Super Puzzle Bobble
|Super Puzzle Bobble|
Altron (GBA Version)
|Publisher(s)||Acclaim Entertainment (North American and European PS2 Version)
Ubi-Soft Entertainment (GBA, PC and Bust-A-Move All Stars)
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 2
October 19, 2001
Super Puzzle Bobble, also released as Super Bust-A-Move in Europe and North America, is a puzzle game developed by Taito Corporation, and released on November 26, 2000 by Acclaim Entertainment for the PlayStation 2 and PC (not to be confused with the arcade entry with the same name). It was later ported to the Game Boy Advance on November 27, 2001. It is a continuation of the Puzzle Bobble game series. It was re-released in Japan-only for the PS2 in 2004 as part of Super Puzzle Bobble DX (along with its sequel), which is Volume 62 of the Japan-exclusive Simple 2000 Series. This compilation includes a few graphical enhancements.
As well as a number of graphical enhancements, Super Puzzle Bobble introduces some new elements to the series (and removes some others):
- Large bubbles are found in certain levels. Shooting a bubble of the same color at them makes every bubble in the level change into that color.
- In some levels, the pointer and the bubbles that are shot are of a very small size, enabling the player to shoot bubbles between small gaps. These bubbles grow into normal size after being clustered.
- Occasionally, a conveyor belt will surround the level. This makes bouncing off the ceiling and the walls significantly tricky, since the bubbles' trajectory will change upon bouncing.
- Levels do not always have the usual rectangular shape. Some of them are jagged or have walls inside them, which forces the player to change strategy.
- Small blocks appear in some levels. They change the bubbles' trajectories, much like walls, but they move down with the level and fall off when they touch the line.
- The pulley system introduced in Puzzle Bobble 4 is nowhere to be seen.
- Chain Reaction is only present in 2P battles, but it is completely optional.
This is the usual single player mode, which places the player in a succession of levels filled with colored bubbles to clear. It is sub-divided into 3 categories:
A sort of tutorial that shows the classic features of the series, as well as the innovations in Super Puzzle Bobble. The guideline is present in all 5 levels.
The new level set for Super Puzzle Bobble, sporting the new features introduced in this game. A second level set can be played via cheat code.
The classic Puzzle Bobble gameplay. Oddly, the levels in this mode are those of Puzzle Bobble 2. Like in Normal mode, a new set can be played via cheat code.
This mode pitches the player in successive battles against the other characters. It's virtually unchanged from past games of the series, but it does not feature the Chain Reaction introduced in Puzzle Bobble 4.
Basically the same as CPU Battle, but for 2 human players instead. Chain Reaction can be activated.
Super Puzzle Bobble introduces a stylized character roster that is almost completely new.
- A purple and yellow kitty with red teardrop-shaped eyes, and (seemingly) wearing a superfluous cat costume and a necktie. Mog appears to be the main character, as (s)he provides the game comments and appears in the Game Over screen.
- Little Atmark (a.k.a. Mr. @)
- A robot that can change into a rocket. Intent on finding its inventor, it forever wanders the land. A distinct quirk about Atmark is that his face/screen always shows expressions through East Asian emoticons (such as ^_^ or ToT).
- A funky little girl who loves to sing and dance. She looks like a pink cat wearing a dress that looks like a slice of watermelon, with star-shaped antennae sticking out of her head. Her head, being flat like a board, has a face on each side (one for when she's happy and one for when she's sad), not unlike the Mayor of Halloween Town from The Nightmare Before Christmas.
- Wolo is a sports-obsessed fellow who stores various things up his oversized sleeves. He is seen playing basketball, riding a skateboard, playing with a yoyo and jumping on a pogo stick.
- Tom & Yam
- Two frog siblings who aim to become the presidents of Frog Kingdom. Tom, the older brother, is brave, but lacks intelligence. Yam, the younger one, is more intelligent, but something of a coward. Yam bears a striking resemblance to Kermit the Frog, and their names are a pun on the name of a Thai soup, Tom Yam.
- Miss T
- A girl shrouded in mystery who is obsessed with her looks. She is a former police officer and was once awarded the Miss Universe title, nowadays working as a freelance detective.
- A fun-loving teenager who enjoys music and video games. Catch can turn into any means of transportation (such as a car or a jetplane). He always carries a heart with him and says Taito's motto whenever he wins ("Catch the heart! Taito!"). Catch has actually already appeared in the series before, as part of the background in some of the levels from Bubble Symphony.
- A strong but kind fellow, obsessed with food and martial arts. Pukadon is most infamous for his general awkwardness and disturbing traits- his head spins a lot, he is flatulent, vomits often, and he appears to have a white, ghostly being inside him. Pukadon might actually be a blue robot, with the ghostly entity being his real self.
- A fashionable old man who aims to take over space by the time he is 2038 years old. Katze is a specialist in hypnosis and various illusionary techniques. He is the "villain" of the game, and the last opponent in the CPU Battle mode. It's possible to play as him after he is defeated.
- Katze's incoherent "watchdog". His body expands and reduces like a balloon, and his arms can sprout into various tentacles. Fungila only ever says his name, and like Katze, he is an unlockable character.
- The protagonists of the Bubble Bobble and the Puzzle Bobble series, ironically reduced to sidekicks in this game. Bub (or Bob, depending on the player) provides the character with bubbles to shoot, and is always present with every character.
- Another secondary character who has appeared in previous games. Chack'n appears inside large bubbles, waiting for the player character to free him.
All-Stars / 3000
Super Puzzle Bobble was ported to the GameCube in 2003, under the name of Super Puzzle Bobble/Bust-A-Move All-Stars, and also simply Bust-A-Move 3000. The game is a direct port, except for the inclusion of new backgrounds. It also features new box artwork, more in line with the in-game artwork. The GameCube All-Stars version has a four player option.
This game marks a complete departure from the original art style in the series. Previous games had anime-looking characters, whereas Super Puzzle Bobble, as well as its sequel, features an original character style. This is the first game since Bubble Bobble where Bub and Bob have their original looks (including the cyan spikes on Bob, which were changed to orange after Bubble Bobble).
The game received varying reviews from most critics, with the PlayStation 2 and PC version receiving substantially lower ratings than the later Game Boy Advance port. The US-NTSC/PAL cover was featured in GameSpy's list of "Top Ten Worst Covers". 
- "GameSpy: Top Ten Worst Covers - Page 2 (from Internet Archive)". Retrieved 11 February 2014.