Super Puzzle Fighter II HD Remix - Xbox Live Review

I hope all of you had a really nice weekend.  Seeing as that here in the States it was a holiday weekend, giving me an extra day off of work - I particularly enjoyed it.  I spent a large chunk of time working on Madden and Dragon's Dogma.  So, now for the lats of my 'Street Fighter' posts - this one with a slightly less serious theme.

I figured with all of the 'hardcore' fighting posts that I put up over the last several updates, I would cap things off with a related, but still slightly less serious post.  For all of my history with the older Street Fighter games, I completely missed Puzzle Fighter until it came out on Xbox Live a few years ago.  I picked it up on a whim one day while it was on sale.

So what is it?  It reminds you of both Dr. Mario and Tetris with its drop down puzzle mechanics.  I would say it seems closer to Dr. Mario in that you have two crystals that vary in color, and you have to match them up.  The crystals come in four different colors - but what is different is matching the colors up does not remove them from play - it makes larger blocks of crystals.  No, the removing is done with glowing crash crystals that wipe out out the color of crystals that they touch.

As a 'fighter' game, you are set up against an opponent.  Why does this matter?  Like other competitive puzzle games, the larger your chains, the more stacks of crystals you dump on your opponent.

Graphics - 7:

What you have here is pretty simple.  It is not going to challenge your system much, but overall the graphics look pretty good.  Most of the game got the HD paint job, but apparently the sprited combatants in the middle of the screen did not make that cut, which seems a bit odd.

Sound & Music - 7:

It is all very functional stuff, with the appropriate yells when you 'beat up' on your opponent, or when a gem shatters.  There is enough variety that the sound effects at least do not annoy you.  The music is equally unobtrusive if unimpressive.  There was a song or to that stuck in my head enough that I recognized it right away when it would play again, but none of them were fantastic by any means.

Gameplay - 7:

The mechanics are really very simple.  You get crystals, you can swap their order and you can drop them.  The menu is easy to get around as well, but from a control standpoint, this game is no more advanced than Dr. Mario.  That is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does not bring much of anything new to the table either.

Intangibles -9:

If you like puzzle games, and you wind up liking this one's formula, then you will find a lot to like here.  There are quite a few modes, including several minor variants from what was released years ago.  The addition of online is a huge perk as well, though I very seldom find active matches anymore.  

Overall 7.5:

I do enjoy the game in small bursts still, but it never really took with the rest of my family the way games like Dr. Mario and Tetris have.  For me, it is fun seeing the characters 'beat each other up' based on how the game is going, but I think we have safely established that I am a bit of a sucker for Capcom fighters (and Street Fighter in particular).  The gameplay is suitably addicting, and when I do play, I usually go through a few games before moving onto something else.  I generally do not sit there with it for hours though, like I might other titles - downloadable or not.


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