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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: NIS America
Developed by: Jaleco Entertainment
Genre: Puzzle
Players: 1
Rated: E (Everyone)
Release Date: May 20, 2008
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty



A virus has ravaged a town, turning the people into various animals and other odd looking monsters. As the town's doctor, you must cure an entire town of a unique virus known as Puchirus. To do this you must isolate the like-colored viruses and destroy them by linking them together in groups of three. So the doctor sets forth to cure the townspeople through intense puzzle action. While not nearly as in-depth as Puzzle Quest, Puchi Puchi Virus offers up a fast, fun, and unique gameplay experience.

The gameplay within Puchi Puchi Virus is pretty straightforward, rarely offering up any curveballs. The single-player game is broken down into a series of levels, which involves you curing a patient. This is down through two types of levels. The scoring levels require you to earn a certain amount of points within a specific time frame, while the chain levels you must create a designated number of chains. While both types of levels are entertaining, the chain levels offer up a greater challenge to players.



In order to destroy a virus, you must touch three different viruses, thus creating a transparent triangle on the screen. Upon forming the triangle, simply touch one of the three viruses within the triangle to destroy the virus for good. While an easy concept to grasp, donít take too much time to destroy the virus otherwise the triangle will crystallize, rendering it useless. If this does indeed happen to you, you can reverse the effects by simply trapping the crystallized viruses within a triangle, simply destroy it, or use a special formulated pill. Once you have mastered forming the triangles and destroying them, you can branch out by forming new triangles by utilizing the currently trapped viruses within the original triangle. An example of this would be if you were to have two red viruses trapped and activated within a triangle. By touching another red virus, it will be trapped within a triangle of its own, thus forming groups. Though this isnít required to complete a level, you will be able to acquire more points by doing this. However, in the event you arenít able to destroy the newly form groups, all the active viruses will become useless.



While Puchi Puchi Virus isnít one of the hardest puzzlers currently on the Nintendo DS, you do have to be aware of your surroundings. Thereís not a lot of time to decide your next move, making the wrong decision wont cost youíre the level, but it can complicate things. For those who invest time into the game, they will be able to pick up on exploits within the game.

Though NIS is known for publishing Strategy RPGs, it hasn't stopped them from bringing elements of games like Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness into the puzzle world. For the most part, the entire game is presented in a hyper-active anime style where the character models are big and bright, often reacting to events with over the top gestures. Looking at the presentation, most of the action takes place on the bottom screen. The top screen is used to display your two assistants (human nurse and a chicken-flavored nurse). While you are clearing out the various multi-colored virus, the two assistants keeps you entertained by running around on the top screen in a panic state. While most of your time will be spent battling the viruses on the bottom screen, the game will give off sound ques that will alert you to something is happening on the top screen. There are no voice-overs within the game and all information is given via on-screen text prompts. In regards to the music, itís very typical of Japanese puzzle titles, often quirky and upbeat. While I actually liked the turns, some will not be fawn of it.



The premise behind this title is straightforward and simple, not really offering up content in the form of replayability. As you progress through the game you do unlock more challenging patients to cure, but nothing really beyond that. Puzzle game fanatics will love the addition of tougher patients to cure and stricter time limits within the curing process, but most will find this to be very repetitive and the prizes to be rather bland. There is the inclusion of a single-cart multiplayer mode, which allows you to hook up with some friends and battle the viruses (and each other).

The concept behind Puchi Puchi Virus is very solid. The fundamentals are easy to pick up on and the game is an overall enjoying experience. There is a small issue with the random tapping loophole, which makes the game seem like there were a few gameplay issues not addressed during the developing phase. The lack of various modes may also be a downer for some, but whether you are new to the puzzle genre or a season veteran, Puchi Puchi Virus is definitely a title worth exploring.

7.5/10


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