Arcade Archives Bubble Bobble Review (PS4)

Arcade Archives Bubble Bobble

Some of my first gaming memories ever come from playing NES and one of my all-time favorite games was Bubble Bobble. I would spend hours upon hours playing this game and I just loved every single minute of it. I had seen this game hit the PSN store a while ago but held off on buying it. I had heard some not so good things about this Arcade Archives series so I was weary to buy anything from it. After seeing it in the store, I knew I had to pick it up at least for the nostalgia. Here’s what I thought about the game.

Believe it or not, this game has an actual story to it. You’ll play as two super cute little dragons Bub and Bob who have to make their way, blowing bubbles, through 100 different levels in the Cave of Monsters. Why are Bub and Bob doing this? To save their girlfriends of course!

Even though I have much love for this game and the time I spent playing it on the NES, I just couldn’t really enjoy it all that much on my PS4. For some reason I had a problem with the screen size on the game so some stuff was cut off and that made it a little less enjoyable. Also it just felt awkward to play with the PS4 controller. The story and everything else was the same to the point that I was remembering the strategies that I would use to get through each level. I think that’s pretty good considering the last time I actually played this game was about…20 years ago.

As I had said earlier the PS4 controls for this game just felt a little awkward since X was to blow bubbles and O was to jump. I though it should have been the other way around and was constantly getting confused and frustrated because apparently my brain didn’t want to accept the controller layout. Other than that there was a problem with the screen size to where stuff was cut off and I couldn’t see the whole screen. Luckily there were no bugs or glitches that I noticed in my time playing.

The graphics are the same exact graphics from the NES version that I was so used to playing. This was a good thing though because I loved those graphics and I enjoyed seeing them again. Sometimes it’s the simple graphics that are the best and this is one of those times.

There are trophies for this game, but I felt like they were kind of a rip off. There are a total of 6 trophies for this game and it’ll take you no longer than an hour to get them. I thought there was a potential for a lot of trophies to come with this game especially for a $7.99 price tag. Apparently I was wrong though.

There’s no multiplayer, but there is good old fashioned couch co-op. If you have a friend you can play along with them and I guess this would even work with the share play feature so I don’t see why you wouldn’t try this out if you had someone to play with.

Overall I give this game a 2 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ It’s Bubble Bobble for the PS4!
+ Same graphics that you’ll remember from the NES version and it really makes the game because of that little nostalgia.

What’s Not So Great:
Awkward controller layout.
The screen isn’t proportioned right leaving parts of the screen area cut off.
Not much replay value for the price.

While it was nice to play a game that I once couldn’t stop playing, I know now for a fact I will not be buying this series again anytime soon. It was like they just took the game, slapped the Arcade Archives sticker on it and put it on PSN without even making sure that it represented the original game all that well. For the hefty $7.99 price tag, I kind of feel ripped off and even though I left the game on my system I don’t think I’ll be playing anytime soon. If you’re looking for a little video game nostalgia I would recommend skipping this one and instead picking up the re-releases of Ms. Pac-Man, Dig Dug, and Pac-Man.

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6 Comments

  1. There is a way you can remap the buttons in game, go into the menu and look for that option, I’ve mapped X and Jump and Square as Bubble and had no problems.

    • Great tip! I have a problem where I hate remapping the buttons and didn’t even look for that option. Seems like that button remap would work a lot better than how it is originally set up.

  2. If you’re going to take the time to post a review, please do it right. Just about every commercial emulated game offering going back to the 90s has options to remap buttons and change the screen size, including Arcade Archives: Bubble Bobble. These options are there precisely because not everyone has the same TV setup nor the same button preferences. I don’t think it’s fair to knock the game just because you can’t be bothered to look through a few options menus.

    • All game reviews are solely based on my own opinion and my full experience playing the game. You are free to disagree with them, which you clearly do when it comes to this game.

      There are many games that have screen size options and the good ones ask you to configure your screen size preference BEFORE staring the game. They don’t make you actually play the game first and then configure the screen size. As for the button layout, I understand that there are options to change the layout and I didn’t want to go through the menu options to change it. The point of using the original button layout for my reviews is because this is the button layout that the developer chose as the default. The default button layout should feel comfortable to the player and it didn’t to me. Would a change in the options menu to the button layout be different, maybe.

      As for the rest of my review, I stand by it completely. This game has a $7.99 price tag and has absolutely no replay value. There are better re-done retro games out there then the Arcade Archives series. After playing this one game I can see that this series is only out to make money instead of making a decent remake of great retro games.

      • Fair enough. You sure seem stubborn about not wanting to proactively change screen size/position and button mapping, something that only takes a minute and only has to be done once, but ok.

        A couple of points:
        1. This is based on the arcade version of Bubble Bobble, not the NES version (which is still a great port). Hence, “Arcade Archives”. The arcade version looks a little nicer, but they are almost identical content-wise, which brings me to my next point.
        2. There are ~100 levels in this game – this is the same number of levels as in the NES version, yet that’s not enough replay value for you?

        I can agree with you on the slim amount of trophies, and the price/value equation is subjective – those were valid points you made. But, having addressed your “not so great” points, I think 2 out of 5 is harsher than the game deserves. Just my opinion, of course. 🙂

        I do like Bubble Bobble. I’ve played both the arcade and NES versions off and on since the 80s. I’ve beaten them both. The arcaade version, as presented here with Arcade Archives, is awesome, and I’m glad it’s available on PS4 and other contemporary consoles. It’s too bad you weren’t able to enjoy it.

      • Like I had said in my previous reply, I’m not stubborn when it comes to changing the screen size, I just feel like if the screen size was something that needed to be changed to adjust to the player’s TV screen, it should have been done before the game started, not during the game when you realize that the screen size is off. This could have easily been done before the game started.

        If you play this game straight through and play every single level this game has to offer, at most it’ll roughly take 4 hours. After that what else is there to do? This is one of those games where you can play once to completion and be done with it. It’s a noteworthy argument and a lot of games are like this. I just happen to enjoy games that take longer to complete and make me want to go back and complete them again. This game does not do that for me.

        I’m glad that you enjoyed this version of the game and I think that’s great, but for me it was a letdown and I didn’t have a good experience with the overall game itself so a 2 out of 5 isn’t all that harsh. I think giving the game a 2 out of 5 was actually pretty generous.

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