Puzzle Chronicles PSP Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 7.0
Graphics 8.0
Sound 7.0
Value 7.0
Distributor: Mindscape
Classification:
PG
Review Date:
March 2010
Reviewer:
Simon O'Donnell

7.0


Puzzle Chronicles

Letís get this straight, Puzzle Chronicles is not Puzzle Quest and although itís an interesting game, it fails to draw you in like the aforementioned title. Donít get me wrong, there are some aspects of Puzzle Chronicles that is entertaining but in the grand scheme of things, it is lacking a little in the gameplay and enjoyment department, more so in terms of challenge. None the less, itís here and if youíre interested in puzzle games and donít own an iPhone, than this may be the game to get you out of the doldrums. Like most puzzle games of today, Puzzle Chronicles is real-time action, so you really need to think fast and implement a few strategies to beat them.

Puzzle games with a catch are cool and Puzzle Chronicles is no exception to the rule that turns the gamer into a barbarian who must free his people from a demon by completing puzzles for different people. The main hub of the game is a map of the world which highlights certain places that will assist you in your mission and when you access them, a puzzle is brought to the player to solve. Apart from puzzle battles, there are some interesting side questions to assist you make your character more powerful but unfortunately the story of Puzzle Chronicles is a little lacklustre at the best of times. Another issue that we found is that the load times of the game are quite lengthy which does cause an element of frustration.

In terms of the puzzles, the game plays like traditional gem based puzzle games and by rotating and matching gems, these will destroy other gems. Add in a variety of power-ups such as rage and shield to up the ante and although your battling  against an opponent, there are a variety of strategies and techniques to employ, including your war beast and weapons for additional bonuses. Although during the first half of the game, power-ups definitely give you an advantage over your opponent which does make the game quite easy for the majority of play.

The controls of the game work well on the PSP, although personally this would be more fun on the iPhone which has become the dominant puzzle gaming machine at the moment. On the harder levels, the weight of the PSP unit does get in the way, especially when your trying valiantly to line up your coloured gems or unleash one of your special powers.

Once you forced your enemy with no more room to move his gems, you are the victor but of course it works the other way around as well. Some parallels have been made to the game called Super Puzzle Fighter which you can see in how the game is designed. Unfortunately itís the forced RPG aspects of the game and the loading times make the game a tad disappointing.

Graphically, the title is quite competent with nice effects for the puzzles, a good colour palette and some decent animation which is oozing with anime references. Add in a soundtrack that suits the genre of this game plus sound effects and these compliment the graphics nicely, itís just a shame that the gaming engine wasnít sturdier. The cutscenes of the game are fun to watch and even the voice acting assists in making them fun and it helps spice up those sometimes too many levels of puzzles and more puzzles.

At the end of the day, Puzzle Chronicles did try to be different, however it failed to successfully make this an exciting puzzle game. Perhaps the developers tried a little too hard but even so, puzzle games are now becoming part of online downloads which is a shame for UMD owners. Definitely give it a shot but donít expect too much.






 
 



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