Bubble Bobble Revolution (Nintendo DS) Preview

By John Boyle 05.11.2005

Ask any gamer over a certain age for a list of games of their childhood and chances are that Bubble Bobble will be near the top of that list. It's addictive gameplay, catchy music and groundbreaking console multiplayer made sure that it was forever remembered in gaming history as one of the legends. Bub and Bob return to a very different gaming world now, a world more used to using guns instead of bubbles to blow the enemies away. Can they still cut it?

Bubble Bobble Revolution is a remake of the original NES game and is being handled by British developers Rising Stars. Recent remakes haven't been of the best quality on the DS (Space Invaders anyone) and it is a monumental task for the guys at Rising Stars to rise (no pun intended) to the occasion and deliver a title worthy of Bub and Bobs proud history.

So how do you do that? First things first you need to give the original a lick of paint, and by gum have they done that. Nice big sprites and colourful graphics with pseudo 3d characters and lovely backgrounds certainly makes a change from the basic original. Bub and Bob themselves are looking quite well detailed and rosy of cheeked. They've certainly aged well. The game also moves at a decent pace with little sign of slowdown even when the game gets chaotic (which it often does, it is Bubble Bobble after all).

Screenshot for Bubble Bobble Revolution on Nintendo DS

Ready for a shock? So far no use of the touch screen has been mentioned. Shocking isn't it? But don't fret; BBR is using other DS functions to enhance the classic. For starters the game is spread over two screens (think Sonic Rush). Secondly the mic is being used for changing the trajectory of bubbles and power-ups, which should add a new level of skill to the game. Also, the "one hit and dead" aspect of the original is gone in place of an easier "health bar" system. It seems to remove a chunk of the difficulty that the original is famous for. Time will tell if it makes it too easy.

Finally get prepared for 4-player wireless goodness with a brand new battle mode. Whoever kills the most baddies wins, but you can knock lumps out of eachother as you try to gain an edge. Not online I'm afraid but looks like fun none the less. It also seems to be the only way of playing multiplayer, which is surprising as the nature of the game would lend itself well to frantic party game esque situations... oh well...

Screenshot for Bubble Bobble Revolution on Nintendo DS

There are three main game modes in BBR, the first being the obligatory single player mode. The game is split into worlds, each world containing levels; take these in any order to win the game. Easy. There's also the aforementioned multiplayer mode and lastly is the mode everyone wanted in the game. It is a complete remake of the original complete with the option for wireless co-op play. Prepare to relinquish your life to it.

True, it is not set over the two screens and doesn't have the mic support of the remake but the original was near perfect as it was and playing it wirelessly with a friend has the potential to eat away at the DS battery life. You can also play through it on single player if you have the guts, but only the truly hardcore gamer could do Bubble Bobble on their own.

Screenshot for Bubble Bobble Revolution on Nintendo DS

Bubble Bobble Revolution has snuck up on us here at C3 and it is looking like a tidy little game. The original is loved by one and all and this game is sticking as close to the original as possible whilst making use of the DS features.

Despite the lack of touch screen support the mic feature should add a new frantic edge to the game and it feels like BBR has been made with the idea in mind of using the various unique aspects of the DS. It does have potential problems though. The energy bar could remove a large chunk of the difficulty and in turn replay value, and Rising Stars have yet to confirm if you can play the new single player mode with a friend. The multiplayer also looks a bit shallow with only the one game mode in there but regardless of those Bubble Bobble Revolution is still a game to keep your eye one, whether you are a Bubble Bobble fan or a newcomer.

Screenshot for Bubble Bobble Revolution on Nintendo DS

Final Thoughts

If this is done well then ti could be a sleeper hit. The inclusion of the original game guarentees sales but the new single player mode will have to impress to make this a must have purchase. One to keep an eye on but not put all your cash on..


Rising Star




2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (2 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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