Super Puzzle Fighter II
No longer will you need to place a triple-digit eBay bid to play Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. Here it Is a pixel-perfect port of the genres crown jeweL.and its portable to boot. As with all the best puzzlers, SPFII successfully stacks brain-boggling complexity atop the simplest of premises. Arrange like-colored gemstones so they share horizontal or vertical borders, then shatter your collection with a matching Crash gem. Doing so creates space for you and crowds your competition all while your superdeformed Capcom fighters duke it out in the center of the screen. Its easy to learn yet immeasurably subtle, just like its spiritual grandpappy, Tetris. And indeed, knowing when to amass screen-filling multistrings (at the risk of having your master plan buried in debris) and when to quickly counter with small, steady strikes gives each game a cool, clever balance. As with its streetfighting progenitor, solo play is fine for practice and unlocking additional characters (guess who?), but multiplayer is the clincher. The zany two-guys-on-one-GBA setup is awkward; link-up with the right com-padre, though, and youll be demanding uno mas until your batteries are tapped. My only complaint comes with the handheld territory: Differentiating gem types on the dark and dinky GBA screen is dicey and can no will cost you combos. Still, its a small price to pay for portable puzzler perfection.
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo may be old, but its still one of the best puzzle games ever made. Thankfully, this handheld incarnation delivers a stunningly accurate port. All the combo-forming, gem-smashing gameplay is here, along with all the unlockable secrets. It even supports the GBA Link Cable. Too cool. The only things I could find wrong occurred during large combos when some slight slowdown and sound dropout reared their glitchy heads. Still, since youre not actually controlling anything as the combos shatter, this doesnt affect gameplay. Like the original Tetris on Game Boy, you can play SPFIIT forever.
All the guys around the office (like the two above) act as though this is the greatest thing since Tetris. My theory: These blockheads just dont have the brainpower to appreciate true masterpieces like Puyo Pop, Tetris Attack, and Pokemon Puzzle. Puzzle Fighter is a damn fine game, but certain design elements (like the clear-all Super Gem and garbage blocks that can help a player more than they hurt) make come-from-behind victories too commonplace. This leads to exciting games, sure but ones that dont necessarily take serious skills to win. Youll find lots to like here (I didnt have a problem with the graphics like Shawn did), but better portable puzzlers exist.