Bejeweled 2 PS3 Review

How does one start reviewing a game that pretty much everyone on the entire internet has been playing? It’s a bit like reviewing a new version of draughts, “new shiny board, doubles as shaving mirror!” or chess even, “complete with suggestive pieces!” Indeed, Bejeweled is quite the phenomenon, at least 25 million of you have bought the damn thing and at least 150 million have played it. Boggles the mind a bit doesn’t it, appears that causal gaming is serious business! Having said that, the only rendition of Bejeweled (ugh, typing that is a bore, going to call it BJ from now on) I’d played before now was the excellent puzzle RPG Puzzle Quest by Infinite Interactive. I seem to have a habit of avoiding the crack of the internet, must have put a lot of skill points into ignorance or maybe I should say wisdom. /Me sniggers.

Wow, I hear you say, you never played BJ? Well, I guess there must be others out there too, so for their sake and to try and fill up this review, lets get down to the nitty gritty of the BJ experience. Essentially there is an 8×8 board filled with gems each one of 7 colours. The player must match up gems of the same colour in rows or columns of 3 or more, the result being that the gems are cleared and points are awarded. There is some thought involved in that chain reactions can be setup through planning and a bit of luck, classic BJ stuff. Things get more interesting when matching 4 gems, as it creates a glowing power gem which when used in a match will explode taking all surrounding gems with it. The exciting Hyber Cubes can be created though a match of 5 gems which when swapped with a gem will destroy all gems of that colour on the board. The effects for both the explosions and zapping lighting of the Hyber Cubes are particularly satisfying and reinforce that warm fuzzy BJ feeling when you score high points. There are bombs in the puzzle mode which look like underwater mines with timers, which explode when enough moves have been made and rocks which can only be cleared by explosions or hyper cubes. Puzzle BJ was definitely my favourite time waster and certainly is the most interesting mode.

So there you have it, this is what BJ is about. There is also a selection of different play modes other than the standard Classic (not timed) and Action (timed) modes including Puzzle as previously mentioned and Endless mode, pretty self explanatory. Some people are clearly too enthusiastic however, with the online Endless mode leader boards showing players in the 300+ days. It got released in May, do the math, *sigh*. In addition, the player is rewarded with hidden modes for achieving certain levels, namely Twilight, Hyper, Cognito, Finity and Original mode, all based on existing types with small differences. Generally the game looks fine, it’s BJ2. The spacey backgrounds change after each level, there is a “galaxy map” (menu) for selecting puzzles complete with trippy hyperjump animation to travel between them and the menus are functional. It’s a decent port and plays just the same as it does on any other system. However, in my opinion, a mouse is a better controller than a pad, particularly when playing against the clock. Repeatedly jabbing the D-pad and X button in a frantic frenzy to keep the points coming in is annoying and taints the otherwise authentic BJ experience.

Despite my reservations about porting BJ to the hulking might of the PS3, I did indeed lose a few hours of time to the damn thing. This port of Bejeweled 2 is nicely done, looks pretty at 1080p and even includes a bunch of new trophies for you to grind for. I know I’d not bother paying the £7.19 for the privilege but clearly some of you will. You can even download a demo if you just want to check it out, and to be honest, you can’t say fairer than a free bit of BJ action. Even if it is on a pad.