After many years without knowing anything about our beloved Bub and Bob, Taito has finally decided to rescue one of his most classic and revered franchises. This is what Bubble Bobble 4 Friends give us. Analysis.
It has taken a decade to see the adorable dragons Bub and Bob de Taito in action again, the same ones we saw debut in the recreation rooms in the mid-80s. A series that, curiously, has given life to several subsea gases and spin-offs like Puzzle Bobble, Parasol Stars and Rainbow Islands, being surely one of the most prolific in history in this regard. Fortunately, the Japanese company Taito wanted to give these characters a new opportunity to enter a new adventure, which has been designed exclusively (at least for now) for the Nintendo console.
And what does Bubble Bobble 4 Friends offer us on Nintendo Switch? Well, more or less what was foreseeable … although there have also been some odd surprises that most veteran and nostalgic users will surely appreciate. But, in general, it is a work that respects in almost every way the basic game formula that has characterized this saga since its inception, resulting in a title not too ambitious or original (otherwise rather) but undoubtedly entertaining.
Bubble Bobble 4 Friends, bubbles for everyone
One of the few game modes that the game shows are History. As if it were a children’s story, in the short initial video scene we see how a child’s dolls come to life. Thus, both the Dragon Bub and the wicked wizard Bonner return to the streets, and the latter urges our character to face a challenge that will lead him to overcome a good collection of levels. A plot of the simplest and for all ages that has no major impact on the adventure.
The mechanics and style of play that Bubble Bobble 4 Friends proposes are based on what was enjoyed in the classic installments of this series. In this way and from a 2D lateral perspective, it is necessary to go beyond level after level, phases that consist of a single screen and that present several platforms of quite minimalist design, trying to end the rivals that are looking for us. And, for this, we must lock them (to, later, explode) in the bubbles that Bub and Bob can throw through their mouths… as well as Peb and Pab, which is what the two new dragon cities are presented in This edition of the game.
The original game with its 100 levels is also included
Yes, because one of the great attractions that this new edition of Buble Bobble includes is neither more nor less than its new cooperative mode for four players, which only allows the local game. If we decide to play together, we must keep in mind that we have eight lives in common. Each time an enemy reaches one of the protagonists, he is locked up in a bubble for a few moments, being necessary to rescue our ally to prevent our team from losing one of the precious lives. This cooperative mode works very well and is extremely enjoyable … while it lasts.
We are not facing the longest or most complex game in the world, especially the first “whipped”, so to call it. The title includes 50 initial phases, which saving the confrontations against final bosses that take place every 10 levels, do not pose a challenge too big for more or less tanned players. However and to extend the life of the game, when we complete the first round a second is enabled that repeats these levels but in greater difficulty. And, fortunately, in this case, it is much more challenging, especially once the first twenty-first levels have been passed.
However, to alleviate everything related to the durability of the title, the developers have had the magnificent idea of integrating the entire original game with its 100 levels. An option that will surely be an irresistible candy for the most veteran players who spent their afternoons throwing coins in the original recreational. What times …
Simplicity, sympathy and fun old school gathered in a title that also enjoys a graphic approach just as simple but manages to be relatively colorful. The characters have been redesigned in 3D with great success and enjoy excellent animations, to which is added a colorful specimen and an unquestionable fluidity. What has least convinced us is the appearance of the levels, and not because they are bad in their design, but because being 2D sometimes they are “rare” as opposed to the 3D modeling of the protagonists.
And what about the sound section? Well, the highlight that it offers us is undoubtedly its soundtrack, whose central theme has been remastered and, as you can imagine, it is practically impossible to get it out of our minds once you’ve heard it. And as for the effects, these are quite varied and fulfill their tasks without problems.
A decade has had to go by so we can enjoy a new adventure of Taito’s most beloved dragonets and one of the most acclaimed and veteran arcade series. Bubble Bobble 4 Friends may not be the best edition of the series or contribute much to it beyond its cooperative mode for four players, but its simple and direct game formula is still entertaining and, in addition, the inclusion of the arcade game Original makes you earn several points.
- Simple but entertaining gameplay
- The local four-player mode is fun
- The inclusion of the original arcade makes him win several integers
- Too easy and simple for experienced players
- It is a shame that it does not include online mode or competitive modes: it falls short in-game modes
- Graphically it is a very basic game