[PlayStation 5] Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey Review

by the_nmac

Take a fun vacation and pop some bubbles with Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey on PlayStation. Check our Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey review!

Bubble dragon brothers Bub and Bob are in for a surprise when their island vacation takes an unexpected turn for an epic, bubble-popping adventure in Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey. Lovingly rendered avatars for Bub and Bob stay true to their iconic design—while a variety of bright, vibrantly animated environments bring the captivating world of Puzzle Bobble to life.

• 100 New Puzzles: Brand new 3D puzzles with special bubbles and brain-teasing challenges

• Fun for Everyone: Intuitive controls and limited movement offers a welcoming experience for all

• Special Items: Activate fun power-ups with clever VR interactions to maximize your popping power

• Cross-Reality: Play on a TV screen or a virtual reality headset, and switch between them whenever you want

• Every PS4 or PSVR purchase of Puzzle Bobble 3D comes with a free upgrade to PS5!

I remember walking into the arcade when I was a kid and seeing a Bust-A-Move arcade unit – a.k.a. Puzzle Bobble. It had the dinosaurs from Bubble Bobble, but this wasn’t a platformer… it was a puzzle game! I was intrigued and found myself dropping quarters regularly while shooting bubbles and popping them. This blueprint was followed many times over the years, recently with lots of Puzzle Bobble-like releases on app stores. My wife has at least two on her phone with almost the same gameplay!

Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey PS5 Review - 1

If you aren’t familiar with Puzzle Bobble or its gameplay, let’s go over that. You’re presented with a set of interconnected bubbles, and you need to shoot the bubbles you have at these connected ones. If you can connect at least three of the same color, you’ll pop those bubbles, and any bubbles being supported by them will fall as well. It’s a neat and addictive gameplay loop, but it will feel random, and you won’t win levels every time as you won’t get the necessary bubbles needed. Regardless, it’s an addicting loop.

Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey is very similar to the original formula, except it’s now presented on a full-on 3D screen. Gone are the 2D puzzles of bubbles coming down from the sky, now bringing shapes in 3D. The game remains the same, though. Bub and Bob work together in popping those bubbles, but with some new elements to consider.

Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey PS VR Review- 3

So with the puzzles now being in, 3D you have to eliminate the bubbles around them. As you aim the bubbles and successfully hit the structure, it will spin it around, allowing you to see other angles. This is the only way to see other angles, though, so it’s hard to plan additional moves past your current one as it’s hard to know where the structure will end up. You’ll have different goals. Most of the time, the game will ask that you pop the bubbles on the screen using a limited amount of bubbles, but you will see that change from time to time. Some of the structures will either move around or swivel, which can make aiming very tricky since your aim doesn’t lock on.

I found aiming to be difficult at times. I thought I had a drift in my controller, but it was just the game having issues calculating the aim at some moments. You will have power-ups and special bubbles you can use for some cool tricks to help eliminate more bubbles. They aren’t plentiful yet, but they feel just right in terms of availability.

Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey Review - 4

Now there are three SKUs for Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey: PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR, and PlayStation 5, all included with your purchase. If you play the PlayStation VR version, your progress will be saved and tracked between this and the PlayStation 4 version. If you play the PlayStation 5 version, then it’s a completely different game, and you’ll have to play from scratch.

In terms of the VR play, I definitely found it immersive but similar to the traditional play on your screen. It does make aiming feel a little more intuitive, but the way you feel about it will vary. It’s a fun experience, but it’s certainly not as immersive as, say, Tetris Effect on PlayStation VR. The world is interesting, bright, and colorful, and the vacation theme is presented with style thanks to the different biomes you’ll visit over the 100 level Story Mode. You’ll get a few slides of the story every ten levels, but that’s about it. You’ll complete the 100 levels in a handful of hours, but there’s also an Infinite Mode and a Duel Mode. Infinite presents exactly the experience you’d expect from its name. Duel is interesting since it allows you to play against someone else online, although the online lobbies are not that packed.

Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey PS4 Review - 2

I really love Puzzle Bobble, and Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey offers a new type of experience on PlayStation VR. The switch to 3D is not going to be for everyone since you’ll have to readjust to aiming as you plan one move ahead to see how you can destroy another set of bubbles. Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey is out as a cross-buy release on PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR, and PlayStation 5 with a $19.99 price.

This Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Survios, Inc..

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