Review by Koretetsu
Sega, taking over from Compile, decided to release a game that fused the worlds of Puyo Puyo and Puyo Puyo 2 with Puyo Puyo Fever, and to their credit, pulled it off.
The graphics are super, so much cleaner than the other two Fever games. Characters look really good and the animations are very well done. You can see how smooth they are throughout the entire game. The character select is very well laid out, and the options are pretty easy to get around too. You can even select what Puyos you want to use, ranging from original, to MSX original, to Humans, to Fever... with so many more to choose from, even those presets from Super Puyo Puyo 2 Remix. This is real fun. The shaking grid in Fever adds effect as you send chains, and the new Fever chains will add a completely different spin on the game, making it harder to clear rather than easier, adding to a challenge.
The gameplay is spot on. The different modes used, fused together as you select which rules to play when you face someone, is fantastic. It really is sublime. The AI is also very good. Despite the poor AI in Puyo Puyo Fever 2, Sega took the time to redo it and it is far more efficient than that even in Puyo Puyo Fever.
The music compliments the game in every possible way, bringing about some well designed mixes, remixes, and original pieces scored together. There are 23 tracks to choose from, almost as if each of the 22 characters had their own battle theme (together with the Puyo Puyo 2 theme). The instruments are cleaner, and it bodes really well with the system.
The voicing is trademark Sega, having bought more people to voice rather than just the J-Pop artist Aya Matsuura. The six classic characters brought back have also been voiced very well. It's not some done over job with Puyo Fever 1 and Fever 2 voices, fused with some leftovers from the older games. Sega really have nailed their Seiyuu on this one.
The different game modes add so much fun. As well as your normal Puyo Puyo rules, Puyo Puyo 2 rules, and your Puyo Puyo Fever rules, modes such as Submerged adds a completely different spin on how to chain; Infinite Fever can make for some long-winded matches between people, even with a garbage limit of 3 comets; Nazo Puyo mode forces the players to match certain criteria the fastest before the player can win; Treasure Mode, adapted from Puyo Puyo BOX, is similar to Flash Columns in the respect that whoever erases the Star Item first will send uncounterable garbage to the opponent; Flip-Grid rules forces the grid to flip 180 degrees every 10 seconds, and chains erased after the grid has been flipped will become powered; Giant Puyo mode, reminiscent of Puyo Puyo~n, allows the puyos to be cleared on a 3x6 grid; The Bomb Puyo mode allows bomb garbage to fall on the grid, then after a certain amount of drops, they'll explode and turn its surroundings into Hard Puyos, and perhaps the most fun mode is Colour Pattern Rules, where, like Puzzle Fighter of all games, the player sends counter-patterns as garbage to the opponents, and after three turns, the puyos become useable.
Multiplayer brings out the best desired results. You can play 1-8 players via single cart or multicart, as well as playing 1-8 players against COM without the need of LAN play. The only form of negativity from Multiplayer is that there are no special modes for 8 player matches, only those of Puyo 1, 2, and Fever. COMs can substitute for vacant players as before.
The Wi-Fi has the ability to play with up to 4 other people in either Puyo Puyo 2 rules or Puyo Puyo Fever rules. While it has the same problems as MarioKart DS does (so to speak, you gain losses if people disconnect, and you may lose a rank if everyone disconnects), it doesn't lag much and is generally fun to play. You can add friends and rivals to the game, as well as play people worldwide.
The real criticism is that due to a coding error, Sega released the first batch of games with a savegame bug. This only allows a maximum of 255 saves before the game can no longer save and progress is lost. Thankfully, the game only saves upon completing a quest, unlocking characters and modes, getting high scores and completing puzzles, and winning matches online. Sega have asked for a product recall, releasing the fixed copies of the game in January, and in response released the Master Code that unlocks everything, spoiling it for some. Despite this, it hasn't changed the scope on what the game is about. It's about having fun without the competition, and about experiencing a display of modes aiming for people to try something new.
It gets a well deserved, well respected 9/10, and is worth buying. You can play it for yourself, but it truly is a super game. This'll even break the walls between those that do play. and those that don't. If you're affected by the first batch then do inquire about a product recall from wherever you bought it from.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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