Puzzled VS Bloxeed

 

By Tibe

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In 1990, with the first batch of softs  accompanying the system, was released Puzzled - also known as Joy Joy Kid. This title from SNK repeated the principles of Tetris, with the difference that this was about destroying lines to free access to the upper level for our small blimp! Bloxeed is the name used by Sega for its new version of a great classic puzzle game: Tetris! The game mechanics are preserved, but master Sega  has added a few little ingredients spicing nicely Alexey Pazhitnov's hit. The power of the hardware will not be a decisive element of this versus; however, we note that Sega System C-2 uses a single 68000 processor running at only 8.95 Mhz, and a resolution identical to that of the Neo Geo, 320x224. The displayable colors, the animation and sound capabilities are far below the SNK machine. The Sega game weighs only 3 Mb against 22Mb for Puzzled - which still remains the console's lightest game. But what might have more significance in this comparison might be life, addiction felt, depth of gameplay and fun, alone or for two players.

GRAPHICS

Puzzled features the finest draw, it's obvious, but damn... what's this austere mood! The interface with its Byzantine corridors is beautifully drawn and accompanies us from the beginning to the end of the game .. Should we rejoice? Maybe not! The backgrounds are equally harmless - without looking ugly - as they change every ten floors, each time you're crossing a level. These are ornamental wall or frescoes, in very neutral colors. In the foreground are the bricks of the game fortunately more colorful, and our cute little airships... but overall, the game is bland and repetitive. Bloxeed proves equally colorful for the playground, but offers backgrounds of beautiful and varied digitized landscapes. This breaks the monotony much better than does its rival, and it's also prettier.

PUZZLED................. 59%

 BLOXEED................ 68% 

ANIMATION

The animations are quite limited in this kind of game, but Puzzled is surprisingly lively and dynamic: small balloons in constant motion, nice explosions, while special attacks can be spectacular! In addition, the animations between different phases of the game are successful. In short, the little that is offered is good! The Sega game is more basic and the few animations are simple: explosions, fire, loss of lines... This is the bare minimum. Moreover, the fall of pieces is less fluid than in Puzzled. So a slight advantage for SNK here, on the animation.

PUZZLED................. 65%

BLOXEED................ 61% 

SOUND

Chapter where the difference is usually made with force megas, and the rival soundtracks for this comparison are no exception to the rule. The themes of Bloxeed are fewer and lower in quality than those of Puzzled. These are far from being unpleasant at all, but they're very casual, as well as various sound effects. The rival offers a theme for each stage, so six in total, plus the intermediate musics and when the action speeds up. The sound effects are sharper, better chosen, and more percussive.

PUZZLED................. 68%

 BLOXEED................. 56% 

REPLAY VALUE

Side life, Puzzled offer a solid adventure mode, with no less than one-hundred and twenty levels to beat: sixty with the boy, then the same with the girl. Bloxeed is made up of forty levels, which is already very respectable and not easy to buckle, the falling speed of the parts being sometimes very high. With two players, the Sega soft makes a clear difference, with a gameplay reminding of Puzzle Bobble: each player has its own playground, and multi-line combinations you make penalize the opponent, by sending him additional lines! Plus, many bonuses spice the action and provide fun and diversity. Puzzled 2-P mode is only about each opponent playing on his side without any interaction occurs. Too bad, this mode finally brings nothing more. Sega has understood what provides fun in Puzzle games: the life of Bloxeed is tenfold, thanks to the fun of versus mode!

PUZZLED................ 82%

 BLOXEED............... 90% 

GAMEPLAY

In Puzzled, to clear a level, you must free your balloon stuck under the blocks obstructing the passage: it's all about removing them to allow the airship to fly to the next stage. Unlike Bloxeed, gravity applies here: if you have blocks falling, they're stacked as if they fell to the ground and overlap each other, which can cause chain reactions: interesting! In addition, a gauge (L-Ball) and fills up as the lines are made, on three power levels. When you press B, the small balloon releases a burst of energy around it. If one has well calculated its stroke, it's sometimes enough to free the way to the next stage. Sega has more tricks up his sleeve. Its game packs a real versus mode, unlike Puzzled! Two players compete over the levels, but the multi-line made will penalize the opponent. In addition, all small bonuses available in single player are also part of the principle in VS. Bloxeed innovates and shows original in its time: the blocks may contain letters or numbers: 4, 16, B, F, S. When exploding a line containing a symbol, a bonus is triggered! 4 removes four additional lines; 16 drops a weight from the top of the screen, which removes three columns the full height of the playground; B gives you a bomb that can disintegrate up to nine tiles. F (fly) shows a small bird controllable by the player, who can let go of the squares to make a few lines with ease. As for S, it clearly means shoot! A cannon appears at the top of the screen and allows you to shoot the blocks to destroy them: key to big bonus if you clean all the playground! Clearly, with its two-players mode and its fun principles full of originality, Bloxeed makes the difference on the gameplay: Puzzled is distanced by Sega's game.

PUZZLED................. 70%

 BLOXEED................ 86% 

CONCLUSION

Puzzled is a nice game, cute and long, but fairly repetitive; in addition, its two-player mode adds nothing to the gameplay. Bloxeed is an enhanced version of Tetris, with new very good ideas making it much less linear. Its versus mode packs everything a player can expect: good and fun gaming mechanics, providing a great addiction for one player, and endless duels for two. Victory of master Sega!

PUZZLED

72%

 

BLOXEED

85% 


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