Review: Kurulin Fusion
Written by Brian Kamm
Published at 2010-01-13 06:57:08
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2-player Puzzle, Action for the PSP Digital.
Developed by Tozai Games. Published by MTO.
Released 2009-12-10. Rated RP (Rating Pending).



Kurulin Fusion from Tozai Games brings another block dropping puzzler to your PSP, this time with marketing spin that emphasizes the games soundtrack-a score supervised by Final Fantasy legendary alumnus Nobuo Uematsu. Is this sufficient to warrant the attentions of even the most jaded puzzle gamer?

To your block dropping grid, Kurulin Fusion lets fall "Fusion blocks" (squares) and "Energy orbs" (spheres) for your clearing amusement. Blocks can be "fused" together in up to 3 x 3 combinations, and will disappear when they make contact with the same coloured orbs. All orbs of the same colour that are linked will then be cleared in this chain. Orbs and blocks above will drop down, potentially resulting in further chains. The more chain combos created, the larger your score. This essentially describes the infinite game play of Arcade mode, with increasing levels of challenge up to 100.

In this mode in particular, the ebb and flow of difficulty is very apparent. Early on, the speed of the game provides little challenge, and you may find yourself adjusting the starting level of difficulty to find your puzzling sweet spot. Slow spots will gradually transition into a faster paced, frantic scramble to produce multiple chains and keep some space between your blocks and the top of the grid. Clear enough chains and a more manageable speed will give you a temporary reprieve.

Other modes are on offer to further tweak the variety. Score attack features 1 or 3 minutes in which to produce your best score. Mission mode has a series of 30 tasks that include achieving a particular number of chains; clearing the screen; or surviving for a set number of minutes. Clear all missions, and a "special surprise" is yours. An ad-hoc multiplayer mode is also on offer.

Presentation wise the graphics are bright and colourful, and the menu setup is utilitarian. All of this makes for a serviceable block dropper, but nothing that reinvents the genre.

That doesn't mean that Kurulin Fusion isn't worth your time or money, because it is if you're a fan of either of the musicians involved in this game. Chances are you're reading this review to decide whether or not the game play is at least sufficient to reinforce your interest in picking up some Nobuo Uematsu infused Johann Sebastian Bach tunes. The answer it seems is yes, particularly if you ever enjoyed Uematsu's work on Final Fantasy. Seven tracks of reinterpretations of Bach are available, totaling approximately 40 minutes of music. This music is several notches above the average score featured in most other pedestrian puzzle games.

In small installments Kurulin Fusion is a competent puzzle game, just don't expect it to make you groove the way the music will (samples are available at kurulinfusion.com). At a $5 price point, think of it as getting a decent deal on an album, with an average game thrown in the mix.

Awarded:



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