Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine (Old Review)

Sega, you are great sometimes but you can be complete gits sometimes, especially on localisation issues. You see this Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine game is actually a costume, the real game is Puyo Puyo, I’ll talk about the game play later.

The Story
Surprisingly for a puzzle game, it actually has a story, but before I explain the story I’ll just say that all the characters you’ll encounter are from the DIC cartoon The Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog (the one that was just as strange as the Ren and Stimpy Show but not as vulgar, unless you count Dr Robotnik in a bikini, huuuuurrrll), so it’s half an insult to anyone who hated it, especially The Nostalgia Critic. But then again when I say all the characters I mean everyone except Sonic or Tails which means this is the first game featuring Dr Robotnik without Sonic, so if you are angered by this just pretend you’re playing as Sonic.

Dr Robotnik has kidnapped colourful beans and plans to turn them into robots, and it’s up to YOU (or Sonic if you have imagination) to stop Dr. Robotnik and his robots by playing Puyo Puyo…sorry I’m still mad at this localisation, but did you know that everyone got the game except for Japan who got it later.

You will encounter a number of robots to…well let me explain, the puzzle is a matching the coloured beans until you get four or more together with the same colour and will disappear, but this makes me ponder, either they are transported to somewhere safe or, similar to the Super Mario Bros shocker, they explode and die when they are squeezed together in matched colours.

You can move 3-bean columns with the directional pad and a, b and c to rotate it, you have to match 4 or more beans with the same colours until they disappear (or die), get more than 4 beans in the same colour and you get extra points. There are many beans that do nothing special except for one type, when you create a combo, you can unleash a whole load of black beans and the opponent is unable to erase them off their table unless they can get matching colours to disappear which will enable some of the black beans to disappear, trouble is the opponent can do this too.

But you’ll better be quick with your fingers because over time, the robots will drop their beans faster and you have to rack up beans to their correct colours or the table will fill up to the top and the game is over, however you can continue or get a password from the previous stage you completed or just go online nowadays to retrieve it. You’ll battle many robots but the memorable bots are Scratch and Grounder if you watched the cartoon and the final battle is of course Dr. Robotnik who is the fastest and the most difficult. The meat of the game for me is the two-player mode where you can challenge a friend to kill the beans…AHAHAHAHA!!!

This is basically Puyo Puyo, but who cares (I do!), nothing special here but it’s fun until it gets faster, having a change from Japanese characters to characters from a Saturday morning cartoon does not make it any better looking and even if we did get the original Japanese characters I don’t think anyone would give a darn, and I don’t care because the presentation is OK and it is memorable.

But what matters is the game play, it’s…any other colour matching puzzle game so it’s pretty much mediocre, single player is a challenge but it’s novelty won’t last long but the two player mode is the dog’s…something (I’m not going to say what you think I’m trying not to say!), it’s fun with another person and you won’t play the same game twice.

So if you like two player puzzle games, give this a shot, but for lonely people like me it’s just too mediocre to get.

You can get it for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, PlayStation 2 and 3, PSP and GameCube.



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