Puyo Puyo! 15th Anniversary

In 2006, Sega released a special edition (not considered part of the main series) to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Puyo series, called "Puyo Puyo!" with "15th Anniversary Edition" being the subtitle. Despite being an anniversary of the series, the game is still mostly centered in the Fever universe, although many characters from the classic series has been brought back to join Arle and Carbuncle in the 15th Anniversary cast.

The story mode is about a Puyo tournament based in Primp Town, with many of the Fever cast coming to join to claim the prize offered by Ms. Accord: a medal that will grant any wish to the winner. At the eve of the tournament, we see 6 stars fall from the day sky. (Interestingly, the Wii version is the only version that shows falling stars, which caused some confusion as Sig still mentions that he saw something fell.)

As it turned out, the falling stars are 6 members of the original cast, Schezo, Rulue, Satan, Suketoudara, Zoh Daimaoh (a powerful elephant) and Nasu Grave (a bespectacled... eggplant?), who has somehow been transported into the Fever universe, somewhat similarly to how Arle fell into this world in the event of Fever. With varying degrees of enthusiasm, they joined the Primp Puyo Tournament with the rest of the cast. Thankfully, Hohow Bird has been dropped from the roster and the universe breathed a collective sigh of relief.

15th Anniversary's story mode is possibly the one with the widest scope in the series, where you can pick any of the 22 playable characters and play the entire story mode with them, each with their own paths and endings. While the story is pretty much non-existent (the whole story is literally just the tournament) the format of the story mode enables us to learn some very interesting information about many of the characters which arguably could not have been presented in the usual format, and it is definitely must-play for any fan of the Fever series.

In the gameplay department, 15th Anniversary offers a whopping 12 multiplayer modes that can be picked. These include legacy modes such as Original, Tsuu and Fever, and the rest are usually gimmick modes that can be pretty entertaining, but are mostly quite forgettable; you will be finding yourself playing Tsuu or Fever most of the time. In the story mode, each stage will start off with a roulette that cycles through some of these game modes and the one you pick you will have to play with for that stage.

True to being an anniversary edition, the game also contains some nice unlockables such as selectable Puyo shapes. The DS version contained some genuinely nice ones such as throwback classic "pixel" Puyo and even a shape theme based on Sonic characters. The DS version also has full online support complete with a global ranking system, so, while it doesn't contain full voice acting or the high-resolution graphics like on home console releases, one could argue it is the definitive version of 15th Anniversary due to all these features.

As you can imagine, the effort of Sega to woo back old players with the inclusion of many classic characters was enthusiastically received, even if some are a little disappointed that many favorites such as Draco or Witch were left out. The online support was also appreciated among competitive players, even if those outside of Japan do still end up with the short end of the stick. As an effort to please old and new, serious and casual fans alike, Sega did a very commendable job with this release.

Even though the game was never released outside of Japan, a full English translation of the DS version has been completed and is available for your gaming pleasure from Puyo Nexus.