having to angle a shot perfectly because of a stupid conveyor belt or banking a tiny bubble in between 30 other bubbles may
be cool when you get it right, but you won't 99% of the time, and you'll just get mad. There's still a lot of puzzle action here, and due to the unique branching structure of the levels, you can have a different game on almost every playthrough.
Battle mode, however, is where Super Bust-A-Move really shines. As always, destroying bubbles sends them to your opponent's side. It's fast, fun, and addictive as hell. I've put more quarters into the local Bust-A-Move cabinet than any game other than Galaga, and it's because of the sheer addictiveness of the multiplayer game.
So it's not that Super Bust-A-Move isn't fun. It's just that it's the same game we've been playing for ages.