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PotoPoto - November 16, '00 by Haze
Game:PotoPotoCompany:Sega
Type:PuzzlePlayers:1/2

While Sega prehaps aren't considered one of the major players in the 'Puzzle' game market with the majority of their games series such as Columns being greatly overshadowed in the Mainstream by efforts like the Puzzle Bobble / Bust-A-Move series from Taito which seem to have found their way onto many of todays systems they did produce a few gems themselves, PotoPoto for one, whilst not a classic, and with some rather annoying flaws, certainly deserves more attention than it ever did get.
Like all good Puzzle Games a lot of the magic in PotoPoto comes from its simplicity and ability to be instantly playable. Just pick up the game, and play it, you don't have to worry how to play it as everything falls into place very quickly once you start your first game. Coloured Hexagons fall from 3 positions at the top of the screen, can be slid along any that you've already placed and drop into position when they arrive at an empty space. Get 4 in a Row and they vanish. Of course theres more depth to the game than that and you will have to adopt tactics such as getting 5, 6 or even more in a row and placing your hexagons so that when you do clear some as many other blocks fall off with them as possible, this way you can make life far harder for your opponent, be it CPU controlled or another Human. They of course will try to do the same thing to you and should a piece of yours or theirs cross the line at the base of the playfield and its a Loss that player. There you have it, game on.
Familiar, yet different and highly enjoyable would probably be how i'd describe this game. If you end up getting yourself hooked its one of those which could easily kill a few hours of your time as you have yet another go at beating whichever computer opponent you've reached. So be warned ;)
The graphics are what you'd expect from this kind of game, everything is clear to keep the game playable, but also looks pretty good too, and is nicely varied. Each level presenting you with a new backdrop style to keep things looking interesting and while nothing is really special about it all, very little else could have been done with this game without ruining it.
In the sound Department this game would be lacking if it wasn't for some great music which really fits in with the game, while the music isn't that varied (it would seem all levels share the same music etc.) there are several tunes which are used at appropriate times such as between levels, when you're in trouble, when you win, generally where you'd expect to hear tunes and they help make the game more playable too, especially the tunes for when someone is in trouble as often you're not in a position to take your eyes off your own playfield.
Now for where the game fails. Trivial as it may sound the main failing of this game is in the Hi-Score / Scoring system. How can a Hi-Score system be flawed, well.. lets see.. The only way you can get on the Hi-Score table in PotoPoto is if you Complete the Game. You don't get points for playing the game no, you simply have a timer. The faster you complete the game the better. To say this is annoying would be an understatement, especially for a gamer such as myself who prefers to play the games on a single credit to see how far I can get to not be rewarded with a place on the score table to compare my future attempts to really takes away a sense of achievement and can seriously reduce the replay value of the game, surely I can't be the only one who can see no logic behind this system.
The basics of a really good game are well in place with PotoPoto, and Its a title I'd recommend playing to anyone who like this kind of thing, its just a shame Sega didn't spend a bit longer refining the scoring system. I'd Certainly Like to see a follow-up if there isn't one already.
Graphics
8
8
Sound
Play Control
7
7
Challenge
Replay Value
7
10
Performance
2000 EmuViews