|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Dreams||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ignition Ent.||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 3, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-3||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Maria Montoro
Remember Bub and Bob, those cute little dinos that became so popular in the eighties arcades? How could we forget? We've seen them plenty of times in video game history, including numerous other remakes of Bubble Bobble and Puzzle Bubble (a.k.a. Bust-a-move). Many of you old-school lovers might be able to appreciate this new addition to the DS library, which doesn't only bring back the old game but also new single player levels, multiplayer action, and a new playable character.
So what's not to love about Bubble Bobble: Double Shot? It's probably the fact that the game hasn't really been updated to please current puzzle / platform fans. It's just been remade to cash in on the franchise one more time, while remaining too similar to the classic. It's true that it has a couple of new things to offer, but barely anything to make it worth your time.
In Bubble Bobble players create bubbles with the push of a button, and the goal is trapping enemies inside them. The enemies will then be vulnerable, and just one hit will make them disappear and turn into a colorful and possibly "delicious" item like bananas, cherries, and even a piece of cake. You'll have to pick up these items to build up your score. Once you've taken care of all the bouncy enemies on the screen, your dinosaur will be launched to the next stage, where it's back to square one. After playing a few stages, you'll start facing a few more challenging enemies. Some of them carry a colored star that means they're only vulnerable to one of the three colored bubbles: green, blue or red.
Bub and Bob have a cousin called Bubu. He's a red dinosaur with the same ambitions and bubble-making abilities as the green and blue guys. Each of these dinos only make bubbles of their color, which means you'll have to use them strategically when facing tougher enemies. By hitting L or R you'll swap between the three characters. The other buttons are used for jumping and making bubbles; of course, you'll move Bub, Bob or Bubu with the D-pad. I would have liked to play with the stylus; maybe the gameplay would have felt more innovative that way. However, you'll only make use of the stylus controls when playing the overly-simplistic mini-games you're challenged with when you've lost all your lives.
Instead of just selecting "yes" to continue playing, the game makes you take on a small challenge. If you lose the mini-game, you're out of luck and will start again from Level 1. On the other hand, if you beat the mini-game (which you should because they're pretty easy), you'll be allowed to continue playing in the same stage where you left it. The problem is there aren't many of these mini-games, and I found myself playing the same ones numerous times without being able to discover what other "goodies" might be hidden in the game. One of them makes you tap the dino's feet alternatively to make him run away from a monster. Another one makes you select a bubble that matches the one shown on the screen above. As you may imagine, these mini-games are not very fun or challenging. They're more of a pain in the butt because if you accidentally lose, you'll be doomed to start the game from the beginning. That is, if you're still up for it.