Review by Psycho Penguin

"The series may have gotten out of control, but the games are still fun"

Four years ago or so, when I first saw a copy of Bust A Move for the Super Nintendo, I had no clue as to how much games would be made in the series. I mean, there's BAM, BAM2, BAM:AE, BAM3, BAM99, BAM4, BAM for Neo Geo Pocket, and some more Im forgetting. That's a lot of games that mostly share the same simple concept: use colored marbles to break other colored marbles. The first game for the SNES is a very cool puzzle game and while it has since been outdone (BAM4, Ballistic) I still recommend it.

Why would I still recommend it even with some better games out there? Mainly because I believe this was the only Bust A Move game released for the Super Nintendo, if you can believe that. That fact alone would increase the recommendation. However, there are also other reasaons for it. This is definitely a fun game, and that is reason enough to play it. It is one of the more fun puzzle games I have ever played, especially on the Super Nintendo.

There isn't much of a story to this game, but I will tell you something. Do you see the dinosaurs featured in this game? Well, those are the dinosaurs from one of my all time favorite Nintendo Entertainment System (as well as Arcade) games, Bubble Bobble. Their names are Bub (the green one) and Bob (the blue one) and I guess they have something to fufill in this game. However, this game has about as much storyline as Bubble Bobble, which means it has barely any.

The graphics in this game are very colorful. The colored marbles look pretty good, and the dinosaurs look just like they did in Bubble Bobble. The backgrounds are good and not too distracting, which is a very good thing. I really liked the graphics in the game, because they were so colorful and unique. And it really is a refreshing change of pace from the dark, dreary and drab backgrounds of certain other puzzle games (did anyone say Tetris?)

One of the things I found coolest about the graphics in the game is the fact that the backgrounds change every few stages. I found this to be a very cool aspect of the game, because the backgrounds were definitely very well varied. I really liked how the developers of the game dealt with the backgrounds, because they are very well designed, as they have a sort of tropical look to them. And since there is such a variety of wonderfully colored tropical backgrounds, I really felt that the backgrounds in the game were great.

Is it just me or do all the Bust A Move/Bubble Bobble games have very annoying, kiddy music? At least they changed the music somewhat for this game, there at least is a variety. But a variety of what? Total crap if you ask me. I mean, I would have liked the music had it not been so darn annoying. It was bad enough having to put up with my sister's Barney CD a couple years back for more than 10 seconds, and I share similar sentiments about the music in this game.

The sound effects in the game are a little bit better than the very annoying music, but I could still describe the sound effects in this game as annoying. Why? Because those damn dinosaurs always like to make their annoying sounds at the beginning of every stage. It sounded way too kiddy, and I am not a big fan of kiddy voice acting, as some of you may know by now. So, I really did not like the sound effects in this game, either.

Control in this game is pretty basic and straight forward, and that is definitely a good thing. I really liked the control in this game, because all you had to really do is move the arrow around until you found the space in which you wanted to move the colored bubble to, and then shoot it. That's it, really. There is no complicated control scheme to this game, and you don't even use that much of the buttons featured on the Super Nintendo controller.

This is yet another simple puzzle game. Basically you must match colored marbles and get them to break apart? How? By matching three marbles of the same color, they will fall off. You have a little marble shoter on the bottom and are aiming upwards towards the marbles. If the marbles hit the ground, you lose. Great and addictive gameplay that really made me play this game over and over again.

There is a lot of aspects to this game, so I will describe two things: the actual gameplay and the game modes. First, the actual gameplay. You have a colored marble on the bottom, pointing up. To the north are other colored marbles. You have to aim the marble towards similarly colored marbles. For instance, if you have a yellow marble, you will want to aim it towards yellow marbles. If you hit three colors in a row, the marbles break off.

This can lead to huge point combos, because you can break off a lot of marbles with just one marble. Like if two marbles are connected to seven other marbles, and you hit the two marbles with the same colored marble, the other seven marbles will fall off and enable you to get more points than you normally would have gotten. Also, you have a time limit to shoot off marbles, because the group of marbles will slowly make their way downwards. After a while, they will touch the ground, and you will get a game over. So, basically, you are working against a clock.

There are also specially colored marbles. There are three of these special marbles: water, fire, and lightning. These can be determined by the logo found on the marble, obviously. The lightning bolt marble will clear out a whole row of marbles. The fire marble likes to explode and clear a whole circle of marbles. The waterfall marble is interesting, because it touches a marble and turns all marbles around it into the same color.

The game modes in this game are fairly simple. There is a one-player Arcade mode, which has you taking each stage one stage at a time. It is definitely a fun mode, and I had a lot of fun going through it. You get through each stage by clearing the marbles out. There is a challenge mode, which is sort of like the Arcade mode, but the marbles don't slowly move downwards, new rows appear out of the ceiling though. The two player mode can actually be played against the computer also, each player has a container and has to clear out the row of marbles quicker than the other player. You can also choose to mess up the other player. It's a lot of fun. There is also options mode, which allows you to change certain aspects of the game, as you would expect in an options mode.

I dont play it anymore, mainly because I have Bust A Move '99. But this is still an addictive game with plenty of replay value. I remember when I first played this game, I couldn't stop playing for at least an hour or two. And that is a lot of time spent playing one game, all things considered. I really think this is a very fun and addictive game, so I also definitely think that this game has fantastic replay value.

The game can get quite challenging despite its kiddy look. The simple fact that the marbles move down quickly is enough to send anybody into the mad house. But that is not all, because there is a lot of stuff you have to figure out in this game. Like aiming marbles, that requires stuff like geometery, because you need to determine angles. So, this game definitely has a challenging aspect to it.

Yes, this is a cool puzzle game, but I advise if you don't have it just download the ROM. That is because this game cost a lot of money at FuncoLand, something like 35 bucks, and you can get the better Bust A Move '99 for a better price. But that is not to say this is a bad game, because it isn't. It is one of the most addictive games I have ever played, and that is saying a lot. The game is definitely worth playing, as long as you have an hour or two to spare.

Good Points
-This is one of the most addictive games I have ever played.
-The graphics in this game are colorful and well designed.
-It is the perfect family puzzle game to play.
-The gameplay is fun, and the control is simple yet effective.

Not So Good Points
-The music in this game is very, very disappointing.
-The sound effects in the game are almost as bad as the music.
-The game could be too challenging for some children.
-It will suck many hours out of your life, more than likely.

I Run Down The Ratings... DaLadiesMan style!
Storyline - Not Available
Graphics - 9.2/10
Music - 1.8/10
Sound Effects - 2.3/10
Control - 9.8/10
Gameplay - 8.3/10
Replay Value - Well Above Average
Challenge - Above Average
Worth a Purchase? - Not really, due to the high price tag.
Overall - 8.4/10

The Last Line: The series may have gotten out of control, but the original game in the series remains one of the best. It is well worth playing, although do not buy it unless you get it for a good deal.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/03/00, Updated 07/16/01


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