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PSP Review: Bust-A-Move Ghost (EU)

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Poor Bubblen and Bobblen. Twenty-one years after they first hit the scene in Bubble Bobble, they still haven’t found a cure for their magic-induced dinosaur forms. It must be kind of frustrating for ‘em, poor blighters. I guess the only way to ease their frustrations is to shoot stuff out of a harpoon and bubbles… hence why there’s so many games of Bust-A-Move available for Every Format Under The Sun™. A couple of weeks ago, we were blessed with a Nintendo DS version, and on the 31st March the PSP gets it’s very own edition.

Unlike its Nintendo DS brethren, Bust-A-Move Ghost on the PSP is traditional bubble-bursting action. Simply use the harpoon at the bottom of the screen to fire bubbles into the play area. Connect three bubbles of the same colour to make them disappear. Standard fare for a Bust-A-Move game.

Ghost does have a few extra features that make it stand out from the game on other platforms.

Ghost mode is a completely new twist to the standard puzzle mode. Every time you fail to make a match, your heart meter loses a bar. Lose 5 bars and its game over.

You also have a See-Saw mode, where the screen actually tilts to the left and right, making it harder to line up your shots… but that’s about it.

Unfortunately this game feels almost identical to the Japan launch title Bust-A-Move / Puzzle Bobble Pocket; in fact it uses sprites and music taken directly from it. The only thing they seem to have added is the artwork that surrounds the play area.

What I don’t seem to understand is in the PSP’s multiplayer aspect of the game. The game on the DS had five player download and play, yet on Bust-A-Move Ghost you can have but two players, and only if you both have a copy of the game. Very, very disappointing indeed on a game such as this, which really thrives in its multiplayer modes.

On the whole, issues and missing components from the DS version aside, this is still an enjoyable title. The game play never gets old, even in its umpteenth incarnation, it’s videogame heroine. You could play this game for hours and not get bored of it, yet it’s also simple enough to pick up and play for five minutes while waiting for your bus to arrive. It’s a perfect gaming-on-the-go title.

Basically, if you like puzzle games, Bust-A-Move Ghost will be right up your street if you don’t own another rendition of the game elsewhere. If you have a Nintendo DS as well as a PSP, I’d suggest you pick up the Nintendo DS version instead. You get a lot more bang out of your buck from it.

Bust-A-Move Ghost is rated 3+ by PEGI.

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