Gaming Today Impressions of Puchi Puchi Virus (Nintendo DS)
Puchi Puchi Virus
Publisher: NIS America
Price: N/A (Expected to be $19.99 or $29.99)
Platform: Nintendo DS
Category: Puzzle Action
ESRB Rating: E
Release Date: 5/20/2008
If you know anything about NIS America, you know the majority of their titles up until now have been mostly RPG-style games on Sony systems. Late last year though, NIS America revealed they were working on a puzzle game for the Nintendo DS which pretty much are two things they aren’t known for. If you’re a fan of NIS America’s humorous Disgaea series and love simple, yet complex puzzle games, then check out my impressions of Puchi Puchi Virus after the break.
Upon reading the opening sequence, you’ll realize that this game doesn’t take itself too serious. You play as Dr. Kevin A. Longfellow, and it’s up to you to rescue the people from your home planet of the puchivirus. What is the puchivirus you ask? Simple. It’s a virus that effects people by turning them into “wild, aptly named creatures”. The story itself won’t win this game any writing awards, but it gets the job done in introducing the player to what the game is all about.
Puchi Puchi Virus in all honesty reminds me of a modern day Dr. Mario. Instead of pills being dropped on viruses, this game has you using the DS touch screen to zap the puchivirus. The player needs to tap 3 puchivirus of the same color to link them together in a triangle. Tapping any of the virus while they’re linked together zaps all 3 puchivirus. The gameplay mechanic sounds pretty simple, but the game also allows you to do combos as well. If you make a triangle around a stray puchivirus, you can then touch two more puchvirus to create another triangle, and so on and so forth. During my time with the game, I was able to get a 5x combination, and it’s pretty exhilarating being able to chain so many combos together.
As I said earlier, the point of the game is to save your patients from the puchivirus. The patients in this game aren’t the usual boring patients in most games. This game puts humor and cleverness into them. Some patients may resemble celebrities (Cattie Fisher, whose bio reads, “Was a princess long ago in a galaxy far, far away”), characters from popular animes (Sasukerrot, whose bio reads, “Narucroooooow”), or just simply something utterly silly (An-Eating Plant?, whose bio reads, “Not a man-eating plant. Just..an eating plant. That’s all. It just eats.”) The characters made me want to play the game more just so I can see what else the developers could have cleverly included.
The goals to save your patients in Puchi Puchi Virus vary from simply scoring a certain amount of points, to performing x amount of combos. There really wasn’t much variation in goals for this title, but the goals do become more difficult with each new patient. Also, the game rewards the dedicated players by allowing them to unlock more patients to save by revisiting old patients and surpassing their needs. For example: A patient requires you to score 100 points to save them. If you surpass that goal, you will be rewarded a crown icon which will show on the patient’s card.
Puchi Puchi Virus’ multiplayer mode is pretty standard. You can play against someone wirelessly whether they have the game or not. The goal of the multiplayer game is to be the first player to clear the entire screen of all of the puchivirus. The multiplayer really isn’t much to swoon over. I felt all it was really there for was to challenge that 12 year old jerk down the block who continually says how great of a doctor he is and how many more combos he can get compared to you. I’m talking to you Craig Lawrence. As soon as this review is over, expect me at your door ready to take you on brother!
Puchi Puchi Virus overall is a great puzzle game. It has simple gameplay mechanics which will challenge even the most brilliant puzzle minds. The addition of interesting patient profiles and challenging the player to surpass their patients expectations in order to acquire new patients make the replay value in this title very high. My only concern with the title has to do with its very bare bones multiplayer game. Other than that, Puchi Puchi Virus is a great DS title that should not be missed if you are a puzzle game fan, or a fan of NIS America’s previous titles.
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