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Bust-A-Move Ghost PSP

Published by 505 GameStreet
Developed by Taito
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £29.99

Bust-A-Move Ghost, an introduction.

A few weeks ago we reviewed Bust-A-Move DS and all things considered we were quite impressed with the game. What really made the game feel good was the rather impressive use of the consoles touch screen with the stylus being used to launch the bubbles. Here we have Bust-A-Move Ghost for the PSP. Of course the PSP can't offer a unique control scheme as it only has conventional controls. However, Taito have compensated for this by throwing in a huge choice of game modes. In fact there are over 1,000 puzzles in the game and some crazy modes that have never before appeared in a Bust-A-Move game.

What's the game about?

If you've played a Bust-A-Move game before you'll know what the game is basically about. As always you use your launcher to fire a coloured bubble at a cluster of different coloured hanging bubbles. Connecting three or more of the same colour bubbles results in those bubbles disappearing. The idea is to remove all of the bubbles before the hanging bubbles descend to cross the deadline. Aside from the normal coloured bubbles there are also several special bubbles such as the Rainbow Bubble, Star Bubble and Bowling Ball Bubble that can all have a huge impact. Fired bubbles can be bounced off the walls of the field and a dotted line emanating from the launcher can help you set up fancy shots. Bust-A-Move is a simple game but it's an addictive one and as you progress through the many puzzles the game has to offer, you'll find yourself becoming more challenged and more and more addicted. 

What's good about the game?

Without a doubt the biggest plus with Bust-A-Move Ghost is the sheer amount of game modes on offer. In total there are eight single-player modes and these are Classic Puzzle, Blind Puzzle, Seesaw Puzzle, Shot Puzzle, Running Launcher Puzzle, Time Warp Puzzle and Mix 'Em Up Puzzle. There are also two VS game modes. You can either play against the CPU or against a friend using the wireless function of the PSP. You can have a VS Classic Puzzle, VS Ghost Puzzle, VS Colour Puzzle, VS Blind Puzzle, VS Running Launcher Puzzle, VS Time Warp Puzzle, VS Mix 'Em Up Puzzle or a VS Count Puzzle game. Of course all of these modes are just variations on the traditional Bust-A-Move game play but nevertheless all of the variations feel sufficiently different from each other to make them worthwhile.

The Ghost Puzzle mode requires you to bounce the bubbles off the wall before making contact with the hanging bubbles. Failure to do this means that the bubble you fire simply passes straight through the hanging bubbles. You'll also find a heart meter in this mode and every time you don't make a match your heart meter will increase by one notch. Should the heart meter fill (with five notches) it's game over. In Seesaw Puzzle mode the field will tip from side to side. As you fire bubbles to the one side, the field will lean in that direction. It's possible to make the field capsize so you'll have to be extremely careful to avoid doing this. Blind Puzzle mode hides the colour of the bubbles, as you hit the bubbles with your launched bubble their colours will be revealed. Other modes include Running Launcher Puzzle where the launcher continually moves from left to right, Shot Puzzle where you can only fire one bubble to solve the puzzle and Time Warp Puzzle where the hanging bubbles move from left to right at varying speeds. There's plenty of variety here then and more than enough to keep any Bust-A-Move fan happy.

What's not so good about the game?

Whilst Bust-A-Move Ghost is a Bust-A-Move extravaganza and for the most part, a great package it's a shame that no online play has been included. The only multiplayer option in the game is for ad-hoc wireless play and then it's only for two players. Infrastructure mode should have been supported to allow you to play online or at the very least, support for more players in ad-hoc mode should have been available. Bust-A-Move DS supported up to five players using a single game pak but Bust-A-Move Ghost requires both players to have a copy of the game, which is unfortunate. However, whilst the DS game had pretty useless AI opponents, the AI in Bust-A-Move Ghost does seem to put up a challenge.

How does it look?

Bust-A-Move Ghost retains the 2D graphics of previous games in the series. The visuals aren't particularly impressive given the capabilities of the PSP but in all honesty you can't really expect more from a game of this nature. Whilst the game isn't anything special detail wise, the characters are and the various backgrounds in the game are all nicely detailed and easy on the eyes, which is important for a puzzle game of this nature.  Load times are fairly short and the UMD isn't accessed much at all, meaning that you'll get a decent amount of hours play time from the game on a single charge, which is important if you're heading off on a long journey.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

There are no problems for deaf gamers with Bust-A-Move Ghost. There's no speech in the game as such and all information is provided in text. Aside from the game's music, the other sounds are quite rudimentary and none of the sounds provide any information that can't be gathered from looking at the screen.

Final thoughts.

Bust-A-Move Ghost is a great Bust-A-Move collection for the PSP. The huge range of modes and puzzles on offer mean Bust-A-Move fans will be enjoying the game for pretty much the lifespan of the PSP. Of course underneath it all, it's still the classic Bust-A-Move formula and those who never appreciated the earlier games in the series won't be swayed by what Bust-A-Move Ghost has to offer. If you are a fan of the series and you own a PSP, then this is a must own game. It's just a shame the multiplayer modes didn't support more than two players and that you can't actually play online because that really would have been enjoyable.

Overall Game Rating: 8.0/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:

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Bust-A-Move Ghost doesn't boast the innovative control system of Bust-A-Move DS but the wealth of game modes more than compensate for this and Bust-A-Move fans will appreciate just how varied the modes are in the game.