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Puyo Pop Fever Package Art
 GENRE
  Puzzle
 DEVELOPER
  Sonic Team
 PUBLISHER
  Sega
 NUMBER OF PLAYERS
  1-2
 CONNECTIVITY
  no
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Puyo Pop Fever

Gamers first caught a glimpse of the Puyo Pop series with Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine on the Sega Genesis, back in the 16-bit era. Many hadn’t even heard of Puyo Pop before, but it was developing into quite the craze in Japan. Sega and Sonic Team have been gracious enough to bring Puyo Pop Fever to the states on the GameCube. It’s no surprise since they have all sorts of love for Nintendo’s console, especially after the release of Sonic Adventure 2 Battle and Sonic Adventure DX. Fans of the developer have been waiting for this game for some time now, even if Sega has been quiet about it for the past few months. Thankfully, they’ve delivered a fun puzzle game that hasn’t reached the mainstream as much as it did back in the early 90’s. It won’t hold your attention for too long, but at least it’s better than other modern puzzle games such as Jaleco’s Super Bubble Pop.

visuals

The world of Puyo Pop Fever is filled with vibrant colors. From the characters to the scenery, everything is bright and vivacious. You're offered a variety of hand-drawn 2D challengers in your quests that are cheerfully dressed with cute anime-inspired expressions. The large-eyed Puyo Pop blobs offer a comical twist to the usual balls or blocks you find in puzzle games. In fact, these blobs are the only characters that actually animate. The characters in the game simply switch to different sprites to convey emotions or celebrate.

While playing through Story mode, you’ll see a few cut scenes here and there wherein your character and a challenger begin to speak with each other. It isn’t as well produced as modern platforming or action titles, but it gets the job done for a puzzle game.

Once you spark into fever mode, the background switches to bright, swirling colors and the puyos become more vivid and animated when they’re popped. All in all, the game simply oozes with cuteness.

audio

The sound effects are minimal, but they’re produced rather well. The voice acting is exceedingly cute and a bit overly annoying. Every time you clear your blobs you'll hear your character chime in again and again with the same phrases. In the single-player Story mode you're stuck with Amitie the whole time, so hearing her endless cheers of enthusiasm for clearing your screen can get pretty tiresome. While the character voices are somewhat lacking, the music is fun and sets the mood for speed. The game's music is peppy and upbeat, matching the bright environment. Fast paced beats get you going while playing, especially when fever mode kicks in. Frankly, you’d be better off with a pair of headphones and an awesome soundtrack from your favorite anime.

gameplay

The game plays smoothly and offers a fair amount of challenge, even if you’re just jumping in for a quick game. The main objective is to link your puyos up according to their color scheme. Once you get four linked together, they’ll pop. Hence the phrase Puyo Pop. Once your Fever Count is full, you’ll then see how Fever mode comes into play. You’ll get a large drop of puyos and you’re given just two colored puyos in order to eliminate as many them as you can.

Opponents start off fairly easy in Story mode and increase in difficulty the farther along you go. You can also adjust the difficulty settings as well as fever modes in the options menu. The option to play in the "endless" Puyo Pop mode is great for building up strategies and play techniques. While the Story mode is fairly short, it's still enjoyable and helps to train you in the ways of the game. You'll soon be learning how to create high scoring chains and send a blizzard of "nuisance puyo" at your opponent. Nuisance puyo are blobs that don’t have a particular color and are just there to make your opponent’s life miserable until they finally get a chain going.

multiplayer

You can also play against a friend in the two-player modes. You're able to adjust the settings to pick the type of Puyo Pop Fever play you desire or pick from the ready made modes. You're offered the standard Puyo Pop with fever mode, standard play without the fever mode, and an all fever mode play which offers fast paced screen clearing action! Although the multiplayer modes are fun, it would be more enjoyable if they offered you the chance to play against more than one other person.

overall

I've been a fan of puzzle games since I started gaming and found Puyo Pop Fever to be quite enjoyable. The bright, cheerful characters are cute and quirky and the overall setting is pleasant. Unfortunately, the game gets tiresome after just a couple hours of playtime and sits on the shelf in favor of other more action-packed games.

Puyo Pop Fever probably won't stand the test of time as a must-have for your video game collection, but it's definitely something fun to try out and play with a friend. If you’re a fan of the franchise or puzzle games overall, there’s no reason you shouldn’t check out the latest from Sonic Team.

final score 7.3/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Charlotte Flam
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"If you stop dreaming, you kill your hopes... and without hope, what is there?"


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