Bejeweled 3: “A Multi-Mode Gem Matching Game”
By OtakuDante On 26 Oct, 2011 At 04:47 PM | Categorized As Featured, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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In the many years I’ve been gaming I have played a wide variety of video game genres that include puzzle games. Some of those puzzle games that I enjoyed playing included several ‘PopCap Game’ titles such as their very popular Bejeweled series. My family has an extremely competitive nature when it comes to gaming, and we would often times try to beat each other’s scores in Bejeweled, Bejeweled 2, and Bejeweled Blitz. My Mother, and Father both are actually pros at the Bejeweled games, and have scored in the millions of points during their playthroughs. When I saw that ‘Bejeweled 3’ was released on the Xbox Live Marketplace I knew I had to do a review on it, because it’s one of those amazing arcade style games that should get some recognition. I honestly knew the game was going to be great before I requested it. I just didn’t know how much content ‘PopCap Games’ had included in this installment of the series. That is another reason for my request of the game. I like to keep my readers informed on all types of games even if they are puzzle related.

If you have never had the chance to play any of the Bejeweled games don’t worry, because I’m going to take the time to go over the basics of it with you … Bejeweled games are a type of gem matching game that rewards the gamer points for making different types of matches, and chain reactions. As you clear matching rows of gems (horizontally/vertically) more will fall down in their place. There are a small variety of different colored, and shaped gems involved that can be enhanced with special effects by matching multiple gems, or by arranging them in a T/L shaped pattern. Some of the special effects include exploding gems, and gems that clear vertical and horizontal lines. There is also a hypercube that can be created to eliminate all of one gem type. Unlike most gem matching games where the game ends due to the screen being filled up, the Bejeweled series only ends when you run out of moves (Classic Mode). There is actually some skill involved in all of this, and just randomly clearing gems will often times end your game very quickly. Over the years the Bejeweled games have include newer modes of play, but for the most part it has been all about the ‘Classic’, and ‘Zen (Endless)’ modes. All of the games in the Bejeweled series feature artistic backgrounds, vibrant colors, and ambiant music/voice-overs.

Bejeweled 3 is the latest game in the series, and offers more than any of it’s predecessors. In this version of the game there are a total of 8 modes, some of which must be unlocked through gameplay. The game still includes the ‘Classic’, and ‘Zen’ modes that have made the series so popular. Classic mode is a pretty much straightforward mode in which you must clear enough gem matches without running out of moves. In this mode you can create special, star, and hypercube gems by matching up gem groups (4, 5, L/T Rows). You can also take out regular matches that require only three matching gems of the same color. This mode as well as all of the other 7 modes in the game all require a strategic style of gameplay that is necessary to master if you want to stay in the game for long. I have actually learned the secret to securing a long game, but it’s because I’ve played a lot of Bejeweled over the years. I will leave the secret for you guys/gals to figure out on your own though.

Zen mode in ‘Bejeweled 3’ is all about relaxation as it was with all of the previous titles in the series. Unlike ‘Classic Mode’ this one will not end until you are ready to quit. There will always be a match, so you won’t have to worry about seeing that ‘Game Over’ message pop up. The music in this mode is very relaxing just as it is in the other modes that the game offers. All of the same rules that apply to ‘Classic Mode’ also apply to ‘Zen (Endless) Mode’. During my playthrough I found that you can actually unlock some of the game’s badges in this mode which I found rather odd considering it is an endless mode. Even so ‘Zen’ is the perfect way to relax, and game at the same time.

Lightning mode is a mode that takes gameplay in ‘Bejeweled 3’ one step further. In this mode you are timed, and must clear ‘timer gems’ in order to continue playing. These types of gems feature a (5, 10 …) number that equals the amount of seconds you can earn by clearing a matching row with that gem (timer gem) in it. If you fail to make the matches with the timer gems included, and run out of time (which is measured in a bar) it will end in a ‘Game Over’. This mode is very difficult, because you are given a short amount of time. Making matches isn’t always that easy either. Getting a highscore in this mode takes a little luck, and some skill.

Quest mode is a newer mode that requires you to complete multiple mini-game puzzles (40 types) in order to unlock artifacts. For the most part the mini-games include variations of the other modes, but I did find some puzzle types that were unique only to this mode. Some of these unique puzzle types included ‘Avalanche (falling gems that accumulate, like Tetris)’, ‘Stratamax (complete a certain amount of matches in a certain amount of moves), ‘Alchemy (turn the whole board to gold by making matches), and ‘Sandstorm (clear the dirt by making matches before the sand fills the board back up). There are other unique modes as well, but like I said most of them are only variations of the 8 main modes.

Poker is a mode that takes the basic rules of actual poker (Full House, 4 of a Kind, 3 of a Kind, Two Pairs, Pair, Spectrum …) and applies them to the Bejeweled set of rules. Your aim in this mode is to make the best hands possible in order to reach a certain score. Instead of matching numbers you have to focus on matching the different types of gems in a way that mimics a poker hand. An example of this would be to take three orange gems (by making individual matches), and two blue gems (by making individual matches) in order to make a full house. The same type of rules apply to all hands, and the amount of points that are earned per poker hand are reflected by the type you have. It’s basically poker meets Bejeweled with score added in.

Icestorm is a newer mode that requires the gamer to have quick reflexes, and matchmaking skills. In order to achieve a highscore in this mode you have to keep the ice on the board from building up to the top. This is achieved by clearing matches across the board. The same rules that apply to ‘Classic Mode’ also apply here, but the ice is added to give the mode more of a challenge. The ice itself rises in vertical columns at different speeds/heights along the gem rows. Maintaining focus in this mode is extremely necessary if you hope to make it far.

Diamond Mine is a mode that I have never actually seen before, and it takes the concept of digging, and gem matching to a new level. In this mode you must uncover treasues, and gold by clearing layers of dirt with gem matches. Only matches that are on/close to the dirt will clear it it away. There are a variety of variations to this mode featured in the ‘Quest Mode’. For the most part ‘Diamond Mine’ is a short experience un less you are able to make the appropriate matches quick enough. Like some other modes in ‘Bejeweled 3’ this one is a timed session, and in order to continue you must clear the dirt to a specified level below a designated line.

Butterflies is the most unique mode in ‘Bejeweled 3’. The point of this mode is to capture butterfly shaped gems by matching them with normal gems of the same color. Each time you clear a match in this mode the layers will rise along with the butterfly gems that are on the board. At the top of the board lies a spider waiting for the butterflies to reach it. If one of the butterfliy gems reaches the top the spider will capture it, and it will result in an immediate game over. There are no time limits in this mode, but the constantly advancing gems are what will give you the challenge.

The ‘Bejeweled’ series has been a favorite of my family since the day we bought the first released game for the PC. It’s an amazing puzzle game series that excells in graphics, sound quality, and replay value. Bejeweled 3 is no exception to this, and offers a worthy variety of game modes that will keep any gamer busy for a long time. I found no flaws with the game at all. This is an XBLA game that I definitely suggest as a worthy title to purchase, and add to your game collection. It is very much worth the asking price that PopCap Games has applied to it.

 

Original Post: OtakuDante’s Gaming Inferno

About - I'm a hardcore PS3 gamer, age 31. Currently I'm into RPGs, FPS, and Fighting games. Some of the games I'm currently into include Super Street Fighter IV, Marvel vs Capcom 3, Killzone 3, and CoD: Black Ops.

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