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Critic Reviews

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Bust-A-Move Universe is a strong release title on the Nintendo 3DS, but it does have its fair share of issues. There is a lack of gameplay options and what is the deal with no multiplayer? It is a real letdown since the game can be completed in less than 3 hours, 100% complete. I was pretty bummed out about this but I still found myself putting this game on a little more than other 3DS titles.
GamePro (US) (Mar 28, 2011)
There's nothing fundamentally wrong with Bust-A-Move Universe. It's as solid as the series has ever been, and it's not one that's been known for piling on useless content in every sequel. Furthermore, it's the only 3DS launch game at $29.99, making it the cheapest of the entire lineup. But there are other, just as capable ways to get your Bust-A-Move fix on the go, especially if own an iOS device, where you can get two different Bust-A-Move games for much cheaper. Or, y'know, the thousands of clones that are also available. But in any case, why not go with the real deal?
Worth Playing (May 28, 2011)
With its lower price point, Bust-A-Move Universe was supposed to be a no-brainer for puzzle fans to pick up alongside their new 3DS consoles. The core of the game is still brilliant in its design and just as addictive as it ever was. However, the lack of modes and the reduction in difficulty has created a title that feels like a huge step backward for the franchise. If you don't mind the lack of multiplayer and are perfectly content with what's available here, try renting Universe. Otherwise, it's best to wait around and see if a new version will rectify the mistakes in this one.
60 (2011)
Puzzle Bobble Universe ne restera pas dans les annales, mais il demeure un jeu de réflexion sympathique, même si à choisir, on préfèrera encore le volet Galaxy sur Nintendo DS.
This version of Bust-a-Move is average, but if you've played any of the previous games, you've basically played this -- except now the graphics are in 3-D. The effect is pretty good but not as striking as other 3DS games, such as Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars 3D, or Super Street Fighter IV 3D. Also, the game developers added a couple of boss battles (fight against a robotic space thingy) and Challenge modes with a timer (see how many points you can score in a minute or two) and an endless ("Nonstop") mode, with no breaks in the action between levels. But where are the multiplayer levels? It could've been fun to play over the Internet or at least via local wireless play. For $30, we expect a little more than what's offered on this cartridge. In short, puzzle fans should try before you buy.
Game Informer Magazine (Mar 27, 2011)
The time-tested bubble popping gameplay on its own is still enjoyable, but leaves a bit to be desired after going through the rounds. Unless you’re a devout fan of the series, I’d say get mileage on your shiny new 3DS somewhere else as this version of Bust-A-Move is far from being the definitive package.
Cubed3 (Apr 25, 2011)
Puzzle Bobble Universe is still a fantastic puzzle effort at heart, yet due to it being a considerably cut down version of its older brother, sadly it is hard to recommend this - especially since the Nintendo 3DS is backwards compatible with the regular DS, meaning Puzzle Bobble Galaxy will play just fine on the 3D portable. Why developer Arika stripped away all of the extra features Lancarse had included in the second DS iteration of Taito’s classic is unknown, but unless you are a die-hard puzzle nut that needs something specifically for 3DS, be wary that, despite its core quality, there is little to keep players entertained for the long-term.
GamingXP (Apr 28, 2011)
Alles in allem ist „Puzzle Bobble Universe“ ein wirklich unterhaltsames Spiel. Das Spielprinzip macht damals wie heute Spaß und sorgt für langfristige Unterhaltung. Schade das die Entwickler dem Spiel „nur“ 88 Levels im Puzzle Modus verpasst haben, denn diese sind in wenigen Stunden durchgespielt. Auch die Aussparung eines Mehrspielermodus wird bei den Fans der Reihe wohl auf Unverständnis stoßen. Die Präsentation hingegen ist mehr als ok, aber für einen 3DS-Titel erwarte ich mir doch etwas mehr Tiefenerlebnis.
IGN (Apr 01, 2011)
The boss fights are also ultimately way too easy, though they're still pretty fun. There was far too little variation between them, however, and it also bothered me that you didn't have to beat the boss to clear the boss stage, making the whole affair feel pointless. Still, having a boss fight in a puzzle game is an enjoyable and underused idea, though it's definitely been done better in puzzlers past, such as Wario's Woods.
60 (Apr 27, 2011)
Bien trop léger en termes de contenu, cet épisode 3DS de Puzzle Bobble fait pâle figure en comparaison avec la version DS parue en 2009. On se rabattra donc sur cette dernière en attendant que Taito daigne développer un soft plus complet sur la nouvelle console portable de Nintendo.
GameFocus (Mar, 2011)
Despite its challenging and addictive gameplay, this offering is simply too thin to deserve a rock solid recommendation unless the other 3DS titles aren’t what you’re looking for. Then again, who would buy a $250 handheld just to play Bust-A-Move? A full-blown multiplayer component with local/online/leaderboard score sharing would have definitely made it more attractive. This is Square Enix’s only game of the launch line-up and that thought alone should have pushed them to offer a far more interesting experience.
51 (Apr 28, 2011)
Puzzle Bobble war schon immer irgendwie nett und harmlos, aber eines war es nie - uninteressant. Der 3DS-Einstand von Bub und Bob ist es aber leider, denn die Entwickler haben mehr oder weniger alles, was das Spielprinzip interessant macht, entweder rausgenommen oder zumindest abgeschwächt: Das Leveldesign im Story-Modus ist simpel und abwechslungsarm, der Schwierigkeitsgrad irgendwo in den unteren Kellergeschossen zu suchen, die Bosskämpfe sind ein Witz, kein Mehrspielermodus weit und breit. Etwas interessanter wird es schon im Herausforderungsmodus, jedenfalls wenn man den Schwierigkeitsgrad nach oben kurbelt. So oder so fühlt sich PBU nicht wie ein Vollpreisspiel, sondern wie ein schnell auf Modul gepackter Download-Titel an. Schade um das unverwüstliche Spielprinzip.
Vandal Online (May 03, 2011)
La ausencia del multijugador no se puede justificar en modo alguno, y el modo de puzles es increíblemente corto y poco retante. Pero Puzzle Bobble Universe sigue siendo adictivo, entretenido y apasionante porque su base jugable está diseñada con una maestría envidiable. Es solo que lo que debe rodear ese núcleo jugable que hace que el puzle sea genial es a todas luces insuficiente y no se ha ejecutado como debiera. Es, por tanto, una entrega que solo se puede recomendar para neófitos totales o para nostálgicos que lleven mucho tiempo sin acercarse a la serie, porque para todos los demás no puede ofrecer nada interesante.
GameSpot (Mar 30, 2011)
Like its gameplay, Bust-A-Move Universe's presentation lacks ambition. Some subtle but pleasing 3D effects and some rotating planet graphics aside, this looks and sounds much the same as Bust-A-Move games always have. Take away the 3D visuals, and the latest entry in this long-running series would be almost indistinguishable from many of its predecessors save for the fact that it comes with a bigger price tag and has less to offer.
Nintendo Life (Mar 31, 2011)
Bust-A-Move Universe is a very thin package that feels almost aggressively old-school through its distinct lack of features. While the core game is addictive as ever, the puzzles end too soon and the rest of the content is so underwhelming that you’ll wonder how much time it actually spent in the kitchen. On the bright side, though, things can only improve from here for Bub and Bob.
GamesRadar (Apr 04, 2011)
As for the 3D, it's completely unnecessary and we turned it off quickly. Bust-A-Move is a 2D game through and through, and not only does 3D not add anything to the experience whatsoever, but it didn't look that great either. Overall this feels like a quick cash-in riding on the 3DS launch wave, and although it is cheaper than the other launch titles at $30 compared to $40, that doesn't mean it's a good value – you can find either DS Bust-A-Move for a fraction of the price, and both contain more content than Universe. Its replayability is padded somewhat with "awards" you can collect for various achievements and high scores, but that only goes so far. Even if you really love Bust-A-Move, you're better off sticking with Bust-A-Move DS or Space Bust-A-Move.
Puzzle Bobble Universe’s main faults lie in the lack of content and uninspired 3D effects. However, the gameplay will still be fun and appealing to a lot of gamers, especially those that haven’t had the chance to experience a Puzzle Bobble game before.
Pocket Gamer UK (Apr 27, 2011)
Puzzle Bobble Universe offers familiar bubble popping gameplay, but with a distinct lack of game modes.
Being a fan of the series, I am truly saddened to have to give such a poor review. I feel that developer Arika and publisher Square Enix were simply trying to crank out anything that could be ready for the new handheld's release. The only saving grace is that it's the only puzzle game at launch, and is the lowest priced game of the bunch, but even at $29.99, you're still not getting your money's worth. With a little more time and effort this game could have contained great features and a plethora of puzzles, but sadly is a watered down version not worthy of your time.
Multiplayer features, even the ability to enter initials for high scores, are conspicuously absent. Other versions of Bust-A-Move offer multiple characters, touch-screen controls, and exciting head-to-head competition. Even at the discounted price of 30 dollars, this is clearly the wrong move to bust on a new platform.
NintendoWorldReport (Mar 28, 2011)
Bust-A-Move Universe is a great puzzle game, but unless you're a big fan of the series or a die-hard puzzle fanatic, this is a senseless purchase. You can find similar games online for free or, inevitably, for much cheaper on the 3DS download platforms (when they launch). Still, you can't deny the fact that Bust-A-Move is fun. I just wish that this didn't feel like such a cheap cash-in.
40 (May 04, 2011)
Puzzle Bobble Universe 3DS toont pijnlijk hoe bedreigend een spelplatform als de iPhone momenteel voor Nintendo’s inkomsten is. In dit geval krijg je voor 40 euro een uitgekleed spel waar je zo klaar mee bent. Heb je een iPhone, dan kun je van dat geld misschien wel twintig van dit soort spellen kopen, met meer mogelijkheden en meer uitdagingen. Heb je een oude spelcomputer zoals de PlayStation 2, dan kun je Puzzle Bobble spelen met veel meer spelstanden en uitdagingen. Op deze manier wordt het steeds moeilijker om handheldgames van 40 euro aan te prijzen. Natuurlijk verdienen uitschieters met frisse ideeën (Steel Diver) of uitgebreide spelmogelijkheden (Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition) extra waardering, maar een titel als Puzzle Bobble Universe 3DS heeft zo weinig te bieden, dat het bijna schaamteloos is. De huidige consument, of dat nou een hardcore gamer of een nieuwe speler is, eist en verdient gewoon meer.
40 (May 12, 2011)
Att motivera ett köp av Puzzle Bobble Galaxy känns svårt även för dig som älskar serien. Dels finns redan Puzzle Bobble Galaxy till original-DS som går utmärkt att spela på din 3DS, men det lär även dyka upp bubbelpusslare till konsolens kommande onlinebutik som lär hålla samma kvalitet, men som säljs till ett mycket lägre pris och kanske rent utav innehåller ett flerspelarläge.
40 (May 11, 2011)
In definitiva, considerando la totale assenza di qualsivoglia multiplayer, Puzzle Bobble Universe si dimostra un titolo molto discutibile ed in un certo senso controverso. Le qualità proprie del concept di base non sono certo in discussione, ma al tempo stesso è difficile non interrogarsi sull'effettivo valore dell'esperienza proposta: vale davvero la pena spendere €49,99 euro per un gioco che, pur senza 3D e modalità annesse, è facilmente reperibile su internet nelle sue tante edizioni in flash?
1UP (Mar 30, 2011)
It's lucky for Arika that they have the generally addictive Bust-A-Move formula to fall back on for this game, but I'm baffled at how badly they managed to mishandle such a simple, well-explored puzzle series. Universe isn't flawed in the same way as recent Tetris games, where crummy design elements have been mandated by the licensors; it's just plain old bad game-making.
Game Revolution (Apr 12, 2011)
Bust-A-Move Universe is a tiny game that costs full price. The only replay value comes in the form of awards, which are your everyday run-of-the-mill Achievement equivalents. But even the awards are just text saying you earned them; there aren’t even unique icons between awards. With no multiplayer to be found and half-assed single-player modes that entertain for maybe three hours if you’re lucky, this is one of the sorriest puzzle games I’ve seen in a long time.
Jeux Vidéo Network (May 02, 2011)
Puzzle Bobble Universe n'est pas un jeu raté, c'est juste un manque de respect vis à vis du joueur. Son contenu frôle le néant, et son gameplay a été tellement simplifié qu'il en devient presque inutile. A éviter d'urgence.
Gamekult (Apr 20, 2011)
Et à part ça, rien. Pas de multi, pas de tactile, pas de mode en ligne pour comparer ses scores, nada. Ah si, il est possible de lancer des bulles spéciales, dont la puissance dépend d'une jauge qui grimpe au fil des combos. Quant à la 3D, elle sert juste à afficher quelques effets de profondeur. Bub & Bob sortent de l'écran de temps à autres, et le décor tourne sur lui-même en fond d'écran, ce qui finit par donner mal aux yeux après une utilisation prolongée. Bigre.
Meristation (Mar 25, 2011)
Puzzle Bobble 3DS es una lamentable excusa de Taito por colocar a sus dragoncitos en la nueva consola de Nintendo. No innova en absolutamente nada con respecto a anteriores entregas y, aunque puede funcionar para los que adoren esta marca, demuestra que este estilo de puzles está totalmente desfasado y que debe buscar nuevas formas o desaparecer ante la enorme competencia actual en el género. Corto y más fácil, el producto apenas tiene modalidades de juego y consiste todo el rato en lo mismo. No hay ningún modo multijugador, con Street Pass, contenidos para Spot Pass o uso de las 3D satisfactorio. Es doloroso enterrar una saga que tan buenos ratos nos ha hecho pasar, sobre todo en recreativas, pero éste no es el camino de la supervivencia.