In the lexicon of gaming, there are buggy games, and there are flat-out broken games. Buggy games can be fixed with patches. Broken games…well, they should never have been shipped in the first place, and that’s the case with Codemasters’ latest, Bubble Bobble Revolution. Here’s a game that’s so ineptly published and developed, that it actually has moments where it’s completely unplayable. Not unplayable as in “wow, this is a difficult level,” but unplayable in the way that key elements needed to get to the next level, or even start a level, simply don’t ever appear, or require multiple restarts to finally get the game working. Bubble Bobble Revolutions is such a tarnish on the name of the franchise, it doesn’t deserve to be on retail shelves.
Bubble Bobble Revolutions takes the original Bubble Bobble gameplay – two little lizards jumping up vertical platforms and encasing their enemies in bubbles, and tries to modernize it by changing up graphics and level design. Sadly, the new graphics look too shiny-shiny and modern, killing the charming visual appeal of the original game. The level design doesn’t fare much better, as maps span at least the top and bottom screens of the DS, and frequently 2-4 additional screens of horizontal space. This leads to a lot of scrolling around as you move, and the fact that there’s a big space between the top and bottom of the DS’ screens makes for a nice bad-guy hiding area. Since the maps are also so “wide”, you’ll often be zapped multiple times by off-screen baddies, leading to further frustration with the game.
Now for the “best” part – Bubble Bobble Revolution is horribly broken. Broken in a way that will have you ripping it out of the slot and racing to the store for a refund within the second hour of play. “How can it be that bad?”, you say? Simple – there are levels where enemies never appear, forcing you to repeatedly restart the entire game in hopes that maybe it will fix itself. It does fix itself in most instances, that is, until level 30 strikes. At level 30, there’s meant to be a boss battle, but the boss, realizing what a horrid game he’s been dropped into, simply refuses to show himself. No amount of restarting the game will get you past this game-breaking bug. When a game promising 100 levels becomes deadlocked at 30, you have a right to be furious.
The only saving grace of Bubble Bobble Revolution is the inclusion of the original Bubble Bobble arcade title, which is how this game earns any review points. While cool and fun, even that’s simply not enough to justify the full price of this game. As a whole, Bubble Bobble Revolution is a busted piece of silicon that should not garner even a dollar of your hard-earned money. Avoid this.
- Overall: 2
- Apparently, Codemasters’ quality control team was on vacation when this was being developed
— Craig Falstaff