Puyo Pop Fever

ぷよぷよフィーバー, Puyopuyo Fībā, Puyo Puyo Fever

Today we have Puyo Pop Fever, also known as Puyo Puyo Fever in its native Japan, a puzzle video game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. It is the fifth main installment in the Puyo Puyo puzzle game series and the second Puyo Puyo game to be programmed by Sonic Team after Puyo Pop (which was released just after the series’ original developer, Compile, went bankrupt). This was the start of the “reboot” series of the Puyo Pop franchise, with a new plot discussing how Accord lost the flying cane. Sega, which acquired the series’ rights from Compile in 1998, published all the Japanese releases of the game. The game was scarcely released internationally, and certain versions were released by other publishers in those areas. Only the GameCube and Nintendo DS versions were released in North America.

It was originally released in 2003 for the Japanese arcades and early-to-mid 2004 for subsequent releases (Dreamcast version for the Japanese players, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, and PlayStation Portable versions for the European players). The game’s artist is Yuji Uekawa, who is known for the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Takashi Yuda is the game’s director (known for designing Knuckles the Echidna for Sonic the Hedgehog 3) and Yuji Naka is the game’s producer. Hideki Abe is the game’s composer.

The gameplay is very similar to the other Puyo Puyo games we’ve reviewed on Medium — except Puyo Puyo DA!. Since this game has a lot of ports, we’re sticking with the GameCube version.

Ms. Accord (Miwa Kouzuki/Irene Trapp, replaced by Wendee Lee since Tetris), a teacher at the Primp Magic School, has lost her Flying Cane, the equivalent of a magic wand, and claims to have a reward for the student who can find it. The player plays the role of either Amitie (Shiho Kikuchi/Evelyn Huynh, later replaced by Madoka Magica star Christine Marie Cabanos since Tetris) or Raffine (Noriko Namiki/Brett Walter, later replaced by Erica Lindbeck since Tetris), students at the school, as they venture across the Puyo Pop Fever world to find the cane, while meeting many wacky characters along the way and battling them. Raffine’s course contains more difficult gameplay and alters the characters the player meets, as well as which character actually finds the wand. When playing as Raffine near to the end of the game, it is revealed that Accord never actually lost her flying cane. Raffine then plans on revealing her and Popoi’s secret, but fails in her ending, as she is knocked unconscious by Ms. Accord, losing all memories of the flying cane incident. She regains consciousness near her school where Amitie and her friends congratulate her.

Let’s dump some more screenshots…

Rider was renamed “Lidelle” (Namiki Noriko/Giovannie Pico → Lauren Landa)

The game’s English voice acting is somewhat of a train wreck, compared to the well-known voice actors/actresses in Puyo Puyo Tetris. I’m not going to go all “I’ll be the mother — BAYOEN! — judge of that crap”, but let’s take a look at Amitie, the game’s main protagonist:

In Fever, her design is somewhat bland. Her red Puyo hat is larger, and her platform shoes somewhat reminds me of Emma Bunton of the British girl group Spice Girls. The hat is known to show some expression.

Amitie in Puyo Puyo Tetris.

Her Puyo Puyo Tetris (including the upcoming sequel at the time of the writing) design is a little better, Her shoes have been replaced with red boots, and she wears more pink than her first appearance. Her hat is now a little droopy and pulled back, as opposed to her original appearance. Sure she looks a bit like Amy Rose, but…

Christine Marie Cabanos, Amitie’s voice actress since Puyo Puyo Tetris.

I know, right? I just can’t complain… This is the first time that Rulue (the blue-haired, green-eyed, white and blue dress-and-sandals-clad martial artist) and Dark Prince (Satan in its native Japan, the green-haired, red (blue in Tetris) clothes-clad demon) doesn’t appear in Fever and its sequel. The game got a 73% out of 100, according to the now-closed GameRankings, and a 72 out of 100 according to Metacritic.

That’s the end, I hope you have the original Puyo Puyo Tetris on your Switch before the sequel gets released…

Madoka Kaname, from Madoka Magica

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A no-paywall 1980s/1990s pop-culture blog that covers anime, manga, and video games from the past. (no longer active)

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Cory Roberts

Cory Roberts

American freelance illustrator and manga artist who specializes in shonen fighting manga with 1990s/Y2K aesthetics. (He/him, straight)

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