Yesterday I got Bubble Bobble for Master System. I was lucky to find it directly from one of the best gaming shops that I often buy retro games from. It did cost a bit. It was 75 euros. But, you know, I had to buy it. I also got Soulcalibur II for GameCube. That’s the fighting game that you can play as Link from Zelda.
I first encountered Bubble Bobble as a child. I played it on a PC. It was a good game. I really liked it. It would have been nice to have a controller back then. I played with a regular keyboard as I did then with any game. We had some sort of a joystick but it was wack to play with it. It’s been a long time. You start to think how nice things are today. We have lots of variety in gamepads that can be connected to any PC with a USB or even with some kind of a dongle and wireless.
This game originally got released in the 1980s. This Master System version, however, was released as late as 1991. This gives you the correct idea that Master System had many fans. It was an 8-bit gaming system but even in 90s when game consoles were developing fast it held its position as a favorite game console for some gamers.
It is said that this version of Bubble Bobble is the best one. It was released also for Commodore 64, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and PC. This simple game delivers great game play. It even gives you some minor puzzle type challenges. You might have to figure how to get to the upper corners of the level. You have to think different ways to get rid of enemies that are also trying to hurt you.
You get two health points which get increased if you get some more points. You get points by eating different delicacies. I think these are placed almost randomly to the level you are playing. After you have gotten rid of all enemies you have some seconds of time to eat everything you can grasp. Then you have to move on to the next level. There are over 100 levels. I am currently somewhere in level number 40.
You get to continue your play session in a mean of password system. This works pretty well. You can always start the game also from beginning. You have to understand Master Systems limitations. This also makes me think about some remakes. I am not aware of any good remakes as I am writing this. But I definitely have to search for one and find out if there is one.
The screen doesn’t scroll like it does in some games like Super Mario Bros. So this game is not a platformer type of a game. Basic idea is to trap enemies inside of a bubble that shoots out of the main characters mouth. I guess it’s a some sort of a fantasy dragon that you are actually playing as. The gameplay is very nice. This is very good game. While it doesn’t make you play tens of hours without a single break it gives you a challenge for an hour or so at a time. You can play it for some hours but I found myself playing it for about one hour without breaks and then leaving the game for a while just to come back to play it later.
This is clearly the best gaming that Master System can offer. I had some difficulties with the hardware. It makes me want to start playing with a PC and emulator. I even have a matching USB game pad. It is a controller that looks and feels like a Sega Saturn controller. If just there would be some way to digitize legally all these retro games that I own. Then I would definitely switch to playing with emulators. There is this idea of retro games sometime in the future being kind of “public domain”. It think this is already the case with Commodore 64 games and maybe even some of these DOS games. You have to keep up with this progress, you know!