Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
|Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo|
Backbone Entertainment (PSN/XBLA)
Virgin Interactive (PAL)
|Platform(s)||Arcade, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Windows, Dreamcast, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Mobile phones|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
|Display||Raster, 384 x 224 pixels (Horizontal), 4096 colors|
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, released in Japan as Super Puzzle Fighter II X (Japanese: スーパーパズルファイターII X), is a one or two player tile-matching puzzle video game first released in 1996 by the Capcom Coin-Op division of Capcom on the CPS II arcade system. The game's title is a parody of Super Street Fighter II Turbo, as there were no other Puzzle Fighter games at the time, and the game includes music and interface elements spoofing the Street Fighter Alpha and Darkstalkers games. It was a response to Sega's Puyo Puyo 2 that had been sweeping the Japanese arcade scene.
A HD-remake version titled Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, is available on Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade and Sony's PlayStation Network. A successor, Puzzle Fighter, was released for mobile devices in 2017.
Puzzle Fighter is a puzzle game which is similar to the Sega arcade game Baku Baku Animal. As in the Capcom arcade game Pnickies, the player controls pairs of blocks ("gems" in game parlance) that drop into a pit-like playfield (twelve blocks tall by six blocks wide, with the fourth column from the left being thirteen blocks high). In Puzzle Fighter, however, gems can only be eliminated by coming into contact with a Crash Gem of the same color, which eliminates all adjacent gems of that color, setting up the potential for huge chain reactions. When gems are eliminated, "garbage blocks" called Counter Gems drop into the opponent's playfield; these will eventually become normal gems, but only after they count down to zero. Most Counter Gems start at "5" and are reduced by one each time a new pair of gems is dropped on that board. The only way to eliminate Counter Gems before they become normal gems is to place a Crash Gem of that color nearby so it eliminates at least one normal gem. If this is done, all Counter Gems immediately adjacent to the Crash Gem will be taken out as well. Additionally, gems of the same color that form squares or rectangles (of at least two blocks tall and wide) in the pit become a giant Power Gem of that size and color; eliminating these as part of a combo increases the number of Counter Gems that would otherwise normally appear on the opponent's board. The only other type of piece to appear is a diamond, which eliminates all the gems—normal, Power, Counter, and Crash alike—of whichever color gem it lands on. (This, too, will cause Counter Gems to appear on the opponent's board. The diamond is supposed to create half the number of Counter Gems as a normal chain reaction. However, there is a bug that allows players to bypass this reduction.) The diamond piece appears every 25 pieces.
Puzzle Fighter borrowed rules originally found in Puyo Puyo 2 called Sousai (Garbage Countering). This will allow a player to counter and negate garbage being sent by the opponent with chains of their own. Sousai can also be used to send garbage back to the opponent, known as Garbage overflow.
During the game, super deformed versions of various characters from Capcom's two main fighting game series (Street Fighter and Darkstalkers) act out a comical battle based on how the game is going. Every time one player sends Counter Gems to his or her opponent, his or her character will perform a typical fighting-game action, anything from a taunt to a special move. The more Counter Gems the player sends over, the "bigger" the move the character will perform. These animations, however, are purely cosmetic and have no actual bearing on the gameplay other than to indicate the magnitude of the counters.
The game continues until one player's field reaches the top of its fourth column (which is where all new gems first appear). That player is the loser.
The Dreamcast version of the game adds three separate modes: X-Mode, Y-Mode, and Z-Mode. Whereas X-mode is the original version of the core game, Y-Mode and Z-Mode have more drastic gameplay changes. Y-Mode makes the gems break as soon as three or more are aligned in a row, column, or diagonally, like in Columns, whereas Z-mode makes lines of gems rise up from the bottom of the screen, and the player controls a 2x2 square cursor, with which he rotates already-placed pieces, similarly to Tetris Attack.
All of the playable characters in Puzzle Fighter (with one exception) are borrowed from Capcom's two major fighting game series, Street Fighter and Darkstalkers. A fighting game using these character sprites called Pocket Fighter was released in 1997.
- Ryu (in his Street Fighter Alpha outfit) (Street Fighter)
- Ken (in his Street Fighter Alpha outfit) (Street Fighter)
- Chun-Li (Street Fighter II)
- Sakura (Street Fighter Alpha 2)
- Morrigan (Darkstalkers)
- Donovan (Night Warriors)
- Hsien-Ko (Night Warriors)
- Felicia (Darkstalkers)
- Akuma (in his Street Fighter Alpha/Street Fighter III outfit) (Super Street Fighter II Turbo)
- Dan (Street Fighter Alpha)
- Devilotte (Cyberbots: Full Metal Madness)
- Mei-Ling (Darkstalkers, Hsien-Ko's twin sister who is actually the talisman on her hat) (console only)
- Anita (Darkstalkers, a young girl who accompanies Donovan wherever he goes) (console only)
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is a downloadable game in the Puzzle Fighter franchise for PlayStation 3 (via PlayStation Network) and Xbox 360 (via Xbox Live Arcade). HD Remix was announced to include several graphical upgrades in the interface, character sprites, and levels.
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix has updated high-definition graphics. Each of the four colours of the gems have been associated with an element and given a new animation. Backgrounds and characters have also been redrawn, while the character sprites have been run through a bilinear filter.
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix supports 4 player in multiplayer, spectator mode, online play and rankings. Also featured are the three gameplay modes included in the Dreamcast version: X-Mode, Y-Mode, and Z-Mode, and an additional X' ("X dash") Mode which rebalances several characters' drop patterns for better competitive play.
Changes from the original
- Several characters were rebalanced by having their gem drop patterns altered.
- Crash Gems now have elemental visual effects associated with them. Red gems are now Fire, Green gems are Wind, Blue gems are Water, and Yellow gems are Lightning. This does not affect gameplay and is purely a visual alteration.
- In the original Puzzle Fighter, the tempo of the music would gradually speed up the closer the player or their opponent was to losing the match. HD Remix does not feature this.
- In addition to the standard difficulty selection (Easy, Normal, and Hard), home console ports of Puzzle Fighter let the player alter the default speed in which gems would fall (marked by a number of stars up to five). This setting was removed for HD Remix.
- New game modes were added. X is the original Puzzle Fighter with original drop patterns, X' is the rebalanced version, Y is a connect-three based variant of the game, and Z is a completely different pre-generated rotating block style game.
- A challenge mode called "Street Puzzle" was available in the original home console ports of Puzzle Fighter. In it, the player was tasked with defeating specific characters as a means to unlock bonus content. HD Remix removes "Street Puzzle" mode entirely, as well as most of the bonus content it would unlock. What little bonus content was not cut from HD Remix is available from the beginning of the game.
- Dan's "Saikyo-Ryu Dojo" Tutorial has been removed, which was an attract demo in the arcade version and a tutorial mode accessible from the main menu in previous home releases. In it, Dan would provide a comedic demonstration to show the player the basics of playing Puzzle Fighter. In HD Remix, it has been replaced with a four-page text-only tutorial under "How to Play" in Options.
- The original Puzzle Fighter contained a number of different "Win Taunts" that a character would pick at random to say to the losing player after a match. HD Remix removes most of the "Win Taunts", leaving only one per character.
- There are a number of palette errors in the sprites themselves. For example, during the Intermission featuring Akuma in his cave, all of the demons in the background have garbled colors.
- The "diamond trick" glitch has been eliminated. Attacks using the diamond are always at 80% strength instead of 50% (used normally) or 100% (using a glitch).
- Ken's stage is now a beach featuring chibi versions of other Street Fighter characters. In the original Puzzle Fighter, his stage was the city street setting from Street Fighter Alpha.
- Ryu's stage is now his snowy stage from Street Fighter Alpha 2. In the original Puzzle Fighter, his stage was a night time version of his stage from Street Fighter Alpha.
- There is now a gem editor mode which allows players to create their own custom drop patterns. The custom patterns are only allowed in specific gameplay modes.
- An online multiplayer function was added.
Reviewing the arcade version, a reviewer for Next Generation commented, "The gameplay is ferociously competitive, unfairly addicting, and as intuitive as riding a bike (once you've got the hang of it), and due to luck factor, the favor swings numerous times from winner to loser and back until the very last gem drops". Additionally praising the cutesy character art and the Capcom in-jokes incorporated into the backgrounds and soundtrack, he scored it four out of five stars.
The Saturn and PlayStation versions received moderately positive reviews. Shawn Smith, Dan Hsu, and Crispin Boyer of Electronic Gaming Monthly commended the game's kid-style characters, addictive gameplay, and elements of fighting game strategy. However, Dan Hsu and Sushi-X both criticized that it is too easy to drop a large number of unremovable blocks on an opponent's side, making the game too unbalanced, and Sushi-X deemed it overall average. Glenn Rubenstein of GameSpot was pleased by the fighting game strategy elements, graphic style, hidden in-jokes and Easter eggs, and replay value, and recommended it for puzzle game fans. GamePro's Para Noid was enthusiastic about the game, writing, "The one-player modes are entertaining, but the two-player head-to-head mode is where you get intense puzzle action, providing hours of enjoyment. Street Fighter and puzzle-game fans alike should definitely give this game a look." Major Mike of the same magazine likewise said that the game is addictive fun, particularly in two-player mode. Unlike Dan Hsu and Sushi-X, a Next Generation critic argued that the ease of dropping stacks of blocks which cannot be removed until they turn back to regular gems adds to the excitement and strategy of the gameplay. However, he criticized the dull-witted battle quips and said the Street Fighter characters are out-of-place, suggesting they had only been included for their marketing value. Contrarily, Stephen Fulljames commented in Sega Saturn Magazine: "Puzzle Fighter's main strength is its World Warrior branding. Without it, it would be just another puzzle game, and a slightly flawed one at that. With it, it becomes an altogether more worthy product." He praised the selectable characters, fighting game elements, various play modes, and graphics, while criticizing the player's overdependence on the appearance of trigger gems.
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