LAURENT KERMEL - Video Game Den : Super Famicom : MAGICAL DROP )
MAGICAL DROP
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game cartridge
マジカルドロップ
©1995 Data East Corp.
Licensed from ©1995, Russ ltd.
Release: 1995-10-20 (¥8500)
Cartridge SHVC-AD7J-JPN
Puzzle Game

Magical Drop is the conversion of a cute arcade puzzle game by Data East and undoubtedly inspired by other popular puzzle games such as Tetris, Puyo Puyo or Puzzle Bobble. The game features six playable characters all derived from traditional Tarot cards - Fool, Magician, Priestess, Star, Devil and Chariot. The gameplay is similar to other games in the genre - colored bubbles and other items appear from the top of the screen and when three of them get vertically aligned, they disappear and bring with them any bubbles of the same color close to them. The player has the ability to grab these bubbles, accumulate more of them (if of the same color) and throw them back up. Most of the game's modes are designed like one-on-one battles, so players always compete against another opponent. Special items also fall in the playfield and they can be used as weapons. For instance, medallions, if aligned in group of three, will transfer all the gems of the corresponding color to the opponent's field. Other modes are of course available such as an interesting puzzle mode where special patterns of bubbles have to be cleaned up within a given amount of rounds.
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Magical Drop (aka Chain Reaction in the west) was first released in the arcades in 1995 by the now sadly defunct Data East. An extended version called Magical Drop Plus 1 came out the same year and then two sequels followed on Neo Geo Hardware in 1996 and 1997 and were simply called Magical Drop 2 & Magical Drop 3. Of course, many home conversion exist starting with Magical Drop 2 (Neo Geo cartridge and CD-Rom, 1996) and Magical Drop 3 (Neo Geo Cartridge, 1997). Here is a list of Magical Drop games available for home systems : Magical Drop (Super Famicom, 1995), Magical Drop (Playstation, 1996), Magical Drop (Sega Saturn, 1996), Magical Drop 2 (Super Famicom, 1996), Magical Drop 2 (Sega Saturn, 1996), Magical Drop 3 (Sega Saturn, 1997), Magical Drop 3 (Playstation, 1997), Magical Drop Pocket (Neo Geo Pocket, 1999), Magical Drop (WonderSwan, 1999), Magical Drop F: Daibōken Mo Rakujyanai! (Playstation, 1999), Magical Drop (GameBoy Color, 2000), Magical Drop 2 (Mobile Phone, 2006).

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Magical Drop is a really nice looking game, with colorful and cute graphics and an excellent soundtrack. However, puzzles are tricky and hard and I personally much prefer games such as Puzzle Bobble or Puyo Puyo. I'm not really convinced by the game's mechanics, but the two-players mode can be fun to play though. After playing this game for a while, I am sorry to say that I haven't felt the sparkle of addiction other puzzle games managed to create... it is nevertheless a fun puzzle game for anyone looking for something different in the genre.




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