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Puyo Puyo

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Page 1:
Introduction

Page 2:
Puyo Puyo

Page 3:
Puyo Puyo Tsū

Page 4:
Puyo Puyo SUN

Page 5:
Puyo Puyo~n

Page 6:
Nazo Puyo

Page 7:
Nazo Puyo (cont.)

Page 8:
Minna de Puyo Puyo
Puyo Puyo Fever
Puyo Puyo Fever 2

Page 9:
Puyo Puyo 15th Anniversary

Page 10:
Puyo Puyo BOX

Page 11:
Puyo Puyo 7
Puyo Puyo 20th Anniversary

Discuss on the Forums!

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Nazo Puyo (なぞぷよ) - Game Gear, 3DS eShop (1993)

Nazo Puyo 2 (なぞぷよ2) - Game Gear, Mobile, 3DS eShop (1993)

Nazo Puyo 2 Cover

Whereas the main line Puyo Puyo games focused on expanding the competitive side, the Nazo Puyo ("Puzzle Puyo") subseries decided to take a different approach and expand upon the mission mode offered in the first game. This may seem redundant at first, as many, if not all entries in the main series contain a mission mode. However, there's quite a big distinction between the two. The mission modes in the regular games were never really that long nor extensive; usually, you're given an empty board and put through an endless series of randomly generated missions. Due to the fact that there was almost always only a small number of mission types offered, and the fact that your board doesn't clear after completing a mission, the goal of the mode was mostly about seeing how far you could go before running out of space. The Nazo Puyo titles, on the other hand, are quite a different story; although the types of objectives are still roughly the same, what's important is how they're used. Instead of giving you an empty board, many times you're given a preset board to work with and clear a given objective, thus shifting the focus from endurance to actual puzzle-solving.

One criticism that can be aimed at the Nazo Puyo games is that they usually have less replay value. Certain missions can be easy once you know the thought process behind them, and every game is single player only - no multiplayer modes to give you a reason to come back after finishing the game. That's not to say that they aren't worth looking into; even the earliest games in the series have quite a bit of content to play through for a first play, perhaps more so than the earlier games in the main series.

The series starts off with Nazo Puyo, released on the Game Gear. The game offers two activities. The Mission Mode is simple enough: you're tasked with a total of 100 objectives you have to clear one after the other. The mode doesn't play out like a carbon copy of the original one from Puyo Puyo, however, as a few changes were put in place. Even though you were given preset fields, the original Mission Mode had the problem that the falling Puyo arrived in random order, so success or failure in the missions was often a question of luck. Here, the sets of Puyo you receive are usually always set in stone. However, this doesn't mean that the game holds your hand: for many missions, after the game decides you've used enough Puyo to complete the mission, it only gives you "useless" Puyo that don't match the colors for the task at hand. For certain missions, this isn't a death sentence outright, but most of the time it simply serves to prevent you from completing the task. Thankfully, you're allowed to restart a mission at any time as opposed to the original version, where you'd have to get a game over.

There's also a new challenge introduced: in certain missions, Puyo will hang in the air until you drop your first set down. This forces you to think even more strategically about where you place your Puyo. This challenge can be viewed as both a good and a bad thing; on one hand the game still pauses at the beginning of a mission until you decide to start, so you're able to plan out where to go in situations like these. This keeps the challenge fair. On the other hand, it ties into a failing of the game. Much like the first Puyo Puyo, you're only allowed to see one set of upcoming Puyo at a time: consequently, you're usually unable to plan out your moves fully. This is quite a big deal in a game where you need to use every set of Puyo you receive in a specific way to complete a mission. Since the game also doesn't tell you how many turns you have before it drops only useless Puyo, many missions may take quite a bit of trial and error.

The other mode on offer is the ability to create your own puzzles, something that's quite an achievement due to how extensive it is. You're able to set parameters based on every option that the game uses for its own missions, such as defining the Puyo drops, setting the starting formation, the objective of the mission, and so forth. You're unable to transfer these missions to another cartridge, but it's a neat feature if you're looking to create challenges for yourself or friends.

Nazo Puyo 2, released a few months later, is more of an expansion than a true sequel. The only differences, aside from the new set of missions, are the music and the fact that your progress is saved in-game instead of through a password.

Both Nazo Puyo games are quite fun to play, and are definitely worth the time to play through if you're interested in the more puzzle-oriented side of the series. With 200 puzzles between the two and the ability to create your own, you'll definitely be drawn in for quite some time.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Producer:

  • Masamitsu Niitani

Director:

  • Masanobu Tsukamoto

Genre:

Themes:


Nazo Puyo (Game Gear)

Nazo Puyo (Game Gear)

Nazo Puyo 2 (Game Gear)

Nazo Puyo 2 (Game Gear)


Nazo Puyo: Arle no Roux (なぞぷよ アルルのルー) - Game Gear, 3DS eShop (1994)

Cover

The third Game Gear entry, Nazo Puyo: Arle no Roux changes the formula up a bit. Though it does provide a fresh, interesting experience that can be a bit more engaging than the previous entries, there are some additions that don't exactly make things smoother.

The largest change is the reformatting of the mission mode: instead of giving you a series of puzzles, you control Arle situated in a hub world. Here you meet characters you can talk to in any order you like; doing so puts you against their set of missions, each with their own varying amount and difficulty. In total, there are 20 characters to challenge, so there's definitely no shortage of missions to play.

The way missions play out has also been reworked. A welcome change is that you're finally able to see more than the next set of Puyo to come - for many missions, you're able to see around five sets in advance. This easily allows you to think more strategically, eliminating a good amount of the trial and error aspect that the previous games had.

Although this eases the difficulty slightly, there are a few changes that do the opposite. Whereas in the previous games, you had a suggested number of turns to complete a mission before the game decided to send you useless Puyo, going over the suggested amount of moves automatically ends the mission here. Normally, this change would seem almost pointless since you'd no doubt restart the mission anyways, but this directly ties into the last two additions: a health and experience system. Failing a mission decreases your health, and completing a mission gives you experience. Upon gaining enough experience to level up (or simply by clearing a character's set of missions), your health is replenished.

These additions are a nod to the Madō Monogatari era of RPGs, though this means they carry with them the same problems that were present in said games - mainly that the interface makes no clear indication of what's happening, but just a vague idea. Experience is represented by orbs that slowly appear on the screen, and you aren't told how much experience completing a mission will reward. Your health is depicted by Arle's face: the worse off she looks, the less health you have. This means you can't tell how many mistakes you have left before you deplete all of your health, as there are a few faces she goes through before you finally get a game over. If that happens, you're forced to start from the beginning of the current NPC's set of missions.

Although the nod to the series' roots is certainly something to be admired, the added guesswork definitely makes things much more frustrating, especially since it's somewhat pointless in the long run. The experience system and punishment for failure worked for Madō Monogatari because it was an RPG, but this is a puzzle game. Getting punished for failure and being forced to restart upon failing too much doesn't work for this game because once you know how to solve a puzzle, that's pretty much it and you can finish it every time thereafter. There aren't any variables - such as random encounters in an RPG - to change the situation. Because of this, it's tough to recommend this game to players just starting out with Nazo Puyo, as the needless restarts can certainly kill motivation to continue playing.

Thankfully, the missions themselves are at least as fun and challenging as the previous games, if not more; if you can overlook the minor frustrations, you'll certainly be engaged. Even if you find a mission to be too difficult, you're now able to skip your current one through the pause menu, though doing so counts as a failure, reducing your HP. There are also only a few "extra" missions in a character's set that you can skip before they loop back around, so it's a temporary solution at best.

Another addition that was absent from the earlier games is the endless mode that's now a standard in the main series. However, it's not a straight port, as you're now attacked by Nuisance Puyo - somewhat like the portable ports of the early Puyo Puyo games, though it's a bit worse than that. Unlike those games, you're not given an indication of when the attacks will happen, or in what intensity. Since a chain you work on can be undone with Nuisance Puyo seemingly from out of nowhere, this goes against the spirit of endless mode - making large chains to practice your building skills, or just to see how far your own personal skills can take you in a controlled environment - and makes it an overall less fun experience.

Overall, Nazo Puyo: Arle no Roux is still a fine enough game. Even though the interface flaws can be aggravating, it makes up for it with a good deal of challenging puzzles. Still, it isn't a good entryway into the series for beginners.

Quick Info:

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Genre:

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Nazo Puyo: Arle no Roux (Game Gear)

Nazo Puyo: Arle no Roux (Game Gear)

Nazo Puyo: Arle no Roux (Game Gear)


Additional screenshots


Nazo Puyo (なぞぷよ) - PC-98 (1994)

Cover

When Compile relaunched its disk mag DiscStation for the PC-98 in 1994, they started to include the Nazo Puyo mission editor along with a new set of missions with each new issue. Nazo Puyo for PC-98 build on the previous games by bringing new missions with every issue, and even adding somewhat of a story mode to spice things up. Unfortunately, it doesn't introduce any new concepts to the formula, but it's still a solid entry in the Nazo Puyo series.

Eventually there was also a standalone release for PC-98, which offers most in the main mission mode, though it doesn't play out like the previous games. At the outset, you're given a selection of three stages to play through, each increasing in difficulty from easy to hard. Every set of 10 missions has a character attributed to them, and a cutscene that plays before it; the cutscenes use the expressive spritework that's reminiscent of the first Puyo Puyo arcade game, so they're quite entertaining to watch. Every stage offers a whole 30 missions to play through, with an additional 10 missions on the third stage once you complete the other two. 100 missions in total may seem like enough already, but there's another mission mode as well that's structured much like the previous games, where you tackle yet another 100 missions with no breaks in between.

The missions themselves play out mostly the same as usual, though there's been a slight addition in that you're now able to see how many moves you're allotted for a mission. Upon pausing during a mission, you're also able to replay your previous inputs. This is mostly so that you can see your mistakes and try to figure out a different way of clearing the mission while doing so - it's a pretty helpful feature to have in a game where every decision you make counts, which is why it's a shame it didn't return in any other games.

The game's most notable feature is its difficulty; every mission forces you to think differently in order to complete it, and since many missions require multiple steps to complete them, the answer isn't always obvious at first glance. The challenge is mostly fair, but it also means that the trial and error can be a bit more exaggerated, as you're still only able to see one next set of Puyo. Because of this, the game isn't exactly one for beginners, though an experienced player will definitely have fun with the difficulty.

Aside from its mission modes, Nazo Puyo doesn't have much else to offer. Once again, you're given the option to create your own missions (and now have the option to create and save them), but that's pretty much it as far as extras go. Still, with 200 puzzles to play through, it's easy to get invested in the game for quite a long time. It should also be noted that another Nazo Puyo disc was released later, and it's best to consider it an expansion; it has the same interface/spritework as its predecessor, and only offers another series of original missions - no title screen, cutscenes, or menus to work with.

Quick Info:

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Publisher:

Genre:

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Nazo Puyo (PC98)

Nazo Puyo (PC98)

Nazo Puyo (PC98)


Additional screenshots


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Introduction

Page 2:
Puyo Puyo

Page 3:
Puyo Puyo Tsū

Page 4:
Puyo Puyo SUN

Page 5:
Puyo Puyo~n

Page 6:
Nazo Puyo

Page 7:
Nazo Puyo (cont.)

Page 8:
Minna de Puyo Puyo
Puyo Puyo Fever
Puyo Puyo Fever 2

Page 9:
Puyo Puyo 15th Anniversary

Page 10:
Puyo Puyo BOX

Page 11:
Puyo Puyo 7
Puyo Puyo 20th Anniversary

Discuss on the Forums!

Back to the Index