Bust a Move DS
All these Bust-a-Move games prove one thing. Taito loves balls.
Super Mario 64 DS' mini games are fantastic because they make excellent use of the touch screen. In particular, I'm quite fond of the Missile Command inspired mini game where you pull pack on a sling shot and take out parachuting Bomb Ombs. It's great stuff that has been carried over to Majesco and Taito's Bust-a-Move DS, a game that features a wealth of content, cute and cuddly characters, and excellent touch screen controls.
All of the games in this series charge you with clearing multicolored balls from the screen by shooting similarly colored balls at them, so the object is to line up three of the same color and doing this causes them to disappear. The DS version continues this trend, but it encourages the user to abandon the stiff d-pad controls and instead opt to use the touch screen, which allows you to, using the stylus, pull back on a slight shot, line up an angle, and let her rip. It's not the most user friendly system because the slightest movement can throw off your aim, but it's a refreshing way to play what's really a very old and tired franchise, one that was in need of a rebirth. That's not to say that the DS incarnation is the second coming (Bust-a-Move is seriously played out), but it's the most exciting edition to come out in years.
This game's also highly addictive and lengthy. Two hundred and fifty puzzles await you in the single player mode and when you polish off those bad boys you'll unlock 250 more, so there's a hell of a lot of replay value. Plus, you can play with up to four other people using a single copy of the game and all of those modes are entertaining as well.
Bust-a-Move DS' presentation is a bit subdued compared to its console counterparts but it still carries an extremely bright and cheery tone. The main stars of the franchise, Bub and Bob (of Bubble Bobble fame) make an appearance as well as other zany characters such as the demon Dev, the teddy bear Willy, a couple ninjas, and some sorcerers (as well as a bonus character that you'll need to unlock). But no matter how evil some of these critters look they're all undeniably cute. In fact, the entire game is just loaded with happiness, complimented by the cheery soundtrack that, while I'm sure it'll annoy quite a few people, is quite catchy.
It's obvious that Taito's plan to achieve world domination is by releasing a Bust-A-Move for every single system on the planet, and while my love for this series began to wane quite some time ago the DS version has partially rekindled my interest. It's just a good, entertaining puzzle game that manages to somewhat stand out from its predecessors, and it's worth buying if you love the franchise or need a fun videogame to keep you busy.
What's Hot: The touch screen control, which is the only thing that's interesting about this game.
What's Not: Trying to launch balls while on a plane, which really sucks...really sucks...well...you know.