Review by Actual Simulation

Reviewed: 05/24/03 | Updated: 05/24/03

Been there, done that!

Alright, so everyone has played a Bust-a-move game at least once in their life, the idea is good and simple. This is a puzzle game with a very good concept. You basically launch some colored marbles into each other in order to create groups of three. Think Puyo-Puyo, but upside-down. Up to here, everything is fine, but the problem is, there have been about 20 different versions of the same game over the years. What makes SBAM better or worse than the other versions?

Graphics: 6/10

Nothing special here, simple patterns and backgrounds. This is what you'd expect from a puzzle game, not much that is! I did find the resolution to be very good compared to other games in the series.

Sound and music: 2/10

This is frankly very mediocre. The sounds are actually annoying! The little bleeps and blerps are fine at first, but now I scramble for the mute button on my remote as soon as I pop this game in. The music is almost as worst as Atari 2600 sounds. For you old-school gamers, you should know that this series is actually a spin-off of the old Bubble-Bobble game, and at first, it featured music from the old games. The problem is, it's still the same music as 15 years ago! Oh, and I forgot to mention the horrible voice acting! Worse than those old Kung-Fu movies.....

Gameplay: 9/10

Ok so this is the part where the game shines! Sure, it's the same old gameplay, but hey, it was splendid in the first place! Two-player mode is the star of this show, it can get really addictive and engaging. By the way, if you play alone, it's not that bad, but it could be better. For example, the story mode, as they call it, is absurd, but the arcade mode is good. Nothing much to say here, same old, same old.

Overall: 5/10

This is a great game but it lacks innovation and the production values seem to be horrible (wait to hear the voice acting). If you've played a Bust-a-move game before, chances are you've seen it all before. If you're new to the series however, this is the most recent version available for PS2 and the price is very good! (30$ CDN) This game plays fine and seems to appeal to female gamers quite a bit, so it might be a good gift for the puzzle-game loving wife, girlfriend, sister, mother, aunt or even grand-mother!

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

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