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Wii Virtual Console: Bubble Bobble Review

by: Hollan ; edited by: Benjamin Sell ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

Blow bubbles through 100 levels of fun!

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    Bubble Bobble was released in 1986 by Taito. While originally an arcade game, Bubble Bobble has been ported to many other systems, NES included, and is now available as a Wii download on the Virtual Console. While many of Taito's other VC releases were suspect (Legend of Kage, anyone?) Bubble Bobble is a fun and addicting game that has the depth other Taito releases (Elevator Action?) were missing.

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    Oh no! Bubble and Bobble's girlfriends have been kidnapped (surprise surprise) by monsters and are being held captive in a cave below the earth! You can set out on your own as Bubble (or maybe you're Bobble, I can't tell them apart), an adorable little dragon dinosaur thing, to work your way through 100 levels of this action-platformer. Or you can pair up with a friend and co-op it.

    Whatever you choose, just save those poor dragon dino girlfriends!

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    Tthe levels in Bubble Bobble are not long or complex in any way. There are no puzzles to solve and enemies can easily be defeated. There isn't even any timer. All you have to do is defeat all the enemies in each level by blowing bubbles and trapping them. Once a baddie is trapped in a bubble you have to pop it by jumping into it. If the enemy pops the bubble itself it will be mad and move a lot faster than normal. If it touches Bubble or Bobble you will lose a life.

    The Wiimote acts as a nice classic controller. You jump and blow bubbles with the 1 and 2 buttons and move with the directional pad. Movement is slow, including falling, but that's nice in case you missed a platform you wanted to jump on. You can just float down to it.

    Besides using bubbles to trap enemies you can also float on them for a short period of time and jump off of them. This skill comes in handy later in the game when there are many out of the way platforms you may want to get to.

    When an enemy is defeated it leaves behind fruit which you can collect for points. You can also collect a whole slew of other items, like crowns and vegetables, which will also make your score higher. Some even give you lives.

    Probably one of the best parts of Bubble Bobble is the co-op mode. Unlike Mario Bros. this co-op mode actually begs cooperation. In order to reach the bottom you must work together. It's a great way to work with someone in a game environment and a great way to get kids to stop fighting over whose turn it is.

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    Graphics and Sound

    While the graphics in Bubble Bobble are not stellar, they have a certain retro charm that cannot be denied. Yes, the backgrounds are only black, but they are underground. Yes, the levels are only a series of colored platformers, but that's not the point. Bubble and Bobble are so cute I would take them home if I could. That's enough to sell me on it.

    Sound wise this is a real winner. The music and fun and nicely paced. It has an almost circus like feel to it that compliments the mood of the game. It isn't frantic or annoying, and can actually be somewhat soothing at times. I'd put it on my iPod!

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    Bubble Bobble Action!

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    Yes! Bubble Bobble has a world of fun shoved inside its dragony dino goodness! While it starts out easy some of the later levels do get much more difficult, but the mood of the game keeps it from getting annoying. If you want to spend a quiet evening at home, chilling out and having a good time, this is the perfect game. There is plenty going on that keeps it from getting boring, and it is so charming that it's hard to stop playing. Plus, kids will love it too!

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    Bubble Bobble is definitely worth 500 Wii Points. Even if you have never played it before there is so much to love about it you should enjoy this gem. While it is old, there is plenty to do and it is so much fun you will not regret it. It won't make you think very hard, but it will make you smile.