Reviews for Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine [Playfire]
To Save The Beans You Must Blow Them Up! ...What?CrimsonWizard | Jan. 19, 2013 | See all CrimsonWizard's reviews »
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine is a spin-off of the popular Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, and is a repainted version of the excellent Japanese puzzle game, Puyo Puyo. Oddly, this game uses characters and the version of Dr. Robotnik from the first Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon, and yet Sonic himself doesn't appear anywhere (unless you're to assume that you yourself are Sonic on the left half of the screen).
The game is relatively easy to learn, but takes some skill to really master. Basically, your job is to completely clog your opponents half of the screen with beans. This is done by combining four or more same colored beans on your half of the screen, and making combination reactions of other groups of beans, which causes piles of worthless colorless beans to fall into your opponent's space. You must be swift however, or the opponent will do the same to you and potentially ruin the combos you were developing.
As for the actual game modes, you have single player where you play through 13 stages of AI opponents with rising difficulty in both speed and tactics culminating in a brutal final boss fight against Dr. Robotnik himself. The AI is surprisingly good in the later stages and will test your resilience and patience, but thankfully there is a password system that will allow you to take a break and try again later if needed.
There is also a two player mode, which is always a good time, either as just as a duke out between two friends or as a party game thanks to the swift nature of the experience. Not really much else to say here other than I do think the multiplayer is better than the other big puzzle game Tetris, thanks to the how you can use the beans to attack your opponent rather than just run up a high score.
In short, if you like puzzle games like Tetris, if you're looking for a good multiplayer or party game, or if you're just looking for fast paced fun, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine is a fantastic choice for you.
More fun than a barrel of beans?GAMERamble | April 8, 2011 | See all GAMERamble's reviews »
At first there was Puyo Puyo, a completely mad Japanese Puzzle game which was as frustrating as it was addictive. Sega obviously saw the potential and decided it wanted a slice of the action and so Doctor Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine was born. I had the misfortune to play the Master System version first and absolutely despised it. Then I discovered the original Puyo Puyo on Megadrive and loved. Which brings me right back to DRMBM on Megadrive.
I knew Puyo Puyo was weird and although I didn't understand a word of the plot I'm sure it was as mad as the characters but DRMBM reaches all new depths in the storyline department. Apparently the evil Dr. Robotnik ( you might have heard of him ) is trying to rid the world of Mobious of fun and music forever. For this he has created the Mean Bean Steaming Machine to dispose of all the fun loving Jolly Beans of Beanville by turning them into robotic slaves. This is where you come in as savoir of the Beans. While the beans are falling from the top of the screen you have to rotate them so that four or more of the same colored beans are grouped together. This allows them to escape and dumps a bunch of refugee beans on your opponents side of the screen. These beans cannot be grouped and can only escape along with a neighbouring group. First player who's beans touch the top of the screen loses. It's simply, fun and at times very, very frustrating.
Apart from the new Sonic characters the graphics remain exactly the same as in Puyo Puyo. They even kept little Carbuncle ( the character that starts each round ) in his spot in the middle of the screen although he's now called "Has Bean" (Urgh!). Before each match in scenario mode your opponent attacks you verbally with some of the most horrendous puns I've ever heard and then it's into the fray. Things start out nice and easy but it's not long before you are swamped in refugee beans in the time it takes a preying mantis to blink. It's almost ridiculous how fast you can be game over at times but practice makes perfect. Don't rely on the skill levels to make your job easier since the CPU characters show no mercy no matter what difficulty level you're playing on. Thankfully Sega has decided to add a password feature which really helps when you need to take a break from all the madness. There's also a practice mode to hone your skills but the real fun as always lies in the two-player mode. The best part about this is that there is actually a target sitting right next to you to take your frustrations out on when you get repeatedly trashed. This spares your gamepad although you might gain a few bruises and lose a few friends.
I can't really remember but the music sounded a bit different than Puyo Puyo and the new tunes aren't bad either. While thirteen levels might not sound like much it will take you a few hours to complete them and on the higher skill levels you might never see the ending. One strange thing I've noticed is that when battling a foe they all have the name "Dr R" above their portrait instead of their name like in Puyo Puyo. Then again you can't really shorten names like Davey Sprocket, Dynamight and Skweel to four letters either.
If you are a Manga fan and don't mind a bit of Japanese text I'd still recommend Puyo Puyo instead but for the general public and puzzle fans in specific DRMBM is a decent conversion of a great game. If you can forgive it's faults, have a good supply of friends and extra controllers and don't mind being repeatedly trashed b a guy called Lord Fuzzy Logik then you'll have hours of fun