Puyo Puyo Fever
Puyo Puyo Fever
After Compile disbanded, Sega (who now owns the game license) finally decided to continue the Puyo series with its own installment in 2004. The name Fever is a play on the word "five", since the game is the fifth installment, and was released in English as Puyo Pop Fever. Sonic Team, the developers of the Sonic franchise (as the name implies), was put in charge of developing the game.
In Fever, Sega decided to completely "reboot" the series, with a whole new cast and a different art direction. The artwork is very reminiscent of Sonic games with stylised bold outlines and stringy limbs, as opposed to the conventional anime style used in previous games. The entire cast was done away with, apart from Arle and Carbuncle, and we are introduced to a completely new set of characters such as the following.
The story, as usual, will follow an easy, medium and hard course, where you get to play Amitie in the first two and Raffine in the latter. We see a return to the Sun type of story progression in Fever.
As for the gameplay we also see quite a prominent addition to the mechanic, namely the Fever mode. A Fever gauge is filled up similarly to the special power gauge in Yon by offsetting and a time counter, starting at 15 seconds, can also be increased through certain methods. Once the gauge fills up Fever mode starts.
In Fever mode you are given a pre-made chain which you can set off or build up into an even larger chain. The further you get in Fever mode, the larger the pre-made chains will be. The garbage generating power in Fever mode is significantly lower compared to chaining outside of Fever for obvious reasons, although the damage you can do there is still quite respectable. Once the timer runs out, you are returned to your previous state of the main board.
Like previous additions to the rule of Puyo, Fever adds a bit of flavor to the gameplay and gives you something else to think about. The main reason for Fever mode though, is that Sega decided to push the game to be much more beginner-friendly. The fun in Puyo comes from fighting your opponent with large chains and exchanging huge amounts of garbage, although for a beginner who can't chain well they are left feeling a bit excluded.
Unlike the previous two revisions of the Puyo rule, the Fever rule was actually mostly well-received among competitive circles. Many top players enjoy playing Fever rule as an alternative to the relatively bland Tsuu rule. On the other hand, due to the changes in the cast and artstyle, players who are fans of the original series ended up feeling a bit alienated and many are not fans of the Sega-introduced changes.
The PC release of Fever was also the first Puyo Puyo game that officially supported online play. The game was originally released with free online although recently Sega has locked the game to paid members only. It offers pretty good experience for players in or around Japan but due to the location of the server people in the West generally will get huge lags. It is still possible to play an earlier version of the game using an IP-to-IP method and for many Western players that is the method of choice if they want to play Fever mode against their pals.
- Example of high level play