Puyo Puyo 7
Puyo Puyo 7
The next installment into the main series was released in 2009 under the name Puyo Puyo 7, ending a long tradition of punny titles. Sega justified this by saying that 7 is a lucky number and they also wanted to emphasise Puyo's long history and the fact that we are already seven games into it. (Given how much they struggled to make the pun "Fever Chuu!" relevant in that game with Chuu Panic mode, it is more likely they just simply ran out of ideas and stopped trying.)
As with Fever 2, Sega again decided to drop the story developments introduced previously and took it further by setting 7 in a completely different universe. This time, the story begins in Japan in a universe not so different to our own (except for the fact you can get from Japan to Easter Island by train!), where we are introduced to another set of three new characters.
These three are also joined by many of the Fever cast and the classic cast, who were transported to their universe similarly to how the classic cast were transported to the Fever universe in previous games. In addition to some of the characters found in 15th Anniversary some popular classic characters such as Draco and Skeleton-T made a return.
Along with these characters, a huge amount of Puyo was also dumped from a dimensional rift into her universe. Ringo, armed with the knowledge of how to clear the Puyo taught to her by Arle, then sets out to solve the mystery of these strange occurrences.
A new multiplayer rule has been added to the game called Transformation. In this rule, a gauge similar to the Fever gauge can be filled up to set off Transformation mode. Transformation mode is actually two different types of special mode, Mini Puyo Fever and Mega Puyo Rush. Cosmetically, the character will then transform into a "child" or "adult" form when going into these respective modes. At the beginning of the game, the player can choose which mode they want to use.
In both of these modes, the players become invincible and any garbage on their garbage bar will be held until the timer runs out. Mini Puyo Fever is extremely similar to the Fever mode present in the Fever series, but now the Puyo will be much smaller so a lot more of them will fit on the screen at once and hence much bigger chains can be made. Like in Fever, bigger pre-made chains will be given to you the higher you advance.
In Mega Puyo Rush, the Puyo are now much bigger and hence less will fit on the screen. Unlike Mini Puyo Fever, no pre-made chain is given to you, but a new type of chaining mechanic called "cumulative chaining" is used, so rather than every chain power being determined solely by its length, the more chains you make in Mega Rush, the stronger the next chain becomes.
In addition, a new "quick drop" button was added. This works like Tetris's hard drop, where pressing up will make the current piece locks down instantly.
While Transformation works similarly to Fever, the largest difference is probably the invincibility it gives. This makes Transformation much safer than Fever, although as a trade-off the power inside Transformation mode is extremely weak compared to Fever. This means at early stages in Transformation, it is very hard to do damage and for the player it feels more like being trapped there. At later stages though it can be pretty devastating.
Many players enjoyed Transformation as an interesting retake on the Fever mechanics. In competitive circles, though, Transformation was not quite received as well as Fever was. Many players feel that Mini Fever and Mega Rush was not well-balanced, and that Transformation rule drags the game out with its in-Transformation invincibility (that can actually last 99 seconds maximum!), which they also say takes much of the risk out of the game.
Quick drop was relatively more well-received and many players thought it was a fun gimmick to play with, although they don't see it as having much of a place in serious competitive play. Since the speed of Puyo popping is the main bottleneck in limiting the speed of play for competitive players, quick drop doesn't make a lot of difference in that regard.
For fans of the series, another criticism they had for the game was that the character roster was heavily reduced, and while most main characters made the cut, a lot of fan favourites were left out. (To add insult to the injury, Witch and Harpy made cameo appearances in the story but were not playable characters.) Many graphical effects such as unique attack animation were omitted compared to the rest of Sega's Puyo games, and while it was understandable since all characters now have extra animation for Mini and Mega modes, the decision was poorly received. On the up side, the Mini and Mega designs for most characters were very well done and earned many fans.
The game was never released in English but a full English translation patch for the DS version, again brought to you by Puyo Nexus, is available for download.