Capcom Puzzle World PSP Review

Capcom's no stranger to retro collections for the Sony PSP. The company already has two Capcom Classic Collections to account for with the system, along with several brand revampings such as Mega Man: Powered Up and Ultimate Ghosts n' Goblins. So it should be no surprise then that the company has cropped up a puzzle collection for on-the-go play. And although this collection isn't as overloaded with titles as previous releases, Capcom Puzzle World still has quite a bit going for it.

That's because the collection features quite a few gems within it. The first and foremost would have to be Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, which had previously seen a successful release on the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. The level of addictiveness that this game brings cannot simply be conveyed into words - it must be played in order to be appreciated. Players set up gems into huge blocks, which must then be broken up with matching activators to eliminate them from the screen. What sounds like the simplest thing is anything but. This game is incredible when it comes to setting up gems and power breakers into massive combos, which in turn flood your opponent's screen. This makes the competitive angle of Puzzle Fighter a must-play, even for those who aren't normally interested in puzzle games. The cute Street Fighter/Darkstalkers characters (complete with taunts!) and music make it even more worthwhile. Getting online via AdHoc and challenging a friend tops it off wonderfully.

That's just part of the package. The Buster Bros. trilogy has also been included in this Puzzle World. Three separate games exist in all- the original Buster Bros., Super Buster Bros., and Buster Buddies. All three games feature one or two characters roaming around the bottom of the screen, shooting to eliminate large bubbles from the playfield. However, as a huge bubble is shot, it breaks into two smaller bubbles, and so on. Soon the screen could be cluttered with these obstructions, and getting hit by one results in the loss of a life.

Buster Buddies is probably the flimsiest of the three, featuring lame characters such as a Samba de Amigo reject and the awkward Pink Leopard. However, all three games have great playability to offer, even if it's just a matter of shooting at bubbles and other enemies that roam onto the screen. Players have the option of uploading personal photos into the background of the game, which is a nice touch to give it some personality. (Hey, look, Grandma's in Buster Bros.!) The game can be played solo or with a friend via AdHoc, and both ways are good for some time-wasting, stress-relieving fun.

That leaves...Block Block. Previously included in a Capcom Classics Collection release a while back, this lame variation of the paddle/ball game suffers from poor control. Players have to hit a ball into a series of tiles, while picking up power-ups and keeping said ball in play. However, as stated, the controls are anything but good. The paddle moves sluggishly enough that balls can be missed quite constantly. Sure, Capcom threw in the option to play it horizontally in a smaller variation, or vertically by tilting the PSP sideways. But it still does little good in regards to keeping a play session going. Even the proposed two-player game doesn't do a thing for it here.

Capcom Puzzle World probably would've benefitted from extra games, like Don't Push from the Three Wonders trilogy or maybe even Disney's Tetris Challenge from the N64 (even though the rights would have been hard to get nowadays). However, there's still hours of great gameplay to be found in the first four games in the collection. Super Puzzle Fighter fans should also be delighted by the different variations offered. X, Y, and Z modes offer different gameplay quirks, like a Columns-esque mode where three gems have to be eliminated in rows and columns. This alone makes the game worth checking out, even to those who bought a previous edition. An unlockable art gallery and other goodies can be unearthed as well. The visuals look great, and most of the music (outside of Buster Buddies' fruity renditions) rocks.

Capcom Puzzle World won't win any awards in the long-term, and many of you might be annoyed by the presence of Block Block. But the game still has many puzzle moments worth enduring, especially if you're a hardcore fan of Super Puzzle Fighter and the Buster Bros. games. You could do far worse than this little get-together.

What's Hot: Arcade-perfect renditions of the games; Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo versus kicks ass.

What's Not: Block Block sucks; not as many game selections as in previous Capcom compilations.

4/5