Puyo Puyo is one of those rare, timeless games which I do actually pick up and replay. It’s a cute fusion of Tetris and Connect Four presented in the form of colourful jelly. You can rotate and position the jelly blocks as they drop from above, to trigger popping chains which can hurt your opponent. Every time you pop a chain, your selected character will perform a unique attack and nuisance Puyo jelly will drop down into the rival screen. The longer the chain you set off, the more powerful the attack you will use. I really enjoy this addition to the game, as it creates something more than just a puzzle game. I think it must have something to do with the secret animalistic desire in us all to destroy our opponents via Spirit Bomb. In any case, praise the developer who actually managed to think up a way to make a game about jelly popping as exciting as Dragonball Z and Sailor Moon. Although there isn’t much of a storyline, I feel that the super chibi character designs more than make up for it. Besides, it’s a light-hearted jelly popping game. Nobody would be able to take that seriously, right?
Despite being very bright and colourful, you actually do have to study the chain patterns to really be good at Puyo popping. You can still just get by in easy mode, but without learning how to really pull off chaining, there will be difficulties later on. Admittedly, I haven’t really been absorbing the in-game chaining lessons myself, so I kind of fail in Fever mode without those helpful arrows telling me where to dump my jelly. Generally I just stack similar colours together and that seems to pan out okay. My shoddy Puyo skills aside, there are many accomplished players out there who can chain like a boss:
The Puyo Puyo series is actually as old as I am, with numerous older arcade and console releases. I’ve only been sticking with the recent DS games though, because they’re easier for me to get hold of and I prefer the new characters introduced.
Puyo Pop Fever!
This is the only DS title to have been officially released in English. The main heroine is Amitie, but you do play as Raffine during the intermediate course. You basically walk around the map in search of Ms. Accord’s flying cane, fighting jelly battles with everyone you meet along the way. As it turns out, an evil cat called Popoi has the cane all along. But he’s just a puppet controlled by Ms. Accord, so really the entire story is a wild goose chase. Raffine gets her head smashed in with the cane by Ms. Accord’s hand, which kind of violates student rights.
Puyo Puyo Fever 2 (Chu)
This would probably be my favourite Puyo title if someone translated it. It’s a sequel to the original Puyo Fever and consists of three different courses while also allowing for item use. The new main character is Sig, who is just plain awesome. Again, you will be walking around the map fighting jelly battles. This time though, the villain is Klug after being possessed by the spirit residing in his book. There is also a sub-plot about the incredibly effeminate Ocean Prince trying to return to his fish form. Except that he gets eaten by a whale in the ending scene.
Puyo Puyo 15th Anniversary
This one was translated by some kind souls. You can select to play as any available character and battle through a tournament. There are lots of novelty Puyo modes introduced in this game, such as Spinner or Bomber. Some of the old characters from the original Puyo Puyo appear here, such as Rulue, Schezo and Satan. The tournament prize is a magic medal which Ms. Accord claims will grant one wish. Ultimately, the medal does nothing and everybody has their wish denied due to some irrational loophole.
Puyo Puyo 7
Another game translated by more kind souls. Andou Ringo is the new heroine now, although she looks a bit out place when compared to the other characters. You walk around the map as usual, having jelly battles with everybody you meet. Apparently there has been some kind of inter-dimensional rip, and both Puyo jellies and original characters are falling from the sky into Ringo’s world. A new feature introduced is that you can now play Fever mode in Mini or Mega form. The Mini transformation causes your character to shrink into child form, while Mega allows your character to grow into adult form. The villain is Ekoro, an eerie blob of a man who seems to be made of dark matter. He also fittingly has a Guess Who question mark on his forehead, as he has a thing for possessing people and stealing their attack animations.
A fashionable, stuck-up and rather rude girl. Her name and attacks are all French phrases. She seems to be quite a direct and up-front character though, showing respect for the dreams of her opponents. I actually like her even if her character obviously isn’t too nice.
A boy with a red left half due to being partly made up of a demon. He has a red left eye and an oversized left arm. Sig is completely disinterested in anything apart from Puyo and insects, reacting passively in all situations. Sig is arguably my favourite character because he never has any idea what’s happening, and only cares about locating new bugs. Or it might also have something to do with the intrinsic bond between all people who have collected bugs. Anyway, Sig is awesome.
A friendly, childish, dim-witted and optimistic girl. She wants to improve her magic so that her Puyo attacks can become stronger. Amitie is the standard nice main character of the newer Puyo games.
A very shy and nervous girl. Rider has trouble believing in herself and has low self-esteem issues. Her hair is wound around her horns because she is embarrassed to show them. I can’t help but feel that someday Rider is going lose the cap to her repressed bottle of rage and explode into a searing wrath of flames.
Apparently Klug is at the top of the class and a genius. He’s almost a perfect candidate for the nerd ensemble, donning the shirt, bow tie, academic hat, spectacles and bland haircut look. The only thing that rescues his character from the full blown nerd stereotype is that his overall attitude is rather smug and rude, as opposed to being a wussy pushover. But yeah, when you beat him he goes into wuss out mode anyway. Klug always carries around a book on permanent renewal from the library, and harbours an alarming obsession with Lemres.
This is what Klug becomes when the demon spirit residing in the book he always carries about possesses his body. In other words, he’s like a cross between Yami Yugi and the Digimon Emperor. Strange Klug’s eyes go red, his hairstyle gets cooler, an evil overlord cape appears out of nowhere and instant puberty hormones immediately begin circulating. I like him because his voice heavily implies that he is the only attractive man in the entire game.
A girl who practices dowsing and black magic. She is a very creepy and vengeful character, always cursing people or muttering about her beloved Lemres. When angered, Feli’s face turns purple like a deranged eggplant.
A talented senior warlock, who is a confectionery addict. It seems that he has the power of the gods at his fingertips, blessed with the vast magical ability to Wonka-fy the entire world. But instead, he spends his time bribing children with candy. This correctly makes him very suspicious, because he seems like the type of guy who would end up in prison for luring children into a cage before driving erratically off in a windowless van. Incidentally, he never opens his eyes.
The slightly sadistic teacher of Primp Magic School. Her magic is based on musical terminology, mostly referring to the pace of songs. Accord has so far knocked a student out unconscious with her cane, plotted to make Popoi a villain, and jibbed students out of a wish granting medal. She certainly sounds like a closet evil mastermind to me, but she usually acts like a perfectly ordinary teacher.
A black cat puppet held by Ms. Accord. Apparently this cat is evil, calling himself the ‘Prince of Darkness’ at one stage. However, he never reverts to being openly evil again after the first game. And yes, the cat is male. It doesn’t matter if his voice sounds completely effeminate in both the English and Japanese releases, that’s just how it is. Popoi is probably just being controlled by Ms. Accord to do her bidding. Nonetheless, he makes an excellent final boss. Because you can really appreciate life after getting your ass whooped by a jelly popping cat.
The main heroine of the previous Puyo games, revamped and dropped into the new Puyo world. She is loved by Satan and hated by Rulue for it, but seems to be indifferent to them both. Her elemental magic is powerful and desired by many. Arle is accompanied by a curry loving sidekick named Carbuncle.
A skilled martial artist and Arle’s long time rival. She is in love with Satan and will follow him wherever he goes. Rulue is also known as the Fighting Queen and takes offense to those who address her differently. Klug asks her for a full nelson at one point, which is kind of creepy.
The main villain of the older Puyo games, except chibi-fied. Satan has always been in love with Arle, but she ignores his advances. Most notably, Puyo will drop at accelerated speeds when facing him.
A swordsman who wants to obtain Arle’s magical power. Unfortunately, he has a tendency to express this by yelling ‘Be my desire!’ and ‘I want you!’ This leads to him being permanently labelled as a pervert.
A curiously realistic and down to earth girl, who isn’t quite as obsessed about jelly popping as everyone else. Her face and hairstyle seem rather dull for a Puyo character, but these features are improved in the new 20th Anniversary art. She always carries around an apple in her hands.
A fashionable guy who goes to the same school as Ringo. He is the son of a fishmonger and his eyes are forever covered by his hair. Maguro always carries around a ball and cup Puyo toy thingy.
Yu and Rei
Two ghost siblings who enjoy playing games and riddles. Yu is overly cheerful while Rei is the opposite.
A gay skeleton who enjoys being an outfit critic. It is revealed that in the past he was a tortured curly blonde. He has since thrown all his photos into the sea. Oshare mistakes Satan for a musician he was in love with, even going so far as to say that he would otherwise be in love with Lemres. His catch phrase is ‘Psychedelic!’
I’ve heard he is also student at Primp’s magic school. Tarutaru has a disturbing fixation with Raffine and may need to wear a monitoring anklet. I don’t care why his head is so disproportionate to his body, and neither should you.
An eccentric bird who has a nasty habit of dive bombing at people. His attacks all consist of abstract sounds made up of ‘Mmm-Hmm’ or ‘Ho-ho’.
Ocean Prince/Prince Salde Canarl Shellbrick III
Ocean Prince is the pink fish form of Prince Salde. His human form is an exceedingly girly, dress wearing, pink haired child. Ocean Prince always goes around belittling other characters by calling them peasants and demanding that they become his servants. At the end of the second game, he is eaten by a passing whale.
A fish with surprisingly buff arms and legs. He enjoys dancing and yelling out random things such as ‘Fiiish!’ along with other Engrish phrases.
Onion Pixy & Onionette
The onion equivalents to Pokémon.
A frog that sits in an acorn. He can only say variations of ‘Ribbit!’
A talking eggplant that wears glasses. He is deathly afraid of being eaten, because he can’t escape given his minute legs.
A miniature skeleton with an unhealthy tea obsession. His catch phrase is ‘O-cha!’