reviews\ Nov 4, 2002 at 7:00 pm

Super Bust-A-Move 2 - PS2 - Review

The newest incarnation of the classic puzzle game has made its debut.  Taito and Ubi Soft push the envelope by asking how many times you can remake a classic without making people sick of it.  For those of you who have never played Bust-A-Move, clear your calendar.  The Bust-A-Move genre is probably the most addictive puzzle series since Tetris.  However for people like myself, who have had the pleasure of playing Bust-A-Move when it was back on Neo Geo or Super Nintendo, Super Bust-A-Move 2 is hardly better than a nostalgic reminder of the original.

The new additions to Super Bust-A-Move 2 include a revamped, if totally incoherent, story mode, several new types of bubbles, and a level editor.  But the overriding gameplay has stayed exactly the same.  You're job is to create groups of three or more bubbles of the same color.  You do this by aiming and then firing multicolored bubbles towards the slowly advancing bubbles at the top of the screen.  The goal is to destroy the bubbles before they reach you.  Sound simple?  Add conveyor belts, blocks, and 7 types of special bubbles and things become a whole lot more complicated.  However, nearly all of this was included in the last super Bust-A-Move.  As for the new additions.  The new story mode is a joke, with poor translation, poor video clips, and poor story line.  The level editor assumes that you can find more than one person in your area as dedicated to the genre as you.  Making boards is a tedious process and if there's no one else to play the ones you make, or make ones for you, you're better off just playing the game.

The game boasts two new characters, however the characters have no story behind them.  I understand the pop art, funny Japanese style I've seen in games such as the original Bubble Bobble, or Namco's Mr. Driller but Super Bust-A-Move 2 goes overboard creating a cast of characters that are so offbeat, their neither cute nor funny, just odd.  Their animations echo the generally weak video clips and are hardly interesting after you've seen them a few times.

The soundtrack is no different than it was in the last game...or the one before that.

I don't want to leave you thinking Bust-A-Move is a bad game.  It was one of the best puzzle games ever put onto the console.  However, this is the second incarnation of it on the PS2 and even the first one was simply a hack job of the original.  In the end Bust-A-Move is Bust-A-Move no matter how many words or numbers you put around it.  If you're an obsessed fan this title is the best thing to happen to you since the last time a Bust-A-Move title came out.  But for the rest of you who think this game might be your cup of tea, I'd say pick up a used copy of Super Bust-A-Move 1 or, dare I say it, dust off the Super Nintendo and play the original.  You wont be missing anything.

Gameplay: 7
There is a reason it's been around for so long.

Graphics: 4 
If they took the character graphics and video out I might have given this a 5 or 6.

Sound: 6
It doesn't bother me that the theme was probably composed on MIDI.  It fits the game well enough.

Difficulty:  Medium
Requires that you eyeball angles necessary to bank shots and such.

Concept: 3 
I got this great idea...lets take our old game, shine it up, and re-release it, again!

Multiplayer: 7
Your playing against a CPU most of the time so having a real person playing against you changes little.

Overall: 5.3


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