| paleface [sys=GB; cat=Platformer; loc=NA] |
|Reference added: 643|
"The handheld Bubble Bobbles, "Part 2" (GB) and "Old & New" (GBA&"
All this is is one of the darn finest little platformers ever to grace the GameBoy. According to bubandbob.com, "Bubble Bobble Part 2" (NES and GB) is actually the fifth game in the Bubble Bobble series, and I think the first designed solely for home systems. Natsume published it for Taito in the States.
The first thing I noticed is that unlike other games in the series, the level is larger than what you can see onscreen at one time--sorta like the zoomed-in view in Bubble Bobble Old & New (see entry 643), only moreso. You can't zoom out here as you can in the GBA game, but fortunately you can pan the screen around while the game is paused. Although actually I don't find myself needing to do that all that much while playing.
After memories of the sluggish NES Bubble Bobble, BBP2's decent framerate was rather a surprise. The graphics are quite good for the GB, in fact, with lots of bubbles onscreen at once, big backgrounds, fast-moving badguys, nicely-animating sprites and some reasonably large bosses.
Sound and music are not so good, however--the single short repeating music clip doesn't sound that great in the first place and wears out its welcome quickly, and many of the normal BB sound effects, especially when popping bubbles, are missing or very muted.
The game sports a couple system changes over regular Bubble Bobble. You can take three hits per life now, which makes the game feel easy, at least at first. But the major gameplay change is the charge function on the "bubble" button: holding it down charges a meter up and ultimately surrounds your little dino in a large bubble, which he can then use to float around the level. Whee! So you can get anywhere pretty easily, aside from having to wait for the brief charge time on creating the bubble. This of course opens up a lot of new platforming options, which Taito did not neglect to exploit with treacherous and snakey level designs and spike traps. Good stuff.
The only sorta letdown is the lack of a save feature, but you do at least get a password for the last "checkpoint" stage, whatever that was. But of course you should be hardcore and play through from the beginning each time to get that single-credit clear. Actually, I have no idea how many stages there are here, I've only got to 20 or so. GameFAQs indicates that the NES version had about 80 levels.
Oh, gameplay. Well, aside from floating around, it's just like Bubble Bobble, where you clear a stage by shooting the baddies with your bubble spit, then popping their floating imprisoning bubble. Popped bubbles drop powerup/point items. And there you go. Oh, one thing here is that you get a lot longer time to collect the pickups before the game advances to the next stage, which is nice. If you get them all (or something) you sometimes get a super big powerup dropping down in the middle of the screen--get this and you are in the money, honey.