Many are familiar with the duo of Bub and Bob from the duo of Bust-A-Move and that evolved into what now is known as Puzzle Bobble. Always doing what they do best as they are trying to get the right amount of matching color order so that the stage can be cleared and on to the next. But over the years and many birthdays and adventures, the duo has done what they could to bring enjoyment to as many players as possible. So does developer, Survios show what it’s like for this duo to go on vacation? Let’s find out with Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey for the PlayStation VR.
35 years has been a long time that has passed, but over that time we have seen our share of Bub and Bob in the adventures as they tried to clear levels and it’s time for them to go on Vacation. Now, some of you may be wondering if we haven’t seen this title before. And it’s true that back in May of 2021, the game did come out for the Oculus Quest/Quest 2 called Puzzle Bobble VR: Vacation Odyssey which was reviewed here. But now, the game has been brought over for PlayStation VR with a new title along with some additional controls as well as releasing on Bub’s birthday all for you to enjoy.
In Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey, we get to see Bub and Bob finally go on vacation with their girlfriends to the beach. But an evil wizard who I guess doesn’t like for the duo or anyone for that matter to enjoy themselves, takes it upon himself and put the girlfriends in bubbles and it’s going to be up to you to defeat the 100 3D puzzles as you aim, shoot, spin, color-match, and try to make everything right again. Can’t these two go on vacation without having to do work? In case you might not be aware, Bub who you will be playing, is the green dragon and Bob is the blue dragon. But how will you ever pop those bubbles? Glad you asked. You get to use the bobble cannon where Bob will be feeding you different colors bobbles so that you will use to pop the different color bubbles.
There are three different elements to the game. You have the Story mode, Infinite Mode, and Duel Mode. Controls are very simple. Use the R2 to fire the bubbles from the cannon, L2 to cancel the shot, and X to swap out the bubbles. Aiming is as simple as just moving the Dual Shock 4 controller (you can play with the Move controllers with having the action of pulling back on the bubble cannon, but I found it easier to use the DualShock).
As I mentioned, there are 100 levels of puzzles to try and complete all while going to different parts of the island. Some levels are filled with the sun as you are on the beach to those that have the environments change such as the one that looks like you are in the like they are made to play like you are in a volcano to even ones with palm trees, wind, and sand. Now, you can go through each of the levels just hoping your aiming is enough to get you through which sometimes it may feel that way, but there are times where you may feel stuck on a level (don’t give up) and wish you had just some help.
This is where you do have a selection of power-ups that you can use. There are three different ones that include Spin Bubble that will allow you to rotate the cluster of the puzzle to how you would like it. Paintbrush allows you to paint and choose the color for your next bubble. And probably my favorite, the Bomb. Here Bub will need to eat a lollipop, so you can breathe fire (remember you are a dragon) so that you can ignite the fuse and shoot the bomb off into an explosion. I will say, that getting these power-ups is expensive. To start out, each power-up costs 100 coins. You earn coins after each level depending on how well you did. Even if you clear each level in the amount of time or sometimes having to pop all the bubbles with only a certain amount of shots, it can take a long time. But once you buy one, it seems that the cost for the one that you bought does go down for the next time you need to buy that power-up.
But if you find yourself in need of some additional coins, just look up in the sky when you see some birds flying and if you can shoot a bubble at them and hit them, you will be rewarded with extra coins. In Infinite mode it’s just that, you play for an infinite amount of time as long as the bubbles do not reach the portal.
In Duel Mode, it’s you vs another player. However, every time I would attempt to play, no one else was playing at the time, so I will have to try that at a later time.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey really does look good on PlayStation VR. The colors pop, seeing Bob to the side seems to be happy most of the time, and the other times you get the feeling that he thought you did well even though it may not have been good enough. So I appreciate the emotional support there. The colors of the environments and puzzles are bright and very easy on the eyes which is always a bonus. The music is not overpowering and very pleasant to listen to as you are going through the different levels and hearing Bob make sounds as he sends you a new bubble is fun as well.
There are some things that I hope would be added here. For one, leaderboards. Seeing which of your friends or other players had the highest scores or completed the level in the fast time would be something to aim for. Second, there were at times where it seemed the tracking with the aiming was off on certain puzzles. Not all the time, but for those puzzles, I did experience it in, I had to adjust. I am sure a patch can fix this. This didn’t make me want to stop playing or anything like that, but just something I experienced. And finally, I think adding support for the Aim controller would just add some extra fun to the mix.
Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey still gives us the nostalgia feeling and still shows that bringing non-VR games and franchises into VR can be a lot of fun. It’s a game that anyone both young and old can pick up and have some fun. Sometimes what’s old is new again for many people to enjoy all over again.
Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey is out now for PlayStation VR and remember if you buy the PS4 version, you do receive the PS5 version of the game. A review code was provided. To learn more about the game, please visit the site. To learn more about Survios, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time. I am going to see if I can get all the stars on all the levels and see if anyone is ready for a duel.
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