Do you like the number four? No? Well, too bad because the appropriately named retro platformer Bubble Bobble 4 Friends is coming to the PlayStation 4 in the best, worst bit of naming symmetry ever conceived. Already released on the Nintendo Switch, this version of the 34-year-old franchise coming to the Sony console is “greatly “expanded, according to the game’s website, which already featured over 100 levels. I don’t know about you but that certainly is expanded. Could use more of the number four, however.
It appears as though Bubble Bobble 4 Friends hops on the trend of modern graphics with a retro-tinged aesthetic, similar to the Pac-Man Championship Edition series. While the release and trailer say very little about the game it also isn’t like Bubble Bobble isn’t already out for the Switch, if its 68 on Metacritic is any quality indicator.
Let’s also be honest here: A game franchise this old that was never really at the forefront of retro gaming probably isn’t going to move the marker all that much. Bubble Bobble isn’t on the same level as other classic B-tier franchises that get constantly milked for the sake of nostalgia such as Pac-Man, Dig Dug, or even that monstrosity Q-Bert. I’m just saying, it’s not like the Bubble Bobble dragons appeared in Wreck-It Ralph.
But, still: The franchise has a place in the echelon of gaming history. At the very least, its late creator Fukio Mitsuji also made the very excellent Rainbow Islands and cemented the two cute bubble dragons as early mascots for developer Taito, who was later sealed in a bubble and devoured by Square-Enix in 2006. So, I guess what I’m saying is that you can expect the Bubble Bobble dragons to pop up as summons in Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Totally. But probably not.
The much anticipated Bubble Bobble 4 Friends comes out on the PlayStation 4 in winter of this year–hopefully on the fourth day of whatever month it launches in.