Capcom Puzzle World Review

Capcom — one of the oldest of the old-school game companies — is polishing their greatest hits and sending them back to us upwards of ten years later. The simple fact that they can get away with this shows the power of their now retro games. Named Capcom Puzzle World, the title comes courtesy of the Generic Title Division of Capcom. But I digress. Despite the bland name, Capcom’s decided to finally return the underground classic hit Super Puzzle Fighter to us, along with some other hit-or-miss titles in one package.

I can recall punishing my friends on Super Puzzle Fighter for hours on end. As this is the most exciting title to be included I’ll get it out of the way first. If you’ve never played it, the best way to describe it is that it’s like a mix of Tetris and a dozen other Dr. Mario-ish spin off clones. You spin sets of gems trying to get the same colors together… simple right? That’s where things get interesting. Since the name of the game is Puzzle FIGHTER, it creates a competition in every game. You always play an opponent; there is no true ‘single player,’ just vs AI or human. Whenever you match colors and clear out sections of your board, it drops ‘unkillable’ gems on your opponent that can’t be destroyed for a few rounds. Then your opponent (if they’re any good) quickly fires off a retaliatory string of combos that fires gems back at you. The result is that it’s one of the fastest, most frantic and unpredictable puzzle games to date. It’s also MUCH better against a live opponent, especially when you let the trash talk flow freely.

The game is also accessorized by the presence of cute chibi-style versions of the Street Fighter (and Darkstalker) characters. You don’t control them, but their actions mimic the onscreen battle giving you a feel that your giant combo is literally kicking the other guy’s ass. The PSP is formatted in widescreen, so the playing field of the fighters is actually bigger and easier to see than in the original. This game is definitely one to wireless challenge your friends with, although sadly there doesn’t seem to be support for internet combat.

Now that we’ve covered the obvious favorite, Capcom decided to chip in and give us a little more than a revamped classic. Several other revamped classics — Super Buster Brothers, Block Block and Buster Buddies — round out the playing field with a little more retro old-school action. All of these share the common ‘simple addictive puzzle’ game staple and in my opinion, none of them match the manic fun of SPF2. However, they’re a nice addition. Buster Bros. has you firing at bubbles that come from *gasp* the top of the screen, like every other game ever. But each bubble splits into smaller versions of themselves when hit, forcing you to play faster and faster. You eventually get to upgrade weapons and face new challenges as well, buts it’s a fairly simple title.

Not as simple as Block Block, however. (Another travesty from the naming department of Capcom rears its ugly head.) This type of game has unfortunately been done to death many times over. You know, one of those games in the style of Brickles, Arkanoid, Alleyway, Bounce and even that stupid Breakout clone on the iPod. Yes the famous, bounce the ball off the bricks overhead (to make them disappear) concept is back with an ugly vengeance. Block Block is easily the most forgettable title in this package. If not for its blatant simplicity and unoriginality, then for its horrid controls. The PSPs controls seem to make the paddle fly across the screen in rapid swooping movements, making it all but impossible to progress very far — unless you’ve filed your fingertips for maximum sensitivity or something odd like that. So unless you’re nostalgic for the truly retro titles, or just a big alleyway fan, you’ll probably try this one and give it a pass pretty quickly.

That’s about the run of things in Capcom’s latest collection. I can’t complain too much, though, as I would happily buy a simple re-release of Super Puzzle Fighter any day, all by itself. So the inclusion of other lesser known puzzlers are a well appreciated addition. To top off the big mix of fun there is of course wireless multiplayer (but not Internet play) and the ability to actually take ‘screenshots’ of your game and save them as files or backgrounds, which is an odd but fun detail. If you’re new to the land of Puzzle Fighter (or Buster Bros.) it’s worth checking out, and if you’ve played them all before back in the day it’s still worth checking out. As long as you enjoy the old-school puzzle games, you’ll enjoy this one.



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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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