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Bubble Bobble also featuring Rainbow Islands
  PS1PlatformerNA  
  opened by paleface at 06:37:13 08/17/03  
  last modified by paleface at 00:13:11 01/30/05  
  paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Platformer; loc=North_America]
           
Three, three, THREE games in one! You've got Bubble Bobble, Rainbow Islands, and "enhanced" Rainbow Islands.
 
Bubble Bobble is my sentimental favorite and yet at first I really didn't like this version--without the NES's horrible slowdown, it felt quite a bit different than my nostalgic memories. More difficult without slowdown too, and you can only continue three times or so before having to restart at level one. Dunno if I'll ever be able to make it all the way through now. After a few plays I've got used to the smooth speed and can enjoy the cute and hard platforming/bubble-blowing action but that stubborn part of me is pouting and saying they could have at least had a "slowdown" option. Oh and a "sprite flicker" option. WAHT A CRAPP P0RT TEHY SUXX!!!
 
Rainbow Islands seems to be similarly slowdown-free but I've never played any other version so no problems there. However, the control took me a bit of getting used to and really I still don't understand why they made the character jump in an inverted "V" shape at odd gravity-defying speeds. Ugh. Took me a while to get in the flow but I seem to be getting there, things also get a lot better as you get powerups that increase your speed, rainbow shot range and speed, etc. Of course, one hit and you lose all the goodies. Oddly, picking up items makes no sound.
 
The color scheme assaults the eyes with a new shocking color scheme on each "island" you come to (light brown platforms on a bright orange background on island 2? What were they smoking?) so every handful of levels is another adjustment period while your pupils contract or dilate as needed. The "enchanced" version saves you from this with a complete graphical overhaul with many more colors and smooth pastel gradations, but in the process loses some of the vibrancy and contrast of the original--your rainbow bridges get a little hard to see, for instance, as they now have a transparency effect on them. I'm torn between the two versions at the moment.
 
Brief gameplay overview: each level is 3+ screens high, you jump your way up or climb up on a succession of the rainbow bridges that you can shoot out to either side of your pudgy boy character. The bridges are shaped like inverted bowls and you can run up to the top, then plant another bridge there, ascend again, and so on. If you jump and land on one without holding jump, though, it dissolves. Of course various little crawling and flying critters get in your way, fortunately you can bop or trap the varmits with rainbows. At the end of every four or five stages you fight a much larger boss critter who can take multiple rainbow hits, then you cross over to the next "island" of stages.
 
Seems to have a pretty steep difficulty curve after the first island. Good hard arcade platform fun, probably pretty wild with two players once you both get used to the freakish jumping physics.
    
references:
· Bubble Bobble Old & New (GBA)
· Bubble Bobble Part 2 (GB)
· Bust-A-Move 4 (DC)
· Liquid Kids (PCE)
· Parasol Stars: The Story of Bubble Bobble III (PCE)
· Taito Legends (PS2)
· Taito Memories: 1st Volume (PS2)

 
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