17 June 2013

Bubble Bobble

Game Two
In 1986 Bubble Bobble was released as an arcade game by Taito and was eventually ported to various different home computers and entertainment systems, the Nintendo being one of them. Even though it was pretty popular, I had never played Bubble Bobble much before today. I have had it for a couple years, but it never worked right…it wasn’t until I cleaned it and my system for this project that I really understood what Bubble Bobble is.
Let’s say you and a buddy think to play this game. You might have seen Bub before, he’s that really cute dino in the picture up there (if you play two player the other dino is Bob, they’re both adorable).  When you switch the game on you hear some really cheery music and a bubbling title screen…so you hit a button and you’re on the main menu. There are a few options but you just hit 2 player story because that’s what you’re there for.
The game starts with Bub and Bob trapped in some sort of  bubble (bobble) and are thrust towards the ground while a mysterious voice calls out to you, “Now it is the beginning of a fantastic story.. Let us make a journey to the Cave of Monsters…Good Luck” and you truly will need all the luck the universe can give you. With that, Bub and Bob are slammed into the ground their bubbles (bobbles) literally burst and before they know what truly is going on a wave of monsters is upon them. There is only one thing they know for certain, their girlfriends have been taken and it’s up to them to save their lives. Though agile, their only defense is imprisoning their foes in a slimy, mucus like membrane which when popped changes the molecular structure of the body captured inside into a plant or vegetable. (Bub and Bob are Herbivores who have evolved to be able to manipulate any substance they coat with their saliva into edible, digestible food.) As soon as the two manage to defeat or eat these foul monsters, the floor opens up and swallows them further underground. Eventually they fall upon a chasm of skulls, in the distance their girlfriends can be seen hopelessly trapped. The last obstacle Bub and Bob have to face, is a massive monster easily 5 times their size.
Bubble Bobble looks pretty good. It’s nice and simple, but pleasing to the eye, and all the levels have a cool design. The music however, is a major, major issue. There’s pretty much one song. Throughout the 99+ levels you get one song that plays over and over and over. I guess because the levels are pretty short and take like under a minute to beat, it’s understandable, but it’s like being in the celadon city game corner in Pokemon for hours. It’s great at first, you whistle it and sing a long, but it will always get to you. Unless you can blow through these levels no problem. Which you can’t because this game is hard…It’s really hard.This game is fucking. Hard. OK?! There’s also something right before the title comes down and something for the game over and a final boss song. That’s it.
If you haven’t played it, good luck. I don’t think it’s possible to beat this without continuing…if you have a video of it, please show me, because I want to congratulate you on being a fucking savant at this fucking game.
I think part of why this game is so difficult is because I don’t know what the hell is going on. It’s pretty and cute and looks nice, but sometimes I fall through the floor, sometimes the enemies turn into ice cream. Sometimes the enemies just get exploded by how sexy Bub is feeling on that particular level…I just don’t get it. There’s so much shit going on and so many bubbles and powerups and items that I have no idea what the hell is happening. I just want to keep playing it though because it’s so quick and fun you just want to play a few more levels…and then you’re at level 57 and you’re like “damn I’m like halfway  done I should just finish it.” But then the game makes you cry like a little baby when you die over and over and over again with no idea of what the fuck you’re supposed to do. Partly because the way the levels are made in a ridiculous manner.
The level design all over the place, one level will be extremely easy and I’ll blow through it in one go, and some may take some intense focus but feel really good when you just manage to complete them, but some of them are just cheap and annoying…or completely rage enducing (57). While there are rehashes of some levels…most of them are different and there are over a hundred. Yeah, over 100 levels on this NES game…but here’s the catch, you only have 3 lives. Also unlimited continues and a password system but still. Damn…three…and it’s one hit kills too. And there are enemies fucking EVERYWHERE.
For what it’s worth I played through it all the way…so I mean I guess it’s addicting and fun at some parts, but others are just so. Damn. Frustrating. (lvl 57). This game is also really good at making you feel smart, because you have to learn all the tricks yourself. There’s no help, no hints, and only jumps and bubbles (bobbles). Eventually you get enough of a hang of it to make progress and completing a bunch of levels or getting mad gems or fruit or whatever falls from enemies feels so super satisfying, but if you miss some because you take too long at the end it hurts the feels a little because you’re like “I’m not done…I wanted that pepper.”. Also it has this annoying gimmick where if you take too long, a ghost will show up and chase you to death, and right before it shows up, “Hurry!!” will pop up on the screen and every time I was like “Game, calm the fuck down, I already killed all the enemies”.  It’s a fun game, but it’s hard as nails.

I wrote that last paragraph at around level 70…After getting to the final boss…I can honestly say
Ok, to be fair,  it goes in a pattern and if you learn it, it’s not that bad…but until you do, you’re just going to be asking god why he or she would allow such a monstrosity be allowed to spoil a children’s game. I guess what I’m saying is that it’s fucking hard. Like Meat Boy hard, like...I feel that this game might be a reason why Ed McMillen made Super Meat Boy so difficult, he wanted to put the new generation through the torture he went through with fucking Bubble Bobble.
This game is infuriating! But it’s not all bad. It’s a challenge, but  it has passwords and unlimited continues and you respawn pretty quickly with enough time in between each continue that you don’t get too frustrated…or at least if you’re me you get so far you just have to keep playing…but you’re just going to need a lot of patience to actually beat the game. This game has a second play through which is cool. If you’re man enough you should totally give it that second play through. I have too many games and don’t want to give myself an ulcer from raging so hard, so I’m not going to play it.
 If you can find a copy of it and have a Nintendo I’d say pick it up. I think it’s also on the Wii jawn perhaps.
7/ 10
+super tough
-can be a little repetitive
-can be a lot frustrating
-I’m not going to do the second playthrough sorry. (not actually sorry)
+/--WHY IS THIS GAME SO FUCKING HARD (It’s because it’s an arcade port)
+/- have fun getting the song out of your head.

Alright, on to the next one.


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