Puyo Pop Fever
Get ready for some blob poking fun in this new Puyo game from Sega.
I don't know about you, but I'm quite fond of blobs. Blobs of applesauce, blobs of Jell-o, blobs of ectoplasm. If it's gooey and not too gross I enjoy poking and playing with it, and the same goes for Sega's Puyos. These colorful mounds of slime have been entertaining us for almost a decade and Atlus has just unleashed them onto the Nintendo DS in Puyo Pop Fever, a delightful puzzle game chock full of blobs, a colorful presentation, and a super tight multiplayer mode.
Don't let its colorful anime-inspired exterior fool you. Puyo Pop Fever is pretty much like every Puyo game that's come before it. Multi-colored Puyos fall from the top of the screen and the goal is to group four or more of the same color together so they disappear. When one group vanishes the remaining ones fall into place, so it's possible to do a little strategizing and clear entire sections at once. That's basically the gist of it, though there are a couple of neat DS features worth mentioning. For starters, you can play the entire game using the touch screen, and while I went into the experience expecting it to feel unresponsive it's actually been well implemented, so much so that you don't even need to use the system's buttons, though you certainly can if you're not thrilled with the stylus controls.
The second cool feature is the game's multiplayer mode, which supports wireless play for up to eight people, and the best part is you only need a single copy of the game. Setting up games is a breeze, and there's no lag whatsoever. Trust me, it's so seamless you'll be sending hordes of Nuisance Puyos (blobs that are difficult to delete) over to your opponents' side of the screen in no time.
If you're flying solo Puyo Pop features a few single-player modes to check out, in particular the story mode that follows the exploits of a young girl named Amitie. You'll meet various characters and combat them in a battle of wits, and all you really need to do is eliminate more Puyos than your opponent, the goal being to swarm them with so many Nuisance Puyos that they clog up their screen and they can no longer play.
Puyo Pop Fever features some sharp 2D graphics and some cool looking characters, and the various special effects that occur during gameplay look great on the DS' screens. Unfortunately, the audio isn't nearly as impressive as the visuals. All of the characters feature these annoying voices that went right through me, especially when I was wearing headphones. This shouldn't affect your decision to purchase Puyo Pop, but it's never a good sign when I have to turn down the volume to truly enjoy a game, and that's the case here.
The Nintendo DS is turning out to be a great system for puzzle games and Atlus and Sega's Puyo Pop Fever is a fine addition to the genre. It may feel somewhat familiar if you've played past incarnations of the series, but the multiplayer gaming and the innovative touch screen controls make it much more than a simple port. If you can't wait until Meteos and Polarium makes you cry for your mom give the blobs a go. You won't regret it.
What's Hot: Fantastic multiplayer mode.
What's Not: If you've played one of these games then you've played them all.