Sunday, June 8, 2014

Retro Sunday - June 8, 2014 - Bubble Bobble (NES)

Yay for lazy Sundays! Today, let's look at a classic old-school title for the NES: Bubble Bobble.

When you think about it, the premise of this game is pretty silly. You get turned into a dragon, so you have to put monsters into bubbles and the pop the bubbles to make your way to the witch's dungeon to undo the spell on both yourself and your significant other.

Silly story aside, Bubble Bobble is as solid as any NES title. Run, jump, and blow bubbles. That's it. Easy to learn, somewhat tough to master.

As you pop the bubbles, various items appear. Some are worth points, and some give you special abilities like super speed, high jumps, or lightning breath. You can even skip a number of levels if you find the rare Umbrella.

Pop lots of bubbles at once to get better items. Occasionally, you will find a bubble with a letter on it. If you can find and pop enough letters to spell EXTEND, you will earn an extra life and skip right to the next level. Granted, you will probably use a dozen lives to get these letters, but still.

Bubble Bobble by itself is incredibly fun, but it's in the multiplayer that it really shines. Join another person and pop bubbles together. Some levels are considerably easier with two people. Heck, some levels are dang near impossible with just one person. It's a great time for both people, especially since you are working together (except at the end of the level when you try to get more items than the other person, or reach the highest point in the level before you move on).

There are various enemies you will have to face, such as mindless robots, bouncy springy guys, ping-pong wizards, laser-shooting space invaders, and floating whales. And don't forget: if you don't finish the level in a certain amount of time, the invincible ghost whale will appear and chase you down. It sounds creepy. That's probably because it is.

There are 100 levels in Bubble Bobble, and it takes a good couple of hours to get through them all. But it's a total joy ride the entire time. This is a brilliantly-designed game that will never get old. So if you'll excuse me, I must go and blow bubbles onto monsters and then pop the bubbles, cause that would totally kill the monsters or something.

(Bubble Bobble is available on the Wii Virtual Console for 500 points. There is also a new version called Bubble Bobble Plus! available for 600 points.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Such a fun game! :)