|The subtitle just might mean "Large Venture There is No Luck"; then again, it might not.|
The upward-dropping color-matching madcap Vs puzzle action is back, this time with somewhat richer colors, a more mature character art style, more playable characters, and a pseudo-RPG mode where you wander around a small world screen-by-screen in order to find and beat punks in magical drop battles, thus winning big drops with which to take over the world.
Or something. Actually I can't make much out of the ~RPG mode, and I'm not going to stick around (though I hear it's quite short) to try, because everywhere you go you run into pages and pages of unskippable conversations in Japanese. Seriously, you can hit one, and even if you're holding down the Circle button, which skips to the next dialog as soon as the previous one finishes, you can be sitting there for nearly several minutes before you get out of the damn conversation. Ugh!
Fortunately, the other modes are pretty good, though they feel a little less robust for some reason. There's the endless puzzle mode, as in Magical Drop III (see entry 1007). But F doesn't have special items in the playfield, so this mode is a bit more bland on the face of things. Then there's the Vs battle mode, you against a friend, CPU, or (I think) a round-robin tournament. And that's pretty much it.
And Vs battle doesn't even have the cute little animated conversations between battles that MDIII had--just as well, I suppose, since they wouldn't have made them skippable here... Does this game have nothing on its predecessor aside from somewhat richer, if more conservative, graphics?
Fortunately, yes. For one, although there are no special blocks in the game field, the patterns that get thrown at you are more complex, so sometimes you actually have to stop and move stuff around before you can get a combo of three or more drops, which is necessary to clear them out. This didn't really happen so much in the previous game.
Then again, that difference could be due largely to the fact that matches last longer here. Each character gets one or more magic items. In Vs battle modes, these items recharge after a certain number of seconds. The items can do really nasty things, like reverse your opponent's movement, or switch the colors of the drops they pick up, or turn them into a crazed mole (?) who careens back and forth for a while.
If you save these until you're about to get overwhelmed with drops, they'll usually bail you out, at least for a bit, so matches get this real back-and-forth flow to them as the players use their supers to save themselves and simultaneously try to put the opponent away. In MGIII, by contrast, winning is often a steamroller affair of the person who gets off to the fastest start.
So yeah, I like it. Not being able to play the interminable RPG mode, it feels lacking next to the breadth of the massive MGIII...until you really dig down into it and play through battle mode a few times. And then you realize that, simple as it may look, this is a damn nice puzzle game. Really fun in Vs play, too.
|Download added: battle3_lost.gif (125648 bytes)|
"Well, rub it in, why don't you?"
Ah, I forgot to mention that due to the back-and-forth nature of the game, and the fact that the powerups recharge, they put in a limit of 300 rows (I think) of drops to clear per round. If nobody has gone out (had their side filled with dots), the first one to clear 300 lines is the winner.