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Pop'n'Pop - November 16, '00 by Haze
Game:Pop'n'PopCompany:Taito
Type:PuzzlePlayers:1/2

A Taito All-Star Cast present this Brave Attempt at a puzzle game to you, I say Brave not because its a bad game (which it certainly isn't) but because Taito really must have taken a risk throwing this at the Unexpecting Public. The game probably best resembles (well similarities can be seen anyway) Puyo Puyo, a game developed by Sega & Compile, but upside down (because the balloons float upwards), with a moving playfield.
The games 'structure' has obviously been moulded around the later Puzzle Bobble games, choose a Classic Taito Character (included in this Offering is your favorite Kiwi from The New Zealand Story, as well as the Stars of DonDokoDon and more), then choose your game mode, from Single Player Puzzle Mode (Clear the Screens before you run out of time, choosing your route through several sets of puzzles), Single Player vs CPU, or a 2 Player vs Mode.
The game playfield is a collection of balloons underneath an ever decending cloud, the goal is to clear the balloons by matching at least 3 of the same colour together. You control a character at the bottom of the screen, you're got 2 balloons to launch at a time, which can be launched rotated into one of 4 positions, the hard part can be judging where they will make contact with the rest of the balloons as they move from left to right across the screen with the cloud. Launch the balloons at the wrong moment and you could be in trouble, in the worst case of all if you miss the cloud completely and your balloons float off past the top of the screen the clouds movement will be significantly sped up for a second giving you less time to finish the level (in puzzle mode). Those are the basics of the game anyway, and like with most puzzle games the only way to really see is to play it, after which, providing its a good arcade game, which this is, it should become quite clear :)
The game is littered with little extras here and there, such as after you've popped a certain number of balloons you get a balloon which can be used to raise the cloud again, various balloons will float past which you can trap with your accending balloons and use to your advantage if your timing is good. Like most Taito Puzzlers its a very professional well thought out release.
The graphics are exactly as you'd expect from a Taito game, cute, colourful, well animated and recognisable, for a puzzle game you couldn't ask for anything more. The only minor issue I see is with a couple of the balloon colours being a little similar (we appear to have Red and Darker Red balloons) This however could be an emulation issue.
Sound can't be commented on as its not emulated yet.
This might not be one of Taitos better known games (although I believe it was released on the PSX), but that doesn't stop it from being a quality title. Just because it doesn't have the reputation of some of their other games shouldn't stop you enjoying it, it might take a bit of getting used to, and admittedly it might not be everyones taste but if you pass it by you're missing out.
Graphics
9
1
Sound
Play Control
8
7
Challenge
Replay Value
7
10
Performance
2000 EmuViews