PopCap has chosen to bring this highly demanded game to the Xbox 360 Arcade Marketplace, and I’m here to see if it worth the effort to do so, and if it is worth the time to you, the gamer.
The “How to Play” shows you all the basic controls and tells you basic things, but nothing interactive. Consulting with my good friend, Chris Carter, who is very good at Bejeweled Blitz, told me they do help you a bit when you begin to actually play. However, I would have liked something along the lines of a “simple” and an “advanced” tutorial that shows you different strategies and tactics in order to maximize your scores and train you how to think in Bejeweled (Something like Pokémon Puzzle League for the Nintendo 64), but I believe that may come as I continue to delve into the game.
from each other.’
Something else that blows my mind is the fact that if you have a Flame Gem and it explodes within the radius of another Flame Gem, it will detonate that Flame Gem and you’ll get the efforts of both; same if another Gem destroys another one; the combos can be insane and your score and be racked up pretty quickly, I find this to be an addictive mechanic that keeps people amazed at how much chaos can be happening on screen at any single time.
Cascading is also something I found to be really cool, in the fact that if you destroy rows and columns and the Gems that fall to replace the ones you have just obliterated land together and form another match, you get an additional bonus and it causes even more destruction. Though, with all this insanity, something just still does not stick right with me about the game play.
Sometimes things feel a bit too random. What I mean by this is that unlike Pokémon Puzzle League, Tetris, or many other types of puzzle games, you do not actually have the ability to freely manipulate the board. You are only allowed to switch Gems if you are able to make a match (Unlike Bejeweled Twist where this no longer applies) meaning that you are at the mercy of the computer and must do major thinking with the limitations they place upon you in order to place Gems where you want them to be. However, this adds a whole new element that resembles chess where something you did 50 moves ago may very well effect whether you are able to win or lose, so each move has to be thought out carefully; yet it still cannot shake the feeling that it is still a bit random, but this in no ways hurt this game.
Cascading, setting off Gems, and making matches and figuring out where and when to switch are the main focuses and do a good job with giving Bejeweled its own unique experience aside from other puzzle games.
Classic Mode: Classic Mode is basically an endless mode which features the classic rules of Bejeweled. You continue to make matches and fulfill the quota of Gems cleared in order to progress the bar at the bottom of the screen and head to the next level. You are given the Game Over once you run out of moves you can do (Which means you can no longer make any matches on the board).
This mode is pretty good, and it can be either long or short depending on how good the player is; grabbing Time Gems becomes essentially in holding out as long as you possible can. Also, “Blazing Speed” (Gained by making matches very quickly and in rapid succession) allows any match the player makes to explode as if it were a Flame Gem, which is great in helping to grab time Gems even quicker; this whole mode is about speed.
The only thing I really hate is the fact that sometimes Time Gems can be hard to get to because of the whole randomness of where you can match based upon where things fall; so I feel you have to really keep your eyes open.
Quest Mode: Quest Mode gives you specific objectives to beat, one at a time in order to form things on a Relic that is revealed once you completely so many ones. Once that specific Relic is unlocked you progress to the next one.
This really does feel like a Quest, you have to complete them in order to progress towards the very next Relic. These also features some of the additional modes you will unlock later by meeting the specific requirements in the other modes, so I will not go too far into it. Fact is, it is a fun objective based way to play that keeps you focused on fulfilling your mission.
Ice Storm Mode: Ice Storm Mode is an unlockable mode where you have to clear rows and columns in order to keep back waves of water from going up columns and eventually freezing the entire screen and ending the game. You are supplied Hyper Cubes at random and are in a constant rush to keep yourself from freezing.
However, I do really hate that they failed to integrate some kind of online multiplayer, but it does well with an online leaderboard and a plethora of offline game modes.
Bejeweled 3 is a game that is very well made and adapted to the Xbox 360 from PC, even my friend Chris said he likes it better on 360. It is a game that has a simple concept but can be hard to actually master and recognize what is all possible without experience and time placed into the puzzle game and requires advance thinking skills in order to be consistently successful.
The music and effects are pretty good, I am also a fan of the various backgrounds they use for stages and feel it adds personality to the game.
I recommend this game for anyone who is a fan of Bejeweled or puzzle games and want something to occupy their time and give a good puzzle based experience. Even though it lacks an online multiplayer and it can feel a bit random, it is worth the money and offers hours of replay value; especially if you are competing against your friends’ spot on the leaderboards.
I hope you have enjoyed this review for “Bejeweled 3” by PopCap for the Xbox 360 console.