Review by KasketDarkfyre

"Oooo...lookit the pretty bubbles...."

Nintendo seems to have created several legendary games that spawn sequels on a constant basis no matter what type of game that it is. With several of the games that we have today spawning from this ancient system, it can be said that just about every game that is rather popular with the masses has come from something that appeared on the Nintendo Entertainment System! Games such as Metal Gear and Ikari Warriors really set the standard with action and espionage while puzzle games like Bubble Bobble started the addictive puzzle craze that appears from time to time. In Bubble Bobble, you’re goal is to free small animals from the confines of small bubbles by blasting other bubbles towards them, or jumping atop of them! While the game is extremely childish and simple to play, the overall addicting qualities that you face and the challenge of some of the stages will really keep most NES gamers coming back, if only to see if they can defeat one of the later stages.

The game play is rather simple to learn in which you control one of two lovable dinosaurs that use bubbles as their weapons through various stages that require you to rescue your friends or just clear the stage in general. In this, you’ll face off against several different challenges in which you’ll be forced to use a little strategy in order to get through the different forms of enemies and the different stage layouts! This game really started out a huge craze that called for puzzles and challenge that Bubble Bobble had to offer, and you’ll see why after the first few stages. While the game is easy to learn at first, you’ll really have to learn how to use the stages to your advantage and how to collect the different scoring items that can be found in the form of candy and otherwise. This doesn’t really do too much to the overall game play, it does add a little more to the challenge in which you can try and find as many of these little bonuses as possible and really raise your score through the roof!

With the two player mode, the game takes on a slightly easier path in which you and a friend can take out the enemies and collect the bonuses while staying alive long enough to take out the huge ass boss at the end of the game. Through successful capturing of the enemies within your bubbles, you can pop the bubbles and clear the stage with in turn opens up the next stage for play. As long as you remember that the bubbles only keep the enemies contained for a certain amount of time, and you pop them before they escape, you should have no problem getting through the first twenty stages or so while you’re learning the controls and how they work! However, you may find that if you still don’t have a good understanding of how the game play mechanics work, you’ll end up staring at a game over screen more often than not.

The control of the game is limited to a bubble button and a jump button, which allows you to traverse through the various stages in your bubble popping mayhem. Blowing the bubble that captures an enemy requires a couple of presses and you have to be in close in order to do it. Once you have them captured, you can jump and pop their bubble, causing them to propel from the screen and out of your way! This is very easy to learn and with the right timing, you should be able to run through the game with no real control problems other than the stiff jumping that you do in certain points of the game. When I say stiff, it simply means that you have to have perfect timing in order to get the desired distance and effect of your jump, so just spend a little time practicing, and there really shouldn’t be a problem!

The visuals of the game are about as cute as it gets without becoming a completely sickening array of childish scenes and pre-school colors! The bright colors as well as the various stage layouts and designs are all well detailed, even though they do fall on the younger side of things in many instances. The different enemies that you face and even the huge bosses that you may encounter are all well drawn and thought upon, even though they do look child like. When looking at the game, you’ll find that it is aimed, visually, towards younger gamers and really not too much towards adults. However, the blend of detail and color with the addicting game play attracts gamers like moths to a flame! It isn’t all bad and the only cases of slow down that I could see was when there were several enemies on screen and you were jumping around too much, creating an action overload. The NES is notorious for this, and if you’re a long time gamer with experience in the system, then you already know what to expect!

The audio is set up to try and be somewhat adventurous while filled with action. While it doesn’t do a bad job in this mission, it does tend to fall to the kid gamer point of view, adding in cute sounding MIDI music that only the NES can do! The sound effects of the game aren’t anything to be scoffed at, but they aren’t first rate, with most of the sounds being that of popping bubbles and blowing them up. The pinnacle of the sound comes forward in the last few stages of the game in which you’re given a rather uplifting and pace setting track to listen to that tells you the end is nigh!

Bubble Bobble is a good game that any NES gamer should play at least once, if not own just for the sake of having younger siblings. While not aimed towards the adult gamers of today, it did set a standard to which several versions of the game were made to include puzzle games and puzzle action games alike through the arcades and other systems, even up to today! A good choice for those who are looking for some fun action and mindlessly simple control, Bubble Bobble is worth the buck you pay for it and will have a long playing life if you’re really into it.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 12/02/01, Updated 12/02/01

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