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Bejeweled Blitz Live is a port of Bejeweled Blitz for Facebook and PC. Popcap games have come up with some very exciting and addicting games like Plants vs. Zombies and Peggle. But do they have the ability to take their formula for match three gaming and make them fun and addicting again? Are they able to make the player feel like he is experiencing something new and not just throwing out another version of Bejeweled?
As soon as you start up Bejeweled Blitz Live you will notice how the game is geared more towards multiplayer. The game supports up to 16 player party mode, where all the players play at the same time on their own board. The person with the highest score wins at the end of the round. At the time of this review I was not able to find an online multiplayer match. I could not even find a quick match to join. Luckily there is local battle where two players go head to head to see who can get the highest score. The local battle is fun as long as you are playing against somebody that is not new to this version of the game.
This is not your normal game of Bejeweled. This version of the game has one big difference that sets it apart from all of the other versions of Bejeweled. It’s the fact that you only have sixty seconds to match as many gems as you possibly can. The game just takes the pressure of a count down clock and thrusts it onto your shoulders. Bejewled will inform you of how much time you have left throughout your game, especially in the final 10 seconds where a woman will count down each second until you hit zero. It puts a lot of pressure on you, almost to the point where you freeze up like a deer in headlights because you do not know what to do. The timer adds a lot of excitement into a match three game and it is a welcome addition.
The game scores you on how fast you move and by how many combos you are able to link together. The faster you go the more points you get for each gem match. After the end of each match your points get added to your experience point total. After you collect so many points you level up. But once you level up you don’t get any helpful items to help you score more points the next time you play. You don’t get anything. You would think that since this game is so multiplayer focused that you would be able to select a load out before each game. For example, you had a choice on what kind of power up you would get when you get four gems in a row or five gems in a row. That would have helped make the leveling mechanic serve some purpose, but instead the points get added to a total, so you can brag about what level you are.
“Do you like yours classic or twist style!” Bejeweled offers both types of gem switching, with each of them having their own leader boards. You have your choice of classic, where you are able to swap gems up, down, left, or right. The game also offers twist version where you are able to turn four gems clockwise or counterclockwise simultaneously. The twist version will be familiar to people who have played Bejeweled Twist for the PC or DS.
The button layout for classic mode is different than any other Bejeweled game that has come before it. Since the game only gives you sixty seconds; the developers had to come up with a new way for the player to switch gems as fast as you spot matches. In classic you don’t have to select a gem and then move it in the direction of the gem you want to switch with. Instead the game uses all of the face buttons on the controller to control gem swapping. After you move your cursor over what gem you want to swap, you can then press the A button to swap with the gem below the highlighted one. The face buttons act as up down left right direction swap buttons. Whereas with the twist you are able to press the Y and X buttons that will make the gems twist counterclockwise. If you press the B or A buttons they will twist clockwise. Twisting is an interesting take on the Bejeweled swapping formula. Older players of the franchise will probably stick to their classic mode. But it is good to have options.
It takes some time to get use to the new gem swapping techniques. You find yourself just sticking with one button when you first begin, but after you play enough games then you will be using more face buttons to swap the gems. The controlling mechanic is defiantly a welcome change. It helps the game feel new and different.
Overall the game is a good version of Bejeweled. If you haven’t played a Bejeweled in a while then you should give this a try. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this game. Once you find your rhythm while playing, you will not believe the high scores you will be getting. At the same time I don’t understand the leveling system, for it being a multiplayer focused game, it was hard finding anyone to play with.