Review by Psycho Penguin

Reviewed: 12/09/00 | Updated: 01/08/02

Who would have thought blowing bubbles would be so fun?

Bubble Bobble is a very fun and entertaining game released by Taito way back in 1989. It spawned several sequels, including Rainbow Islands. This was one of those games (along with TMNT 2 and Adventure Island) that took up most of my spare time back in the early 90's. Back then, I loved this game, and even thought the game has lost some of its appeal, I still find it enjoyable and play it every once in a while.

The thing that I liked most about the game probably is how damn unique it is. Have you ever played a game in which the main point is to blow bubbles at your enemies, put them in a bubble, then pop the bubble to kill your enemy? I didn't think so. That is one of the best aspects of this game, the fact that it is so unique. There are other fan aspects to the game, of course, but that is probably the main one that stands out above everything else, and makes it stand out as a game I really enjoyed playing.

There is a lot of fun about this game, and I definitely had a really enjoyable time playing through this game. It is simply one of the must fun games I have ever had the privledge of playing. I don't know what it is about this game, but it simply had that strange allure to it that kept me wanting to play this game over and over again. Never in my life would I have thought that I would enjoy a game like this as much as I did, but I enjoyed playing it a lot, and for good reason, because the game is great.

The story line to the game is the same story line as a lot of other games in the time. Yes, you have to save the princess (or in this case, Bub's girlfriend. Or is it Bob? I always get those 2 mixes up!) from the evil dude. This evil dude just happens to be a big old blob that puffs a lot of smoke out and is wearing a green hat or something. It is definitely a rather interesting character design for a final boss. The story line is okay but could have been done a lot better.

The game features pretty good graphics for a NES game. The backgrounds were just black, but each stage had a very different, colorful, and unique design. For instance, one stage you are in a whale, the enxt stage you're in a room shaped like an umbrella. It's great. The enemies are very nicely designed and range from ghosts to whales. I liked the enemy designs in the game a lot, as they were all done really well. The variety of enemy designs in the game was definitely top notch.

I really liked the character designs in the game, despite the fact it was nothing more than the same dinosaur design with different colors. One was green, one was blue. There is nothing radical here, I just liked the character designs, that's all. Sometimes simple is better, and this proved to exactly be the case here, because the character designs were definitely very simple, but they were also pretty darn good in their own special way.

The backgrounds in the game, as I already mentioned, are nothing revolutionary, but are solid enough for me to give special mention to. As I already said earlier, there is basically a black screen with a different design of colored blocks in each screen. Okay, I can live with that. It's not like Bubble Bobble 2 which actually uses actual background designs which include stuff like green garden-like backgrounds, but I am not complaining, because I actually liked the backgrounds in this game, to a certain extent, of course.

The only bad point of the game is that they play the same annoying song every stage!! NOOOOOOO!! Stop that infernal noise!! Yeah, as you could probably tell, I don't really like the music in the game, much, at all. It is the single handed worst thing about the game, and it makes a completely playable game that much less playable. I advise putting the game on mute after a while. At first the music will seem okay and easy enough to listen to, but by the time you get to the 20th stage or so you will be wondering if the infernal noise will ever end!

The sound effects in the game are decent enough but there is nothing extraordinary here. I liked the variety of sound effects in the game a lot, as there were a lot of different sound effects in the game, and they all sounded pretty well done. Most of them ranged from basic stuff like blowing bubbles and the bubbles popping, but I also liked stuff like the sound that played when you used one of those water bubbles to shoot down the stage, and the sound effect that occured when you paused the game. I definitely liked the sound effects in the game.

The control does get a little stiff sometimes, especially when trying to get on a bubble that flies you through the stage, but it's not that big of a deal. I felt it was easy enough to do everything in this game, so I am not going to sit here and complain about some minor problems I found with the control, because it is really not all that bad. Sure, certain aspects could have been improved, but overall I was impressed with the control in this game.

The game play in this game is very fun and unique, to say the absolute least. To kill your enemies, you blow a bubble at them and pop the bubble. Simple as that. You get points by killing the enemies and by collecting items. You can also collect special letters, after spelling out the word you skip a few levels. And speaking of levels, there sure are a lot of them. There are 100 of some difficult levels for crying out loud!!

There is a lot of different stuff to do in this game. There are some bubbles which allow you to zoom through the stage and kill any enemies in the way. Basically, every once in a while you will see a strangely colored dark blue and white bubble that looks a lot different than any other bubble in the game. If you climb on top of this bubble, it will pop and will zoom you through the level, all the way to the bottom, and will automatically kill any enemy in the way. You can jump off the bubble and watch it go down, and it still kills enemies, so that is always a helpful trick.

There are also other aspects to the game, as well. By holding down the jump button you can ride on the bubbles, but the real joy in this game is the sheer number of items you can get in this game. You can get numerous items that instantly kill all the enemies, you can get items that power your bubbles up or make you faster, or you can just get items that make giant fruit appear at the end of the level. Also, if you can make it through a certain amount of levels without dying, you'll have the option of going through hidden doors where you can collect a king's ransom in diamonds.

The two player mode to the game is just fantastic. Unlike most two player games on the NES, Bubble Bobble has a two player cooperative mode that is just fantastic. You and a friend can conquer all of the stages together. You can help each other out, but you can also use the lightning bubbles to hurt each other. And if I am not mistaken, there is a way to steal lives from your friend if you don't have any left. it is definitely a pretty effective way to piss off your friends, but you didn't hear it from me, right? :-)

I never thought I would enjoy a game like this as much as I did, but for some strange reason I found myself enjoying this game a lot. I think it comes down to the combination of the strangely compelling objective of the game, as well as the fun variety of game play that the game provides. Simply out, this game is a blast to play. I really enjoyed playing this game, even though it does have one or two minor problems, which basically come in the replay value department. Let me talk about the replay value of this game now.

After learning you have to beat 100 levels and need two players to get the ''real'' ending, you may want to ditch the game in the Panama Canal. I've enjoyed it for ages, and it has maintained its popularity for years and years. It is not an in-depth game, but it sure is addictive. It definitely has maintained its popularity for a reason, and I believe that reason to be the fact that the game is so much fun to play, and is definitely addictive, even though it is long and quite challenging.

It may look like a kid's game, but it is definitely pretty challenging, to say the absolute least. The biggest thing I can point out when it comes down to the challenge level of this game is the sheer amount of stages that the game provides. Clocking in at 100 levels, this is one of the biggest games featured on the old NES. It really doesn't matter that most of the stages are fairly short and to the point, it just matters that there are a bunch of them, and they get pretty challenging after a while.

Bubble Bobble has its share of problems, and it may look like a kid's game, but it's a very fun game overall and worthy of a three or dollar purchase, without a shadow of a doubt in my mind. I really enjoyed playing this game, as there were a lot of fun aspects to the game that really made it an all time mgreat. The game is still fairly popular after all these years, as it is an Arcade classic, and for good reason. Now if you excuse me, I want to go play some more Bubble Bobble now..

The old Mad TV
-The sound effects in the game are pretty good.
-I really liked the two player cooperative mode of the game.
-And the single player mode is just as fun as the two player mode!
-The variety of game play elements in the game is definitely top notch.
-The replay value in the game is pretty good.
-The game is of the perfect challenge level, despite the large amount of levels.

The new Mad TV
-There certainly are a lot of levels..
-Some of the levels are just plain boring.
-The game can get boring to play after a while.
-The enemy and character designs could have been done better.
-The annoying musical theme of the game gets very repetitive very quickly.

I Run Down the Game... Psycho Penguin Style!
Story Line - 3.8/10
Graphics - 8.1/10
Music - 1.2/10
Sound Effects - 2.7/10
Control - 8.1/10
Game Play - 9.1/10
Replay Value - Above Average
Challenge - Above Average
Game Length - 1-2 Hours
Is this game worth a purchase? - Definitely!
Overall - 8.7/10

The Bottom Line
A lot of people like this game, and for good reason. It is definitely a pretty fun game to play, despite the fact it has some pretty annoying flaws. I definitely enjoyed this game, and I would recommend that buy it if you can find it at a good enough price.

And that's a Psycho Penguin guarantee!

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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