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Bust-A-Move 2: Arcade Edition is a puzzle game that involves popping colored bubbles by firing similarly colored bubbles to form a match of three or more. If three or more bubbles of the same color touch each other, they will disappear or "pop" from the playing field.
Aiming is performed using an arrow that moves left or right at the bottom of the screen. The object is to estimate the angle you'll need to make matches (your bubbles can ricochet off either wall) while keeping an eye out for the falling ceiling. If you don't clear a level before the ceiling completely drops, the game is over!
Once you're ready to begin, you'll be able to choose from the following modes: Game Start, Time Attack and Options. Game Start lets you take part in a Puzzle Game, One-Player vs. Computer or Player vs. Player competition.
The Puzzle Game mode has you selecting puzzles from an overhead map of the alphabet, with each letter representing five puzzles. Solve all five and you'll move onto the next stage until you reach the letter Z. This mode also features three special bubbles to look out for: Star Bubbles, Metal Bubbles and Jama Bubbles.
Star Bubbles will completely eliminate any one color of bubble from the playing field, while Metal Bubbles destroy everything in their path. Jama Bubbles are those that cannot be popped, but they'll fall from the screen after you remove adjacent bubbles.
One-Player vs. Computer has you challenging a series of characters as you compete on a split screen. The object is to either be the first one to clear the playing field or have the computer character swamped with so many bubbles that it has no room to move. This is accomplished by removing more than three bubbles in one carefully aimed shot.
Player vs. Player is structured the same way, only you compete directly against a friend instead of a computer character. The player who wins the specified number of games (which can be set in the option screen) is declared the winner. Time Attack can be played against a friend or by yourself, and the object is to clear the playing field as quickly as possible.
All of your best times and scores can also be saved to a Controller Pak, if so desired. Options include setting the number of continues (three, six or nine) and adjusting the game's skill level (easy, normal or hard). Recognize the little creature steering your arrow marker? It is none other than the dragon from Bubble Bobble! ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide