Ever wonder why Sony locks you out of running emulators on your PSP? It's so you'll buy games like Capcom Puzzle World, which compiles a handful of old brick 'n bubble coin-ops on one UMD. Good thing they made it well worth the $30.
We suspect the compilation is called "Capcom Puzzle World" because "Buster Bros. World " wouldn't have sold as many copies - but three of the five games come from that coin-op franchise.
The original BB is an uncluttered "pop the balloons with your spear" affair that's still fun despite its uber simplicity; Super Buster Bros. adds fancy backgrounds and an extra "play until you die" mode to amp things up a bit; Buster Buddies combines bits of the first two along with hallucinogens. There's no other way to explain the strange plot about a pig in a tuxedo collecting art treasures. Hey, do you want your Japanese games comprehensible or fun?
The fourth wonder of this World is Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, wherein Ryu, Morrigan and a few other punchy-kicky stars trade blows by matching colored gems. This modern classic alone would make Puzzle World worth its very reasonable asking price, but Capcom's sweetened the deal with two alternate modes of play, available in the US for the first time.
One alters the gem-dropping to behave like Columns, where three gems in a line disappear; the other challenges you to rotate 2x2 blocks of gems to create chains and clear the board. Both felt surprisingly fun; it's cool to play an old favorite in truly new ways.
Finally, there's Block Block, a break-bricks-with-ball game that steals its soul from Arkanoid, which in turn was ripping off Breakout. Don't dismiss it - it's more fun (and faster) than it initially looks, especially if you rotate the vertical playfield and play your PSP sideways.
The analog stick tries, but can't replicate the arcade original's knob control, so prepare for some twitchy paddle issues. They're worth enduring; this one's a lost treasure.
Ad-hoc online play boosts the replay value even further and, amusingly, the game lets you take screenshots during play (except Block Block, for whatever reason) and save them to a Memory Stick. You can also insert your own photos into Buster Bros.' backgrounds. We'd rather have, you know, access to a full emulator, but puzzle geeks can't deny the quality or value of Capcom Puzzle World. More classic coin-op compilations like this one, please.