Super Puzzle Fighter II


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


One cup Tetris

One cup Columns

Two cups Street Fighter II

One cup Darkstalkers

Dash of Pocket Fighter

DIRECTIONS: Combine Tetris and Columns until homogenized, then gradually fold in Street Fighter, Darkstalkers, and Pocket Fighter. Fill shallow pan evenly and bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for forty minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack for one hour. Makes about two dozen.

puzzlefighter1ps1.jpg (528356 bytes)And there you have it. A recipe for one of the most addictive puzzle games out there. While this game doesn't break a whole lot of new ground like Klax did, (note: Klax is still the best puzzle game around) it makes up for its attempt to grab a section of the "bored-stiff-with-Tetris" set with its amusing animated fighting game characters and their over the top goofy charm.

Picture your standard Tetris-clone split screen. This time around, colored gems are falling from the sky. There are four colors: red, blue, green, yellow, and four types of gem: normal, crush, counter, (each of which comes in all four colors) and rainbow. Four or more normal gems can be used to build power gems, and the bigger, the better. The crush gems (typically) destroy all of the networked same colored gems they touch (adjacent only - no diagonals). They also have the ability to take out a couple of differing color counter gems (more on that later). The counter gems are very aptly named, since, they A) count down from a particular number before turning into a normal gem, and B) are used to counter your offensive moves. F'rinstance, if you set up a nice two or three chain, or crush a humongous power gem, you will dump a slew of counter gems on your opponent. However, your opponent can then counter your counter gems by pulling off a combo or power crush of their own. Unless, of course, you pull off an amazingly ridiculous combination of chains and power gems that KO your opponent before he or she has a chance to retaliate.

The counter gems also fall in one of several predetermined attack patterns, which, if you wish to succeed after the first few rounds, are a good thing to take a look at. Studying the counter patterns is akin to knowing all of your opponents moves in the Capcom fighters - once you are familiar with them, it's much easier to block and counter. Landing a crush gem next to a matching normal gem and a counter gem or gems will take out any adjacent counter gems, regardless of color. Dropping a rainbow gem on a normal gem shatters all of the like-colored normal and crush gems on the screen, instantly, and landing it at the bottom of the screen awards the player the "tech bonus."

The game SOUNDS confusing (at least, to my feeble mind - I tried for well over eleven minutes to decipher the directions before completely giving up on them and going back to the standard, learn-by-doing approach) but in actuality, it's not too difficult to get the hang of after several hours of yelling and screaming at the television.

puzzlefighter2ps1.jpg (489001 bytes)Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo is a real "gem," (ugh) of a puzzle game and succeeds for literally tons of reasons. Capcom manages to combine good puzzle gaming action with lots of established characters from their other games (told ya, I dig those crossovers and this one works like a charm). It has a really neat-o gem smashing sound effect that makes you really feel like you're shattering the gems with a ball peen hammer. It spews out lots of nutty sayings - I LIVE to beat my girlie with Felicia, just to see Felicia taunt her with "I won by a tail's length. Now go back to my litterbox!" Go back to my litterbox? Who the hell wrote that one?! Morrigan even "says," "It's not whether or I win or lose, just as long as I piss you off!" She really does. Hang out with Yoda, she used to.

SPFIIT is a great change of pace from the ever increasing library of Capcom 2D fighting fare, but it's just as challenging. All of the characters use their signature moves, and utter some of their signature sayings ("Sho-Ryu-Ken," "Meow"), and they're just as fun to watch here as they are to watch in their original settings. Finally, SPFIIT ("spiff it?") is a big, and absolutely necessary might I add, self parody. After all, there were three hundred and sixty seven incarnations of Street Fighter II ______ (fill in the blank with any combination of the following adjectives: turbo; deluxe; special; tournament; super; movie; hyper; gold; blue; purple; ex; fx; sex; crazy; alpha; theta; lasorda; head-busting; killer; zany; wacky; smacky, etc.) before the fifteen year old Capcom CEO finally got his head outta that Larsen-era Spider-Man comic long enough to approve that revolutionary new game with the revolutionary new name, Street Fighter III.

Femme fatale fighting factor: Grab your girl, plug this game into your PSX, then ignore it while you "wrestle" for a coupl'a hours. If and when you need a rest, wipe the sweat from your brow and play this game. According to Cosmo magazine, your woman WILL play this game. Guaranteed. It's just too good looking to resist, it's funny, and it's charming in that self-deprecating way. Aren't those things that women want in a game? Whoops, I read that wrong. Those are the things women want in a guy. Well, that, and tons of money. And a Ferrari. Lousy stinkin' Cosmo..


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Last updated: Sunday, October 16, 2005 02:25 PM