Puyo Pop Fever for Nintendo DS is another falling puzzle game in the vain of Tetris, Dr. Mario, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, etc. It reminds me the most of Super Puzzle Fighters II Turbo because it has animated characters pulling off special moves as you create combos of four or more globs of colored goop called puyo with no “S” in the singular or plural version of the word. Instead of the gems or colored blocks in other puzzle games, Puyo Pop Fever uses puyo for its falling puzzle combo creating fun.Puyo Pop Fever’s graphics are colorful and well animated, but how much can you really do with a falling puzzle game? The characters you choose have an anime style to them and each character has a different style of gameplay they are skilled in. Some of the characters are well-balanced, others like to pull off constant Fever mode and others go for the big combos. With a good selection of characters you should be able to find one that fits your style and taste. Some of your choices include a few anime stereotypical girls, a cat, a bunny type creature, Frankensteins, a big guy, and more. All of them have brightly colored clothing on them that match the colorful puyo that will be falling down the screen at a fevered pace. I enjoyed the bright colored graphics and SEGA took advantage of the Nintendo DS’s dual screens to show the puzzle falling action on the top screen and semi-animated characters battling on the bottom. I have to admit though that I hardly ever looked at the stuff happening on the bottom screen because I was too busy trying to figure out where to place the next puyo coming down the screen to win the match.
That leads me into how Puyo Pop Fever uses the dual-screen display and touch screen on the Nintendo DS. As I said above, some of the less important stuff happens on the bottom screen and I really don’t think it would hurt the game even if it wasn’t there. Actually, that stuff is not shown on the GameCube version of Puyo Pop Fever and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything when playing that version. Puyo Pop Fever also uses the dual-screen display to show the other players’ screens in 4 and 8-player multiplayer games. This was cool and the amount of stuff happening on both screens in the 8-player multiplayer mode is kind of insane. The touch screen can also be used to control the game instead of using the digital pad and A and B buttons, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I tried to play the game with the stylus and the plastic thumb piece on the DS’s strap and neither worked as well as the good old digital pad and buttons. So, the touch screen controls are a nice added bonus but they are not very functional.
By the way, Puyo Pop Fever for the Nintendo DS is pretty much the exact same game as the version for Nintendo GameCube. I am also guessing the other console versions are also very similar. The only things that I noticed different between the Nintendo DS and GameCube version was the extra dual-screen animation and the 8-player multiplayer option on the Nintendo DS instead of just 2-player on the GameCube. The story and dialog were exactly the same on both versions. This is good and bad I guess. It is cool that you can get the GameCube version of the game on Nintendo DS, but if you already own the GameCube or another console version you may feel a sense of déjà vu when playing the Nintendo DS version of Puyo Pop Fever.
Puyo Pop Fever’s music and sound effects also match the games bright colors and cute characters. The music is light-hearted and has a midi digital synthesized sound to it. It fits well with the theme of the game and adds a nice backdrop while you are frantically putting puzzle pieces together. The sound effect are limited but done well and expect to here the puyo popping when you create a set of four or more. All of the dialog in the game is spoken as long as written which is a nice added touch and the voice acting fit’s the anime theme of the game.
Multiple game modes are available in Puyo Pop Fever to keep you busy. There is a story mode that is called Single Puyo Pop mode and only includes 19 stages in it and it is kind of short. The story is also kind of hokey but what you would expect in an anime style puzzle game. There is also Free Battle mode within this mode that lets you play any of the characters in the game in a single match. Then, when you are done with the story mode you can play the Endless Puyo Pop mode that includes Fever, Mission, and Original modes. Fever mode starts you in Fever mode within the game and you have to continue getting chains so that the time doesn’t run out. Mission mode has you performing different tasks before time runs out. These task include getting a certain number of chains and clearing multiple colors at once and may sound easy but they can be very challenging. The last mode under Endless Puyo Pop is Original and it will remind you of the classic Tetris game where you just try to keep clearing puyo as you proceed through the stages and the puyo start falling faster and faster. This mode can keep you busy for awhile and if you liked this style of gameplay in Tetris then you should feel right at home.
The last selection you have in Puyo Pop Fever is Everybody Puyo Pop where you can compete against your friends that have Nintendo DS systems even if they do not have the game. You can also play in this mode versus up to 7 human or computer opponents. The options under this mode allow you to create a game room and allow everyone to connect to you via the built-in wireless communication of the Nintendo DS or you can join someone else’s room they have created on their DS for multiplayer action. There is also a DS Download Play option, which allows you to let up to 7 of your friends download the game to their DS units, so they can play even if they don’t have Puyo Pop Fever. There are also multiple modes you can choose from under multiplayer mode and you can a even modify the rules to your liking if you want. I wasn’t able to try the multiplayer mode with two or more Nintendo DS systems but I tried it versus seven CPU opponents and it is kind of insane. I can only imagine what it would be like if you had seven friends in a room yelling and screaming at each other as you dump nuisance puyo, clear puyo that don’t go away until you pull off a chain next to them, on each other’s screens as you pull of chains and combos on yours.
Puyo Pop Fever is a nice little puzzle game that is easy to pick up and play and has bright colorful graphics that should appeal to people of all ages. The story is kind of strange and not real long but the characters choices are amusing and add variety to the game. Puyo Pop has been around for awhile and has been on multiple system, so you know it is a classic. The only minor problem I have with the game is that it is not much different than the home console version of the same name, so if you have home version you may get bored with this one easily. But, if you haven’t play the console version previously and are looking for a fun and entertaining puzzle game that you can play by yourself or with up to seven of your Nintendo DS owning friends, then you can go wrong with Puyo Pop Fever for Nintendo DS.
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