More Reviews
REVIEWS Dark Souls II: Crown of the Sunk Review
I was confident in my Dark Souls abilities. Then From Software released new Dark Souls II DLC.

The Swapper Review
One of 2013's best indie games swaps its way to Sony platforms.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Pillars of Eternity Preview
For Obsidian's crowdfunded love letter to Infinity Engine games like Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate, I was impressed by its willingness to pull back the curtain and let me see the machinery behind it.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES CounterSpy
Release date: 08/19/14

Tales of Xillia 2
Release date: 08/19/14

Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
Release date: 08/19/14

Madden NFL 15
Release date: 08/26/14


LATEST FEATURES An Updating List of PlayStation 4 Updates We Want
Sony and Microsoft have been updating their consoles regularly, but we wanted to share our own ideas for updating the PS4 firmware.

An Updating List of Xbox One Updates We Want
Microsoft has launched Xbox One and done its best to follow Sony's lead and its even secured some exclusive software, but we want more.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Picking Your Gender: 5 Industry Professionals Discuss Queer Identity in Gaming
Women from Naughty Dog, ArenaNet, Harmonix, and Gamespot unite to talk about what they want from games in terms of diversity.
 
Coming Soon

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP oneshotstop
Call of Duty will never be the same
By oneshotstop
Posted on 07/28/14
       We've all been there. Everyone remembers that mission. You and your partner are climbing up the mountains in the snow, striving to pull some slick clandestine operation about getting some intel on a bad guy, or something similar (because let's face...

Bust-A-Move Universe Review

Josh_Laddin By:
Josh_Laddin
04/12/11
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Puzzle 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Square Enix 
DEVELOPER Taito 
RELEASE DATE Out Now
E Contains Comic Mischief

What do these ratings mean?

Oh, what a small universe it is.


My usual review tack is to start with an anecdote or innocuous and possibly inane observation that (with fingers crossed) relates in some way to the game in question. After that I’ll try to slip into the positives before slinging the dirt around – all in all, a nice, neat, little formula. However, I just can’t do it with Bust-A-Move Universe. The only course of action that I will allow myself this time is to get the one huge, glaring, giant matzoh ball of a defect out of the way first.

click to enlargeThis is a puzzle game without multiplayer. It’s peanut butter without jelly; Han Solo without Chewbacca. I can’t fathom a single reason that a new Bust-A-Move would be released on a fresh system in this day and age without a versus mode. There are no online multiplayer, no local multiplayer, no StreetPass functionality – one is the loneliest number indeed.

And there’s really no excuse because, after all, this is a long-running franchise that has already established versus mode in earlier installments. It probably took Taito more work to design the 3D than it would take to code in a mode that’s already been designed! Add the fact that it costs more than other versions that did include multiplayer, like options on WiiWare and XBLA, and there’s very little reason to give this launch title a look.

The only modes that the game does offer are Puzzle and Challenge. To anyone familiar with the Puzzle Bobble gameplay of shooting bubbles to create groups of three or more to pop them before a slowly descending ceiling crushes you, the Puzzle mode’s eight worlds of ten levels each will last all of two hours.

click to enlargeThe gameplay gets a little tweak this time around, at least, in the form of power-ups that you earn as you keep popping: Spark Bubbles change all of one bubble’s surrounding bubbles to the same color, Wild Bubbles count as all colors simultaneously, and the all-powerful Laser Bubble can decimate half the screen in one shot. Dropping six or more bubbles at once will also start bonus time up, in which you can rapid-fire bubbles for a few seconds which all get destroyed en masse at the end.

There’s good news in the form of boss battles at the end of each world. The bad news, however, is that they’re laughably easy, made even easier if you freed a dragon buddy by popping “key” bubbles during the world – it basically devolves into rapid-fire blasting until the boss is dead. And even lamer, failing to kill the boss in the time limit doesn’t impede your progress at all; the only thing you lose is some piddly bonus points.

The Challenge mode isn’t as fun as Puzzle mode, either. You can go for a high score in 100- or 300-second time limits, or try the insanely boring non-stop challenge. The problem with non-stop is that it takes forever for the game to pick up in difficulty. I mean, you’ll be playing for an hour and a half minimum before those dastardly bubbles even come close. You can quick save during non-stop mode, but you can’t play any other mode upon returning until you either finish that game or delete the data and lose all the points you built up. Just walking around town collecting play coins with the 3DS’ pedometer (or maybe just watching paint dry) would be a better use of your time.

click to enlargeThe 3D is used mildly, but it’s not bad. I’ve found that 2D sprites seem to pop out better on the 3DS than actual 3D models do, and the various 2D pictures of Bub (or is it Bob?) that are briefly overlaid on the screen when you score well during bonus time are fun to look at. The rest of it, like seeing the world rotate beneath the playing field, is nice but totally irrelevant for a puzzle game.

Bust-A-Move Universe is a tiny game that costs full price. The only replay value comes in the form of awards, which are your everyday run-of-the-mill Achievement equivalents. But even the awards are just text saying you earned them; there aren’t even unique icons between awards. With no multiplayer to be found and half-assed single-player modes that entertain for maybe three hours if you’re lucky, this is one of the sorriest puzzle games I’ve seen in a long time.
D+ Revolution report card
  • +/- It’s the same old Puzzle Bobble gameplay
  • Some new power-ups and boss battles
  • …that are total pushovers and inconsequential anyway
  • Short Puzzle mode
  • Challenge mode gets old fast
  • …and takes hours to get going in non-stop
  • No multi-player of any kind
  • …in Bust-A-Move? Are you kidding me?
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.

More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Bust-A-Move Universe
Also known as: bust a move universe, PUZZLE BOBBLE UNIVERSE


More On GameRevolution