Review by 2001mark

Reviewed: 10/15/18

Great arcade fun on NES

- Bubble Bobble seems to share most of the best traits of the golden age of arcade gaming. The fast pace, the plethora of different level designs, & the nice fun graphics. I don't remember it becoming as popular until it reached the NES, yet it does seem like a perfect marriage between arcade & 8-bit console.
- As proven by the NES Classic HDMI pixel perfect mode, BB's sprites are pitch perfect for the NES. Nice bright colourful characters & objects, bold & easy on the eyes. The game feels fun because its visuals seem so welcoming.
- Nice controls, it's a well thought out game which works great on the NES gamepad. Normally, golden age arcade titles may feel stranger using the d-pad, BB on the other hand probably thrives I think because of it.
- Cliché, but the game is a ton of fun. It's got a fun sense of charm later exhibited by the likes of Kirby &/or Sonic. I think the characters movements feel more fluid & looser than more rigid classics like Pac-Man or Donkey Kong, whose controls feel stiffer on NES than arcade joystick.
- Quite forgiving A.I., the game never feels cheap or designed to steal quarters for longer play like its arcade kin.

- BB can sometimes start to feel repetitive & redundant. Not always. Though sometimes, the different levels can all start to feel the same, which I suppose is partially by design. I guess I find myself tuning out earlier than I'd for many other games of its ilk. Maybe I know my Pac-Man & Galaga sessions will be short ones, where BB I probably feel like more time is needed to invest for payoffs.

My personal experience with Bubble Bobble...
I knew kids at school who owned & played it, I think I only ever did at arcades later on when tinkering with golden age games as filler in between more advanced early 90's stuff. Playing again (for the first time as it were) on NES Classic has been great fun. Nintendo's 'pixel perfect' mode for HDMI NES gaming, Bubble Bobble might be their finest demonstration. The 8-bit sprites really shine on big screen HD. The actual gameplay can sometimes feel like Pac-Man on drugs, a fun escape of a game, which could be what its developers had in mind?! Not sure what much else to add, its simplicity also proves its greatness - not every title need be game changing or translated from arcade version steeped in history & lore.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: Bubble Bobble (US, 11/30/88)

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