If you're a puzzle gamer, the urge to match three like objects and make them disappear is pretty much a involuntary, knee- jerk reaction, ain’t it?
Now on the Nintendo Wii we have “Bust-a-Move Bash!”
You know, I think some form of “Bubble Bobble” has appeared on just about every system since the Super NES days.
And “Bust-a-Move Bash!” for the Wii is just another repackaged “Bubble Bobble” game with Wiimote controls. Yeah I know a repackaged game isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as it is still fun and keeps the winning formula that is.
But is the bubble popping fun on the Wii just as good as it used to be? You’ll just have to read on to find out but I will give you a tiny hint- prepare to have your bubble burst!
Since there is no story for the game, I’m going to switch this up a bit and go straight to the gameplay.
For the one or two of you out there that haven't played “Bust-A-Move” in some way or another, the game has you launching like-colored bubbles at the bottom of the screen at multiple bubbles positioned at the top of the screen, these bubbles are constantly inching their way down towards you and if any bubble should cross your line at the bottom, then you lose.
Like I said earlier, this game whatever you choose to call it (Bubble Bobble, Bust a Move--what have you) is a concept that has been used countless times, so what could possibly go wrong? Well, on the Wii system, oddly enough…a lot.
The bubble burst
You would think that these two would go perfectly together like peanut butter and jelly, right? With the Wii’s unique controls and a game that has always been about testing how good your aim is. So, what happened here, hmm??
The developers tried to update the controls as well as adding some new gameplay modes, but unfortunately, the controls didn’t work all that well and the new additions didn’t do anything to make this oldie but goodie game any more fun.
I will start off with the mind-numbingly never-ending puzzle mode. There are 500 puzzles to solve, none of which give you even the slightest challenge because the chamber shows you exactly where the bubble will land.
If 500 levels aren't enough to keep you busy, the endless game mode is just that: endless!
It also does not offer any challenge, so you'll become dangerously bored after a very short while. Endless mode just isn't as fun as it used to be, mostly because of the lack of skill needed to play it. If you can manage to stay awake and play through 30 minutes, the game does eventually become more difficult, but by then, your wrist just can't take it.
You of course already know, you control the game using the Wiimote use hand movements to move it back and forth. While this may sound good, it often doesn’t work. Many times, my movements weren’t recognized, forcing me to shake the Wiimote in order to get it back on track.
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Now let’s move on to the versus mode shall we, this mode used to be one of the best modes in “Bust-a-Move” games, but here it seems mostly like a throwaway game mode. Instead of a tug of war game where bubbles are removed from your side of the screen and go to your opponent's side causing their screen to fill up and overwhelm them with bubbles.
Here with everyone trying to clear the same pile of bubbles, there's very little strategy needed here. Toss in all the power-ups that constantly float across the screen, and all technique gets tossed out the window all you do is try to earn the most jewel bubbles.
Fire at Will
Oh did I mention you can play with up to 7 people!
Soon after you begin playing with a group; chaos begins. The whole screen is so littered with insane power-up bubbles, leaving you blinded and absent-mindedly just shooting bubbles, it's pretty pointless-just shoot anywhere, and you're bound to trigger something. Granted, this is great for casual gamers who might get a kick out of winning a round willy-nilly, but serious gamers (you know who you are) will probably find “the anyone can win” rounds annoying and pointless.
Thankfully, the madness will only last a few minutes though because each round is mercifully timed.
I guess the developers figured they should set a timer rather than risk people having epileptic seizures from the blur of colors on the screen.
Finding 7 friends at one time is kinda difficult isn’t it? But if you are lucky to find 7 others willing to play with you just know that you will need a four Wii-motes, four nunchuks or four Wii-motes and four Classic controllers.
But if you’re like me and don't have 7 friends handy, don’t worry you can always play against AI players. (And the best part is you will beat the AI every time!)
But still I have to ask, what happened to the classic versus mode, where each player had a separate screen and could play for hours on end?
Lastly, we have a new game mode folks, shooting, one of the lamest additions to the series. You must line up your cannon with the bubbles floating across the screen and … well, shoot them. This actually sounds like fun until you find out there are only four color bubbles, and you can only shoot the bubbles that are the same color as your cannon.
You'll be happy to know that this god awful game mode has a timer. This mode will also appear within the game as a mini-game. Unfortunately, this is the only minigame within the whole game; it makes me wonder why they even bothered adding that element at all. It comes across as a very half-hearted attempt to add some extra something- anything to the package.
“Bust-a-Move Bash!” has never been a difficult game to play and now they have added a few bonus power-up balls, to make the game even easier!
These balls range from bomb bubbles, which blow up and destroy bubbles to star bubbles, which destroy all bubbles of the same color as the one on which it lands.
The graphics look nice enough, but the Wii is able to do a lot more than this. I’ve played this series before on different systems, and to tell you the truth I can't see any difference between the Wii graphics and any other past consoles I've played the Bust-a-Move on before.
As for the sound, the bubble popping sound are ok, but frankly the music is so repetitive it is the same ditty played over and over again; I played it on mute the whole time.
I wish I could talk more about “Bust-a-Move Bash”, but that is pretty much all there is to say. The gameplay isn't deep. The different modes aren't really all that different from one another, and the wonky controls make it more frustrating than fun.
But unfortunately, I must say “Bust-a-Move Bash’ is a…wait for it…bust!
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