This month, Bubble Bobble faces a rather “sinister” opponent in Clash of the Classics. Yeah, we went there! Bubble Bobble is going up against Sinistar and it’s up to you to decide who keeps their spot on the floor!
Taking after some established platforming tropes, Taito released Bubble Bobble in 1986 with a mechanic new to the genre. Playing as a pair of adorable dragons Bub and Bob, the players use their bubbly breath weapon to trap enemies and pop them away. A stage is complete when all of the baddies are dealt with, and Bub and Bob spelunk further to do it over and over again. There is of course, much more to it than that. Players can unlock secret caverns (with really spooky music!), obtain powerful items, and gain points by eating tons of cool-looking food items. There are also a lot of clever hacks to earn plenty of extra points – it really is a game that one can become quite skilled at.
Noted for its widely-appreciated NES edition, Bubble Bobble is an even better experience in the arcade. That calm addictiveness is just as much a part of the game in cabinet form, and it’s also easy to get your quarter’s worth; one quarter can last several stages. The funny part is, as soon as you finally beat that last level, and find yourself back at the beginning, you’ll have no problem starting all over, and taking the plunge another time.
Fast-paced, gripping and utterly ahead of its time, the 1982 Williams outer-space shooter Sinistar is an early example of what would become known as a “twitch” game. You pilot a lone fighter ship, initially blasting away at drifting planetoids to mine Sinisite Crystals to create Sinibombs while contending with agile Warrior ships. Meanwhile, Worker ships work to construct a Sinistar nearby. When the Workers complete the Sinistar, it comes to life with a frightening “Beware, I Live!!”, and comes after you!
Sinistar represented a number of firsts in game design. It was the first game to use stereo sound (in the sitdown version), with two independent left and right sound boards for this purpose. It was also the first to use the 49-way, custom-designed optical joystick that Williams had produced specifically for this game.
One thing that Bubble Bobble and Sinistar have in common is that they both have hardcore fans. So, we’re counting on you guys to show your love for your favorite game and use your quarters to battle it out until the end of Wednesday, November 9th in this month’s Clash of the Classics!