At first glance, Kurulin Fusion could easily pass for Super Puzzle Fighter II. And that’s never a bad thing for a puzzle game looking to stand apart from the competition. Two variants of colorful pieces drop down the playfield. These include both square power blocks and circular energy orbs. Just like in the popular SPF II, you build up the blocks by connecting the square-like pieces. Once an orb of a similar color hits any size grouping of power blocks, the result is a cleared space giving you a nice bundle of points. The gameplay may seem a little confusing or odd when you read my description, but that’s typically the case with most matching games on the market. But it’s not that complicated.
If you’re concerned that Kurulin Fusion is just another wannabe, don’t worry. There are three things that set this title apart. First off players can deposit a specific piece in a reservoir by tapping the shoulder button. The second difference is the game’s soundtrack, which features famous Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu's personal remixes of classical genius Bach. Finally, there’s the intense speed with which pieces will fall in later levels. At times the pieces became a blur. But this speed isn’t thrust upon you out of nowhere, so don’t worry there.
Kurulin Fusion has ‘that thing’ that every good puzzle title needs to succeed. It’s accessible and while challenging, it’s a fun challenge. Even when the blocks plummet at blurry speeds, you’re able to adjust the piece’s destination for several seconds. These periods of ultra-quick descent are intermittent, as a player’s resulting successful combos will bring everything back to normal (for that stage) speed. The game moves fast and maintains the fun the whole time. I actually lost track of the time once and found myself playing the same game for over a half-hour. Surely, it’s a testament to the game and my skills, of course. Thanks to four included play modes, gamers will get their worth out of this one with Arcade mode, a Time (Score) attack mode, a Mission mode and local multiplayer to round things out.
Graphically, Kurulin Fusion holds its own. Considering this bad boy weighs in at a feathery 20MB, this game can pump out some pretty visuals. Yes it’s a cascading puzzle title, but even puzzlers need to look good. Each neon piece stands apart and out from the rest allowing even “older” eyes to compete. Snazzy background animations add a little something to the Fusion’s feel without pulling the player’s attention away from the gameplay. And did I mention Uematsu’s score? The great tunes provide a nice boost of energy. The only negative as far as the controls go is the same problem with 99% of PSP titles. The analog nub is useless (as usual), but the d-pad is all you’ll need anyways.
Kurulin Fusion works because it knows what it is and isn’t ashamed of it. It borrows a few puzzle elements from other titles and combines them with some depth and uniqueness of its own. The addition of a Nobuo Uematsu soundtrack sure doesn’t hurt either. The modest $4.99 USD price is also a big plus. PSP gamers looking for a cheap diversion that entertains even the most mature puzzle gamer can’t go wrong with Kurulin Fusion.