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Review: Bust A Move Bash!

Company: Majesco
System: Nintendo Wii
Release Date: April 2007
Rating: E (Everyone)
Players: 1-8

Description: Launch colourful bubbles to make a match in more than 500 puzzles bursting with challenging fun! The ultimate 8 player bubble bursting bash!

Attempting to capitalize on the popularity of the Bust-A-Move franchise and integrate more of the Wii’s motion-sensitive capabilities into their sparse lineup, Majesco and Nintendo teamed up to give us this, Bust-A-Move Bash!

The basics of game play are held intact. The goal of the game is still to shoot randomized colored bubbles in order to make sets of three, thus eliminating them and keeping the screen from filling up and crushing you. Some changes players will is the addition of new specials such as the slip technique that causes the bubbles to slide along the other bubbles until it hits a matching colour. Though it sounds really neat, you receive this special technique so often that many times you’ll end spending most of the game with this advantage, dramatically destroying any sense of difficulty or required skill. Then on the rare occasion you are without it, many players will find they’ve suddenly been desensitized to the need to perfectly aim and thus difficulty playing arises. Other returning special bubbles include bomb bubbles for destroying anything it touches, the Star bubble that destroys all bubbles of whatever colour it hits on the field and various others with a variety of abilities.

In terms of hardware, playing the main game play using the Wii is simple, though at first may feel almost too sensitive to veteran and new players alike. However players will probably be able to get the hang of and it doesn’t generally cause any real headaches as long as your Wiimote is working properly. The game can be played with the classic Wii Controller for those who prefer controls used in previous console releases of Bust-A-Move.

As you play through the game, be it Puzzle Mode or Endless mode, players will be faced with repetitive levels that do nothing for repeated game play. Even at the game’s highest levels, there is no real challenge and the entire game can be beaten in a very short time. Previous console versions of Bust-A-Move, which had weird stylized creatures for players’ choice, are now replaced with a variety of anime-inspired people, including fairies and a werewolf. The familiar dragons are choosable as characters. They have no storyline and no plot and though Bust-A-Move games don’t rely on such things, in a release like this, which offers nothing else in their place, the lacking story and plot is all the more evident. At the very least the Playstation versions of the game had their weird characters to act as some sort of neat quirk, which doesn’t work in the slightest for these new designs.

Another new addition, placed in simply to take advantage of the Wiimote’s capabilities is Shooting Mode where you simply switch your cursor to the colour you want and go about shooting that colour of bubble off the screen as it flies by. While it may prove a little fun for a while, it quickly becomes just more of the same thing over and over. This same game play is executed much better, and more interestingly, in other games such as WiiPlay. With an automatic locking system, even this simple shoot and hit has the fun sucked out of it.

The greatest change in the game, and also beyond a doubt it’s greatest downfall, is versus mode. The marketing for this game concentrated heavily on the fact up to eight people can play against each other at a time, and though this is true, the versus mode itself is absolute chaos. Generally it can be won by randomly hitting the shoot button with little regard for anything else. Players all share one screen, their little shooter in still positions along the bottom of the screen. The goal is to be the person who hits the most diamond bubbles. With so many special bubbles flying around and flying saucers carrying the diamond bubbles, there’s nothing here to pose any real challenge or entertainment past flashing colours, and even those just become painful very quickly. The previously enjoyed, and much more sense-making version, of versus mode where two people would play the regular game against each other, one players’ good shot causing more bubbles to appear on their opponents screen, is completely absent.

Overall, Bust-A-Move Bash! is a huge disappointment to fans of the franchise eager for a new-generation version of the classic. It’s too easy and too short to play anymore than once, and even that first time through will offer little. The Gallery of unlockable extras is nothing but music and pictures which you see and hear more than enough while playing so they are no insentive. It’s versus mode is ridiculous and loses all appeal after the first discovery of how it works. This reviewer was among the unhappy and has gone back to playing the badly translated, glitchy PS2 version because it still manages to offer more entertainment.

Written by Lissa Pattillo

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she takes great joy in collecting all manners of manga genres, regretting that there's never enough time in the day to review or share them all. Along with reviews, Lissa is responsible for all the news postings to the website and works full time as a web and graphic designer.

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