Review by Toejam

Reviewed: 01/09/01 | Updated: 01/09/01

Arcade platforming at its best. Taito, you've done it again.

First came Bubble Bobble. Bub and Bob, the two little dinosaurs from who-knows-where, must blow bubbles (or belch them, from what the game suggests) at their enemies, thus trapping them inside, somehow. After that is done, the dinos must pop the bubbles, and all of the others on the screen to complete the level. It instantly was an arcade classic. Now the little dudes are taking a break, and letting some other ... erm, creatures... to charm the public.
This is yet another game that I've reviewed that nobody has ever heard of, but I don't mind it. Anyway, this is a lot like Bubble Bobble, but with major facelifts in every aspect. You control a little... eh... black and grey-colored.. er... creature, named Hipopo.. and you go on a mission to, like his dinosaur cousins, destroy his foes by making bubbles. When you hit an enemy with a bubble-esque sphere (a Mizubaku, thus the title Mizubaku Adventure in Japan) created by only your hand-things, it freezes, like the ball was made of ice. Then you tap them, and they fly across the path, killing everything along the way. In a way, the frozen enemies are like the Koopa shells in the old Mario games.
Anyway, you have the ability to make huge water-spheres, which can kill more enemies simultaneously, and are more effective in the boss battles. You go through level after fun-filled level, killing enemies with your gushes of water. The boss encounters are a little on the easy side, but the game is very well-balanced.
The graphics in this game are excellent - almost better than an SNES game for this time. The sprites in this game are very bright, colorful, and detailed. After you throw a Mizubaku, water flows from out of the ball (like normal running water) and down the platforms, which looks like actual running water! The bosses are huge and take up at least 2/3 of the screen, which is a good thing. There is no slow-down at all whatsoever, which makes this one a good 'un, pal.
The game's audio goes beyond the expectations of what Taito gave for itself at that time. The music is very well-done. The sound is actually quite good as well. The ''insert coin'' sound is a pebble tossed into the water. Quite nifty.
The gameplay may sound tough on paper (at least it was for me to explain it), but when you get down to it, it's platforming at its best. It's not a rip-off, it's not the third in a series, and best of all, it's FUN! The graphics are top-notch and the sound is just right, so I give this one a nine. A good way to use your quarter! (or a Sega Saturn disc, or a few megabytes in the case of arcade emulation.)

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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