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Monday, October 3, 2011

Super Puzzle Fighter II X For Matching Service (Review)

Release dates:
North America: Unreleased
Japan: July 5, 2001
Europe: Unreleased

Game details:
1-2 Players
Standard controller
VMU compatible
VGA box
Jump Pack Compatible

Super Puzzle Fighter II X is a funny piece of Capcom history. It's a game loved by many and for good reason. It's also a game that isn't well known to those who aren't fans of the company (Capcom) or of the franchise (Street Fighter). In playing the game, I can't see any reason it isn't better known.

Super Puzzle Fighter II X isn't any sort of a revolution in puzzle games, but everything here is done right. Since this is a Dreamcast game and there are many Sega fans here, when the first gems appear on screen the typical player will probably think "Columns!" Not quite. I know this was a friend's reaction and my own when we first played the game together. Instead of stacking blocks of three matching gems together to eliminate them, the real goal is to create rectangular blocks of the same color. Eventually a circular gem will appear; match this with a gem of the same color, and all adjacent gems of the same color will be eliminated. Fans of puzzle games are thinking chain reaction, and that's exactly right. If you can connect large amounts of gems and hit them with the crash gem, your super deformed Street Fighter (or Darkstalkers) character will use a super move against your opponent.

The characters fighting doesn't seem to have any real bearing on the game itself; the game plays out the same as any other multiplayer puzzle game. Do well, and you'll impede your opponent's progress. Somehow, the characters fighting does seem to make the multiplayer more intense and more of a confrontation. The game is a blast in multiplayer mode, and I would recommend it to every one.

I'm starting to wonder why I said storylines should be a part of every review…

The graphics themselves aren't terribly impressive, but the character designs are appropriately cute. If you're not a fan of the super deformed anime style, then you're not going to be impressed with the graphics, but I think they are perfect for the game. It's interesting to see an official super deformed take on Street Fighter and Darkstalkers characters; anime fan art can get a little dicey sometimes…

There are some cool remixes of known Street Fighter tracks here (I'd imagine the same goes for Darkstalkers but I've never been a huge fan of the series), and the fighting sound effects are more or less lifted right out of Street Fighter. This is one of the strongest aspects of the game right along with the gameplay.

Super Puzzle Fighter II X is a great game. It has been released for many other consoles besides Dreamcast, but is somehow largely forgotten. The price can get a bit steep for the Dreamcast version, but if you've got a Saturn, PS1, Xbox 360 or PS3 you're in business. This is a recommended game regardless of system.


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