Review: Block Cascade Fusion
Developer: Gamelion Studios
Publisher: Gamelion Studios
Release Date: June 2nd, 2010 (EU)
Price: £2.39 / €2.99
What I liked:
- Well, it’s something different!
What I disliked:
- Game itself isn’t very fun.
- Light on the content side, with few options.
- Some bad design choices and nagging little flaws.
I like a good puzzle game, especially on the PSP. There are three inherent pieces of gameplay crucial to any solid puzzler: (1) Making combos, (2) chaining those combos together, and (3) the aftermath of the combo, which can sometimes result in even more combos.
Puzzle games back in the day would have combos clear the puzzle field almost instantaneously, resulting in the board being shuffled around and the player hoping to get an extra combo or two. The more skilled player would have a second combo happen automatically after the first is set off, and so on. Today’s puzzle games now have a “metronome” like feature that allows players to set up their combos in real time before clearing the screen, making games like Lumines feel like completely new and exciting games. There’s something fantastic about keeping the chain of combos alive.
What I’m trying to get at is that Block Cascade Fusion isn’t very fun. Instead of allowing the player to chain and build on their combos, it seals them off from any interaction until the metronome sweeps the board (displayed as a Fusion countdown on the left hand side). There’s not much satisfaction in gaining a lot of combos since it feels almost out of your control. And if making combos isn’t very satisfying, well, there’s not much point to playing the game is there?
I do like the addition of “fake” trophies, though their inclusion doesn’t seem to unlock anything. But some of the game design choices boggle the mind. Why does the pause button have a 1-2 second delay before appearing (which in the mean time has the game running in the background)? Whose idea was it to have a sharp scraping sound/sparks when you’re placing blocks to the extreme left/right side of the blocks area? And wait until you see the huge wall of text in the help/tutorial screen…it’s as if a developer started to make spaces between paragraphs until they said, ah screw it, they get the idea. Block Cascade Fusion isn’t a whole lot of game, and commits the cardinal sin of gaming: it’s just not very fun.