Oct 24, 2007
Could you imagine trying to pitch the concept for this game? It's Bejeweled meets Final Fantasy! Yeah. It does sound ridiculous. But as PSP and DS gamers learned earlier this year, the combo actually works quite well. It's the RPG puzzle gamers never knew they wanted! Or is that the puzzle game role-players never thought they'd play? Anyway… moving on.
Yes, it's another PSP port for Xbox Live. And boy is this worth the paltry sum of Microsoft Points being requested. Choose you character and his or her accompanying abilities, and then move a bunch of gems around a board to slay everything that stands between you and the end of your quest.
The puzzle game play is quite solid, and the addition of traditional RPG trappings really adds to the overall experience. Matching various colored gems builds different mana types, which can be used to cast certain spells. Matching purple gems earns you experience. And matching skulls attacks your enemies. The strategy lies in earning extra turns and not setting up huge combos for your foes in this turn-based setup.
The down side to the puzzle game play is that the difficulty can swing wildly from super-easy to ridiculously difficult and back in the blink of an eye. It can get pretty frustrating at times, when it feels like your victory is based more on chance than skill. It sometimes seems the computer drops the exact gems your opponent needs to kick your butt.
Online play adds a bit of longevity to an already full-featured game, especially since you can actually take your personal character online to compete in player matches and ranked games. Puzzle Quest is a fabulous addition to the 360's downloadable game library - a game that successfully crosses genres and does it with a lot of style.