Puyo Puyo Sun 64
One of our favorite puzzle games is making a reappearance on the Nintendo 64 in japan. Puyo Puyo originally came to the U.S. in the form of Kirby's Avalanche (Super NES) and Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (Sega Genesis). This classic formula hasn't really changed in the 16- to 64-Bit transition.
If you've played any of the old Puyo Puyo games, then you know how to play Sun 64. The concept is simple: Move and rotate cascading pairs of colored blobs in order to form colored matches of four. The matches don't have to line up--four pieces of one color simply have to be touching. It certainly sounds like a boring and stale concept, but it's not until you learn the combo system that the game gets interesting (hey, you wouldn't play Tetris without trying for a "Tetris," would you?).
Combos are a breeze. Simply place the colored blobs in a formation such that disappearing matches will cause blobs sitting on top to make further matches. The more chain reactions, the better the combo. If you're playing a Vs. game (against the computer or another human), then the combos will throw garbage blobs onto the opposing field of play. These garbage blobs serve only one purpose: to inhibit gameplay. Here's where you'll find the first major difference in the new Puyo Puyo. Unlike prior Puyos, Sun 64 now has three garbage blob options (see sidebar).
It also offers a myriad of game options, like one- or two-player matches, Survival Modes (where you last as long as you can), 16 player tournaments and Tokuton Nazo Puyo, a Practice/Puzzle Mode where the CPU will show you how to set up combos up to 16 times big (that is, if you can successfully mirror what the computer wants you to do).
In japan, this game has already come out on the Saturn and will be coming out shortly for the PlayStation.
Taking Out the Garbage
The Puyo Puyo Sun games introduce a new kind of garbage blob...that isn't exactly garbage. If you choose to play with sun pieces, you'll start out with a row of them at the bottom of the playing field. Removing them (which is done the same for ail garbage blocks: combo away regular pieces adjacent to them) will cause mega damage to your opponent. They will throw a ton of normal garbage blocks on the opposite side. In fact, a small combo done next to a couple of suns can drown out your opponent almost instantly. Once in a while, new suns will find their way into the mix to make things interesting.
The second type of garbage block is the two-hitter, which was introduced in Puyo Puyo Tsu (Puyo Puyo 2 to you and me-it was never released here). These need to be hit twice to be removed.
The third type is just the normal clear garbage blob that we saw in the original Puyo Puyo.