Ever since the 1980's cult arcade game Bubble Bobble, strange reptilian protagonists Bub and Bob have enjoyed a rather illustrious career. Almost 20 years on and the pair are returning to a GameCube near you, with the release of the sequel to Taito's hugely successful Super Bust-a-Move.
Entitled Super Bust-a-Move 2, and accompanied by the All Stars suffix, the game follows the same bubble-bursting, screen-clearing premise of its PS2 counterpart and makes a few improvements and additions along the way.
In addition to the usual 1P Puzzle Game, 1P Vs Game and 2P Vs Game, the sequel ships with an all-new Story Mode and an Edit Mode. Story Mode offers 11 stages for each character to clear, intertwined around an individual story, which is gradually unravelled as players progress through the game. Rather self-explanatory is the Edit Mode: this provides the player with a level editor, allowing for the adjustment of the screen's size, frame shape, and the bubbles. Graphics have been upgraded and there are now literally thousands of new puzzle boards, new characters and new animations. Also new to this version are two exclusive characters, special bubbles, ability-orientated graphical effects and, of course, all-new levels.
As with its predecessors, Super Bust-a-Move 2: All Stars remains a fun, violence-free party game, combining addictive, arcade-style gameplay with cute and colourful Japanese visuals. Particularly popular with girls, the game should appeal to a wide variety of gamers, if not for its addictive qualities, then for its simple, pick-up-and-play gameplay mechanic.