Wow, it's been a really, really long time since I've blogged about a Puyo Puyo game! I've played various iterations here and there since I first encountered it via its Kirby's Avalanche release when I played it way back in 2007, but it's taken me this long to get around to sitting down and giving any of its follow-ups a proper look. I've had the Wii Virtual Console version of Puyo Puyo 2: Tsuu (originally released on the Japanese Mega Drive, aka Sega Genesis), which was notable because it was one of the few originally Japan-only releases that found a new lease on life via digital rereleases. The hugely enjoyable DoReMi Fantasy: Milon's DokiDoki Adventure was another previously Japan-only release that I'd also been really happy to see get a Wii Virtual Console release, and like that game Puyo Puyo 2 isn't translated at all, but it's not too hard to figure out what the different modes are and it doesn't detract from the overall experience too much (although it would've been nice to have had the inevitably inane dialogue between the characters during the story mode).
I spent the bulk of my time on the aforementioned story mode, and it definitely took me some time to regain any Puyo Puyo skills I may have previously developed. The blob matching and popping is as addictive and fun as ever, particularly with trying to set up combos, and it was great to have the game's original characters rather than the Kirby or Sonic skins of the original game's Western releases. The characters are, in typical fashion, pretty wacky, and include a flea, a mermaid, and a Samurai Mole, and as with Kirby's Avalanche, the difficulty level is offset by having unlimited continues. In this game you can also tweak various options to make the game more or less difficult, including settings related to a new game mechanic this entry introduces called "sousai", aka the "offset rule", aka garbage countering. This has become a standard feature in this type of game, where you can counter garbage blocks that are being sent by your opponent and are queued to be dropped onto your screen, and you can partially or even wholly negate them before they drop. When I'd played the first entry in the series I'd noted that games seemed to end really quickly because there isn't a way to recover from an attack, and although this new game mechanic does help, it's still really easy to quickly get overwhelmed by a mountain of garbage blocks. I'll have to take a closer look at subsequent entries to see if they've balanced the mechanics out a little further or not but I guess having quick-fire games rather than long marathon rounds isn't necessarily a bad thing.
The game has hopefully gotten renewed attention since its Super Famicom (aka SNES) release has been added to the Nintendo Switch Online offerings, and also the series in general seems to be going strong with the crossover Puyo Puyo Tetris being a launch title for Switch three and a half years ago. That game also got a sequel that just released a few days ago, and even aside from those it looks like I have plenty of Puyo Puyo games to play for a while yet.