“Did you get the game yet? She asked. I told her yes, I’d gotten it. “Oh, good! This one you can play better!” the voice on the other end of the phone cheerily said, then let out an evil-sounding cackle. My eyes rolled in my skull like marbles on a freshly waxed floor and I laughed. Well, my dear friend was right to some extent, as I got further faster in SEGA AGES: Puyo Puyo 2 ($7.99) that I did in the first game thanks to a new ‘offset rule’ that makes for slightly less stressful play, ‘Garbage Puyo’ drops be damned. The game also tosses in a few other new rules as well as a very handy and new rewind feature, and overall, feels more fun than the original.
A voice in the background on the other end warned “She just wants to play against you online and win!” and yes, I knew that as soon as I saw their phone number pop up on my home line. Man, if that husband of hers just learned to play and lose gracefully, I’d at least be able to not have to take these awful beatings every so often.
Er, I think that came out wrong, but let’s move on.
The last time we played a Puyo Puyo game, it was in person, she was sick (some allergies acting up) and still beat me like a rug (yes, people used to beat rugs and still do). This time out, now she was tanned, rested and ready and yours truly had no chance against Mrs. Skills Deluxe. Yes, I was beaten like a barrel of pickles, if one beat a barrel of pickles for some reason instead of shooting fish in a barrel (which has always been a bad idea as you’d get fishy water and/or pickle brine on your good shoes). Oh well, but I’m still pretty good at Bejeweled 3, so I take solace in that.
Single Puyo Puyo, Double Puyo Puyo, and Endless Puyo Puyo game modes are here in this mostly straightforward port of the Japanese arcade classic from 1994. The offset rule makes Garbage Puyo less of a pain and you can block and reduce them dropping by lining up combos to counter your opponent. It’s mostly much easier to do playing against the AI than a live player, but the game is meant to be played with another like-minded soul (online or off), as it seems that the arcade portion is more of a challenging warm-up where you learn the ups and downs of the large cast of characters.
M2’s port job is solid, if not spectacular here. While the arcade version port is perfect, no Sega Mega Drive version is a big missing link here. Otherwise, it’s a very excellent conversion. One bigger complaint is the game wasn’t localized for the US other than some character stats on a separate menu, but one could say this keeps the charm of the original intact and the ‘plot’ is a bit silly anyway. Still, having the entire game in English would have been a good thing. You can very much still get to the ending by the way, as it’s easy to hop in and play and yes, you can look up videos online if you need to. You may lose a fist shaking it so much at some enemies that your hand falls off, but practice makes perfect when those Garbage Puyos start piling up and you can defect as many as possible.
As mentioned above, it would have been nice to see more of the series jammed onto this download, but this is still a great way to see the arcade version in its original form with a few modern additions. While not the biggest or best release in the SEGA AGES lineup, I’d say it’s still another fine piece of work thanks to M2’s efforts.
Score: B (80%)
-Review code provided by SEGA