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A welcome blast of retro-gaming cool

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A welcome blast of retro-gaming cool

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
(Capcom; Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Store; Everyone)

While some gamers may find perplexing (and annoying) all those dusty titles from yesteryear crowding the online networks of today’s next-gen consoles, few will complain about the Clinton-era thrills that can still be found in this swell updating of Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. The 1996 cult classic, if you remember, added baby-faced Street Fighter II characters to a Tetris-style puzzle game in which colorful gems cascade from the top of the screen. The goal is to stick it to the opposing player by destroying these colored blocks with special ”crash” or ”rainbow” gems, which will drop an avalanche of sparkly baubles on your foe’s side of the screen.

Thankfully, the new high-def version retains all the goofy vibe of the original. It looks a whole lot nicer, of course, and being able to play online against the world’s top puzzle fighters is a huge plus. Even more significant, though, is the subtle rejiggering of the way the gems fall. In the old version, experienced players could exploit certain flaws — mostly by using the Ken character — and coast to an easy victory. Now you have the knowledge that everyone is competing on a level playing field. Morrigan versus Ken? Bring it on! B+

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