Puyo Pop Fever (GameCube) – Let’s Play 1001 Games – Episode 728
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I’m Gaming Jay: Youtube gamer, let’s player, fan of retro games, and determined optimist… Join me in this series while I try out EACH of the video games in the book 1001 VIDEO GAMES YOU MUST PLAY BEFORE YOU DIE, before I die. The game review for each game will focus on the question of whether you MUST play this game before you die. But to be honest, the game review parts are just for fun, and are not meant to be definitive, in depth reviews; this series is more about the YouTube gamer journey itself. From Mario games to the Halo series, from arcade games to Commodore 64, PC games to the NES and Sega Genesis, Playstation to the Xbox, let’s play those classic retro games that we grew up with, have fond memories of, or heard of but never got a chance to try! And with that said, the game review for today is…
Puyo Pop Fever
Puyo Pop Fever (ぷよぷよフィーバー, Puyopuyo Fībā) is a puzzle video game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. It is the fifth main installment in the Puyo Puyo puzzle game series and the second Puyo Puyo game to be programmed by Sonic Team after Puyo Pop (which was released just after the series’ original developer, Compile, went bankrupt). This was the start of the “reboot” series of the Puyo Puyo franchise, with a new plot discussing how Accord lost the flying cane. Sega, which acquired the series’ rights from Compile in 1998, published all the Japanese releases of the game, and also published the arcade and GameCube versions internationally. The game was scarcely released internationally, and certain versions were released by other publishers in those areas. Only the arcade, GameCube, and Nintendo DS versions were released in North America. Europe received all three versions plus the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, and PlayStation Portable versions. The Dreamcast version, released exclusively in Japan, was the last Dreamcast game developed by Sonic Team, as well as the last first-party title released on the platform. It was ported from the arcade version. The Dreamcast version is the only console version to use sprites in place of 3D models.
The basic game mechanics are mainly similar to those of Puyo Puyo: the player has a 6×12 board, and must decide where to place incoming groups of variously-colored blobs, or puyo. After placing each set of puyo, any groups of four or more of the same colored adjacent puyo will pop. Any above will fall down and can form more groups for a chain reaction.
Each time groups of puyo pop, the player will score points and send “trash” (aka “garbage” and “nuisance”) to their opponent. Garbage temporarily gets stored in a bar above the playfield, represented by symbols and warning the player of an incoming amount of garbage. These trash puyo are colorless and will only pop when puyo next to them do so, rather than in groups as normal. These will only fall if the player fails to make a chain, and trash falls in groups of 30 (one rock) at a time. When a player’s board fills up, either if they cannot make groups or if they are sent a large amount of trash (usually the latter), they lose and the other player will win.
A new addition to the game mechanics is Fever mode. Fever mode occurs when a bar in the middle of the screen is filled up. To fill the bar, one must offset (or counterattack) the trash being sent to the field by the opponent. Every chain, which is a single popping of puyo, will fill one space in the fever meter until it is full, which is when fever activates. In fever mode, a pre-designed chain will fall onto an empty field. In a limited amount of time, one must find a trigger point in the puzzle, which will cause a large chain to go off and attack the opponent. Once a chain is made, another puzzle falls, bigger and more complicated than the previous one. This keeps occurring until time runs out, then it returns the player to their original field.
The Nintendo DS version supports 2 to 8 players, as opposed to the others which only support 2 or 4. In this mode, one can play as any available character.
There is also an endless mode, where one can practice fever mode, complete small tasks as they are given, or play the original game. However, the grid and all clear rules remain the same as they do in fever, so it’s not exactly classic.