Bubble Bobble was originally an entertaining arcade game from the mid-eighties. It was so popular in fact that it spawned a spinoff series called Rainbow Islands. In the series you followed two brothers, Bub and Bob, as they try to rescue missing friends. It was pretty simple fare with mildly easy puzzles to figure out while beating up bad guys as you progressed through the 100 levels. So, fast forward to today and Bubble Bobble Revolution, a reimagining of the original title with updated graphics, moves, items and puzzles. What we end up with is a dissapointing remake attached to the classic title.

I’ve played a lot of DS games in the last year, and I can safely say that Bubble Bobble Revolution has some of the ugliest graphics I’ve laid eyes on. They’ve taken the classic Bub and Bob characters, fattened them up and then dropped them down the ugly tree, and they’ve hit every branch. It may just be me, but you don’t take classic characters and change them completely for the sake of a new look.

I really had higher expectations for this title, and maybe they were misplaced. The graphics don’t even reach plausible 16-bit levels, the stages are drab, monsters look bad and there are little to no effects. If you really want to see the highlight of this series, go find a copy of Parasol Stars and see what a developer can do when they understand the series.

Unfortunately there’s nothing special about the soundtrack here. Gone is the charming music from all the past titles in the series. In its place is lame remakes that make you want to run a cheese grater over your ears, or just turn off the sound on the DS.

Just as with every other aspect of the title, control is a mixed bag that really falls short. Your actions and button presses don’t respond fast, sometimes they don’t even register and the characters are too slow to move around making the game tougher than it needs to be.

The basic gameplay of the Bubble Bobble series revolves around taking Bub or Bob and solving “puzzles” across a variety of stages. Puzzles generally consist on figuring out how to make it to the enemies and shooting them with bubbles and then jumping on them to kill them. Every ten stages or so you run into a boss that’s really just a big monster and nothing too troubling.

The problem with the game is that the solutions are rarely intuitive or fun. On top of that, the one DS functionality they added, blowing on the mic., to make fans spin, is never used to any real effect. There were even stages that the game just skipped right over! Nothing says fun like not having to do anything to complete a game. To add insult to injury, the game has a show stopping bug at level 30. There’s supposed to be a boss and there is none! You can’t die or do anything to reset the game other than quit all together. I checked around the web and this looks to be a similar fate to all people who wanted this game. It’s unfortunate because the game may have gotten better after 30, but I considered it a blessing to not have to keep plugging through it.

Well, if you’ve made it this far you’re probably wondering what kind of value could there possibly be? You’d be right to a degree of course, but the classic Bubble Bobble is still fun for nostalgia’s sake. However, after about 15 minutes you realize that the original gameplay from the 80’s was great then it’s just as boring as an episode of I love the 80’s on VH1 now.This game coulda been a contender. It had nostalgia going for it, a hot new system and a chance to try something different. Unfortunately, nostalgia rarely holds up, they couldn’t even implement the new system’s features and instead of taking something old and reinventing it they made a broken version of a classic game with graphics that have no character. Unless you absolutely have to have a classic copy of Bubble Bobble then stay away from this.

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