Super Bust-A-Move 2
A problem some game reviewers run into is becoming jaded regarding games. We see so many games that, if a game doesn't compare to FFX or set new gaming standards we probably won't get excited about it. I tried to keep this in mind while reviewing Super Bust-A-Move 2 (SBAM2). SBAM2 is the latest installment of Taito's bubble busting puzzle game. It's a discount game ($19.99) that adds little to the previous version, but is fun in spite of itself.
This game is kind of a cross between Space Invaders and Tetris using bubbles. Your goal is to clear each level of bubbles by shooting different colored bubbles to free matching colored bubbles, which progressively get lower. If a bubble ever crosses the line where your bubble launcher is, you're dead.
All the gang from the original series is back with a couple of new additions. While trying to deepen the puzzle game with anime type characters and a storyline is nice, the implementation left a lot to be desired. First off, my kids (4, 6 and 14 years old) were just put off by these characters. Only one of the characters earned the endearment of my 6 year old. The rest of them, to quote her, 'were freaky.'? To make matters worse, the cut sequences were disturbingly poor. I was hard pressed to decide which was worse, the voice acting (which was horrible) or the dialogue, which rarely even made sense. Honestly, the characters and storylines actually detracted from my gaming experience.
The game isn't incredibly detailed or deep, but it is fun and addictive and it's easy to burn some hours without knowing it. I will continue to play it, but just avoid the story mode and focus on the actual puzzle game and the multiplayer capabilities, which allow you to frustrate your opponent by adding bubbles to their screen after you score big on your side. If you are a fan of puzzle games, you will probably enjoy this game. Just skip the storyline mode, unless you are looking for a laugh.