Monday, June 2, 2014

Nerdicus NES Review #101 : Bubble Bobble

Title : Bubble Bobble

Publisher : Taito

Genre : Platform

Players : 1 / 2 Player

Release Date : 1986

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $5-$7

Look at the cute wittle bubble dragons! Watch as they burp up bubbles and capture wittle monsters in dem! Squeeeeeee!! Look at dem catch wittle cakes and berries! Oh noe's! Da dragons wittle girlfriends are kdinapped! Help dem! Dis game is so cute! Watch me flail from cute overload!

Wrong! This game is vicious! These dragons are out for blood, and sure they may not blow fire, but those bubbles will suck the oxygen right from your lungs and send you spiraling down into the very pits of hell! They're out to steal your cake and candy....and they're taking names. You don't want to mess with these Bubble Bobble Dragons. 

By the way, did you know their names ARE Bub and Bob? 

This is one of the NES classics that everyone seems to know. It was ported from an old arcade game and was met with a huge amount of success with ultimately led to a slew of sequels and spin offs. It's really not hard to see why. The game was insanely addictive and fun, and not to mention it was one of the first games that urged you to discover as many secrets as possible since it affected the way the game ended. NES games with multiple endings? Win!

But just how can a game about Dragons blowing bubbles be fun? Let's find out, shall we?

The objective is simple. Complete each board by capturing every enemy in bubbles, popping them and destroying them, and collecting their items. Boost your score, gain some new lives, and move on to the next round. Of course the game becomes a bit more complex as the platform elements are constantly changing, as well as the number of enemies.

There are (I believe?) 100 levels to this game, with some levels exposing secrets if you accomplish certain tasks such as NOT DYING. The use of your bubbles is not only for destroying enemies, but also for trapping them to use them as stepping stones to other platforms that were previously inaccessible.

If you thought 100 levels was a bit extreme, well you're in for a treat. If you want the best ending for this game (I mean, how GOOD can an ending be for an NES Game....seriously?), you'll have to beat all 100 levels again in 2 player mode in SUPER BUBBLE BOBBLE mode. Then after that, it's EXTREME BUBBLE BOBBLE MODE. Kidding, don't worry.

The game is fairly easy, and the one problem with it is that it's somewhat repetitive. It's not a bad thing, but it's like any other early platforming / puzzle game. The layout changes, and the amount of enemies change. That's about it. The game really is more entertaining when you've got co-op mode going on, because at least you can challenge each other to see who can destroy the most enemies. Single player mode just becomes a bit MEH. Not that it's's just...too many bubbles.

While it's easy, there are some challenges that become apparent. You can collect SKULL items which actually turn enemies into a berserker-like state and are harder to kill. You also cant dilly dally on a stage, because certain invincible enemies will eventually appear that you just cannot kill no matter how many bubbles you spew at them. So while there is NO time limit, there technically is one.

There's something about Bubble Bobble that just makes me turn all giddy inside when playing it. Perhaps its the goofy enemies, and the hilarious designs of the Dragons. Maybe it's the fact that you're killing things by trapping them in bubbles. Hell, it might even be the music that is trippy as hell in a carnival-esque sort of way.

Regardless, it's one of those games that you pretty much just have to play for the NES. It's a classic in the library, and for good reason. Despite being repetitive, it's addictive. If you don't own this, do yourself a favor and pick yourself up a copy. They're easy to find and not too expensive....unlike it's sequel which we'll be going over tomorrow. HA!

For me, I'll be running outside, enjoying this nice weather, and blowing bubbles at people.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until next time. Keep on gaming!



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