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The Many Faces Of Puzzle League

Puzzle League's many facesNintendo loves Dr. Mario.  So far the popular puzzle game has appeared on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Super NES, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube (in Japan only), and Game Boy Advance.  Now Nintendo is bringing it back for the GBA once again, this time pairing it with Puzzle League for a two-in-one game pak.  You remember Puzzle League, right?  Maybe you do and just don't know it.  In the past the game was known as Panel de Pon, Tetris Attack, and Pokémon Puzzle League.  Each version featured a different set of characters for the overall theme of the game.  The duo won't reach North America until December, but the Japanese version is already in stores and AMN imported a copy to check it out.

What's especially disappointing about this new compilation is that Nintendo has stripped all of the themes from Puzzle League.  As you'll recall, the original Japanese version of Panel de Pon featured Lip and her fairy friends, while Tetris Attack was loaded with characters from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and Pokémon Puzzle League was packed with Pokémon.  Now this new version offers no characters at all.  This would have been the perfect opportunity to include all three sets of characters to allow players to choose their favorite rendition of the game.  It's just a little touch, of course, and the important thing is that the puzzle game itself is intact.  Still, I can't help but feel that something has been lost in this port.  The soul has been ripped out of Puzzle League and this game deserves better.