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Nintendo DS Review: Bust-A-Move DS (EU)

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There are some games throughout history that we as gamers will never tire of.

Mario, Tetris, and Space Invaders are just a handful that all gamers love with each and every incarnation that the developers write.

Bust-A-Move is another one of those games we never seem to tire of. It’s been released on every format imaginable over the years, and is especially popular on mobile systems like cellular phones and handheld gaming systems. Even though the title never really adapts or evolves, people are always happy to shell out money for new puzzles and more play options. I guess if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

Now, for the first time in many a year, Bust-A-Move has been upgraded.

In Bust-A-Move DS, instead of using a harpoon to fire up bubbles to make rows of three to remove them from the playfield, Taito have replaced it with a catapult that uses the touch screen aspects of the Nintendo DS to great effect.

Instead of simply lining up your shots and hitting the shoot button like all previous Bust-A-Move games, you now have to pull the bubble back with your stylus on the bottom screen, aim it left and right, and fling it upwards into the top screen at your designated target. You can also switch bubbles with an alternate bubble when times get tough by tapping on the bubble in your stocks on the left quadrant of the touch screen, which adds new strategy to the game. While this new play mechanic takes time to get accustomed to, personally after a few days of playing it alongside other versions of the game, I actually prefer the control system on this one.

Aside from the new controls, this is still original flavour Bust-A-Move aside from now you can play with up to four other players using a single copy of the game. Yep, five player bubble popping carnage is a nice feature indeed, and fills out the game nicely, but there are a few things that need revamping.

It uses the same sprites and animations as previous games in the series, the same sound effects, and a cast of mostly the same characters. While all of these are functional, I feel that with the evolution of control mechanics on the DS they should have also evolved the graphics. Bust-A-Move DS looks hardly any better than the 1989 original game, which is a great shame. Also, the sound is still horribly twee and only has a short track length before looping over and over and over again. The music wouldn’t sound out of place on a 16-Bit machine, and will probably have most of you reaching for the lower volume control slider in next to no time.

[ADBLOCKHERE]Having said that, graphics and sound don’t detract from the game play experience too much in a game like this. As I said before, this is still traditional Bust-A-Move at heart, and therefore will have you hooked to you Nintendo DS for a long time to come. If you like Bust-A-Move, then this version won’t disappoint you. If you like puzzle games, or are looking for a simple, fun game to spend your time with, Bust-A-Move DS is a game worthy to put in your library… but if you’re looking for something innovative that shows off the Nintendo DS’s prowess, then you certainly won’t find it here.

Bust-A-Move DS is a rated 3+ by the PEGI.

Bust-A-Move DS is a rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB.

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