Hands-onSuper Puzzle Fighter II Turbo

Capcom brings its excellent console puzzler to the Game Boy Advance.

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Capcom showed off a build of Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, the Game Boy Advance conversion of the classic PlayStation and Saturn puzzle game, at its press event yesterday. The game, originally released in 1997, featured superdeformed versions of characters from Capcom's popular Street Fighter and Darkstalkers fighting games in an addictive one- or two-player puzzle game that challenged you to clear colored gems as they dropped onto your playfield.The Game Boy Advance game manages to retain the bulk of the PlayStation game's graphics, audio, and content while throwing in an extra multiplayer mode.

The game features superdeformed versions of such familiar characters as Ryu, Ken, Sakura, and Chun-Li from Street Fighter and Donovan, Felicia, Morrigan, and Hsien Ko from Darkstalkers. You'll also find the three hidden characters from the original game. Each character features unique patterns for the falling gems that will require you to tailor your play style to their strengths. As you clear gems off your board, your character will perform his or her signature attacks against your opponent.

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo on the Game Boy Advance will feature all the modes found in the console versions, including the goodies menu and the various unlockable features found therein, like Sakura's theme song. You'll also find a standard link cable versus mode for two players. In addition to the link cable versus mode, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo will feature a new split-screen two-player mode that can be played on the same GBA. The mode divides the screen into two parts and maps the controls to the buttons on either side of the unit. The player on the left will move his or her falling gems left and right with the D pad and use the left shoulder button to rotate the gems or quickly drop gems in place. The player on the right will move his or her gems left or right with the A and B buttons and use the right shoulder button to rotate the gems or quickly drop gems in place. While the mode is a bit tricky to play if both players have big hands, it's a technologically impressive extra in the game.

In terms of the game's presentation, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo on the Game Boy Advance manages to look and sound surprisingly good. The graphics feature a high level of detail, and nearly all the animation and sound found in the console versions of the game has been included. The only major loss is the omission of the remixed soundtracks from the original the game, which couldn't be crammed onto the cartridge.

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo seems to be coming together very nicely on the Game Boy Advance. The addictive gameplay has come over intact, and the versus game options are very cool. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo is slated to ship this February for the Game Boy Advance.

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