Super Bust-a-Move

If you have a PS2, a good friend, and you like puzzle games, you might want to give Super Bust-a-Move a chance. Otherwise, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of PS2 games out there more deserving of your time.

During my undergraduate studies, I had a roommate who had taught in Korea, and while there, he had bought numerous pirated games that he could play on his modded Playstation. He had silver disc after silver disc of copied games such as Final Fantasy 7, Intelligent Qube, Tekken 3, and a little puzzle game called Puzzle Bobble. Though I had played Tetris for hours on my original Game Boy, I had never really been a fan of puzzle games, so I really wasn’t going to give this little bubble-bursting game much of a chance. After trying it out, though, I became hooked, and I soon found myself challenging my roommates and even their parents to go head-to-head against me.

Not long after purchasing my Playstation 2, I came across a game in a Best Buy that looked very much like the Puzzle Bobble game I had liked so much. What was strange is that this game was called Super Bust-a-Move. To me, Bust a Move was another one of my roommate’s copied games in which you faced off against the computer or another player in a dance competition—it had nothing to do with bubbles. I soon learned, though, that this was indeed a next-gen version of Puzzle Bobble, which for some reason had picked up the title Bust-a-Move when brought to the U.S. (by the way, Bust a Move changed its name to Bust a Groove due to Puzzle Bobble claiming that name in America).

Remembering the fun I had with Puzzle Bobble, I purchased the game, making it the second addition to my PS2 library (the first being DOA: Hardcore). Though I thought it would be fun to play on my own, my primary reason for buying it was because I believed it would appeal to a girl I was seeing at the time and would be a game we could play together. Strangely, it seems like we never did manage to do so. Oh well, at least I could enjoy a little solo play. This was Super Bust-a-Move. As much as I enjoyed the version I played on the original Playstation, this one had to be better, right?

Sadly, it was not. Something seemed to be lacking. The problem is, I found it hard to tell what that something was.

Perhaps nostalgia intervened and made the first game seem more fun. I’m not sure. The problem is, I found this game rather boring, and it remained in my library collecting dust until I decided to give it another chance recently. Unfortunately, my impression of the game didn’t change.

The game features more characters, different play modes, and enhanced graphics over Puzzle Bobble. The new characters are visually interesting and affect battles against the CPU or another player, but I didn’t really find their addition to contribute much to the overall game. In fact, there were times—such as when Pukadon farts after destroying a group of bubbles—that made me wish I were only playing with Bub and Bob (the two dinosaurs of Bubble Bobble fame). There are three play modes: 1P Puzzle, CPU Battle, and 2P Battle. The 1P Puzzle game has different areas, each marked with a letter. After one area is defeated, you have the choice of choosing between two paths that lead to different areas. To me, this game seemed to drag on and really did not have enough variety to keep me interested. The CPU Battle mode was better, but the matches seemed to pass too quickly to really be intense. The 2P Battles are likely to be where this game will be the most fun, and that mode made justify replaying this game where I feel that the others really don’t. The graphics in this game really vary. The characters are all simple-yet-appealing cartoons, while the backgrounds can range from simple designs to forks and the Statue of Liberty rising out of the ocean (what?).

I really find it hard to recommend this game, even though I believe that there is fun to be had with the 2P Battle mode. If you have a PS2, a good friend, and you like puzzle games, you might want to give Super Bust-a-Move a chance. Otherwise, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of PS2 games out there more deserving of your time.

Not recommended

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