Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey (PS4/PSVR) Review with stream

Puzzle Bobble, aka Bust-A-Move, is the latest long running fan favorite puzzle game to go 3D but does it make the game better and more fun? Well, no. Not really.

Tetris tried going 3D with Tetrisphere on N64 and even 3D Tetris on Virtual Boy and those versions are long forgotten. So I think it was worth an experimental shot to take the classic bubble popping gameplay mechanics of Bust-A-Move to a 3D space but it simply does not work as well. At least, not in this approach.

Instead of moving a needle back and forth to aim upward, one of the Bubble Bobble dragons instead aims a cannon at a clump of floating bubbles, trying to match 3 of the same color with each shot. Eventually, the middle core will be exposed in which the player needs to shoot it regardless of color to finish the stage. It reminds me of 3D Angry Birds.

The main mode of play is a single player experience that tasks the player with finishing each stage in a set amount of time or by clearing all bubbles using a set number of pieces.  Unfortunately, the piece-based stages usually require perfection and perfection requires trial and error to annoyingly high levels. Just watch my stream embedded here to see for yourself.

When you struggle to beat level 11 of 100, there is something not right. Also, the game seems to give you the least needed pieces at the most crucial times. For example, if most of the bubbles are red and green, the game will give you two blues in a row even though there is only one blue bubble in the clump… and it is in the middle so you have no chance at hitting it. 

Aiming is also difficult.  There is a guiding line to indicate direction but is impossible to see when trying to move between clumps of bubbles.  Load times are also stupidly long for a game that is nothing more than static bubbles and multiplayer takes a backseat.  It is compatible with PSVR if you wanted to get nauseous though. 

Ok, it was worth a shot going 3D, it really was, but now we know it doesn’t work as well. So can we please go back to 2D Bust-A-Move?  In fact, I think a Bust-A-Move battle royale mode sounds pretty good right about now.

SCORE: 4/10

Not As Good As: Bust-A-Move ’99 on N64 with 4 players

Doesn’t Make Me Want: Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo 3D

Wait For It: Dr. Mario 3D

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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