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Loopop Cube: Lup ★ Salad - PSP, DS, and now... PSN in the US!

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(I made this thread for GAF but fuck it, have a copy paste, because I know there are some people here that'll love this. Everyone.)

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An official thread? An appreciation thread? Who knows?

Loopop Cube: Lup ★ Salad is a puzzle game, and frankly, the best puzzle game I've ever played, but hardly anyone knows of it.

This thread will (hopefully) change that, it'd be nice if at least one of you tried this game out as a result of reading this thread, the

game deserves it.

If you own a DS or a PSP and have the slightest interest in puzzles, you need this game.

I'm fairly confident you'll feel the same as me if you give it a go!

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Salad is a character by manga artist Izumi Takemoto, and this is her game!

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Release Dates

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PSone: August 30th 1996

DS: January 31st 2008

PSP: January 28th 2010 - Also available on Japanese PSN for 3,990¥!

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The name

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There's some dispute over the translation of the name (るぷぷキューブ ルプ★さらだ) but the translation I'm using here takes into

account the "official" translation on the original release's spine (Lup ★ Salad), and the "Loopop" part is to make it as easy to find

as possible online. Play-Asia translated it as that so that's what I'm using. It should really be "Rupup," I've been advised, after the

noise Salad makes in the manga. Oh, it's not important!

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Think Bejeweled meets Sokoban and you're half way there. Add in some platforming.

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Levels

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How does it work? Levels are set up as single screen affairs. You simply need to clear each level of coloured blocks to complete it

and move onto the next one.

It sounds simple enough but the level design is just awesome. Levels that look impossible can sometimes be solved by pushing

one block and starting a massive chain reaction. Levels that look easy can suddenly stump you half way through when something

you hadn't accounted for gets in the way of the solution. HA! You'll think, when the game tricks you yet again, lulls you into that

false sense of security. It's just lovely.

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Gameplay

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A picture tells a thousand words. Some pictures and words together, well, you do the math.

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That's as simple as it gets. If you have four blue blocks you need to ensure that you get all four at once or you'll have one left over

and the level becomes unsolvable. The same applies to five blocks...

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Cubes

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There are some special cubes, to add an extra element to puzzles.

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Salad

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Salad controls absolutely beautifully. While there's platforming, the focus is on puzzles so there's no need for inch perfect jumps

or anything like that. When you press left, Salad moves exactly one space left. When you jump, she jumps precisely the same

distance every time. It means that whenever you move her you know exactly what's going to happen, it's utterly, utterly perfect.

If you ever go wrong, a quick tap of a button undoes the last move you made. PERFECT.

This is what she can do

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And that, kids, is how we play! Watch either trailer below to get a better idea too.

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Playstation

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It was originally released on Playstation in 1996 and I know next to nothing about this, it never left Japan (a tradition that seems

set to continue.) All I have is evidence that it existed...

(blocks appear slightly differently in the PS game.)

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DS

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Official Site

The DS release was when I picked it up and was introduced to the awesomeness of this game, I had to have it based on the strength

of

It remains as the only game that's ever had me so engrossed in it that I've gone straight past my tube stop without even

noticing - I see that as a good thing!

Not only that, but I've lay awake at night, completely unable to get a puzzle out of my head, solutions swimming round - I've solved

puzzles without even having the game on! It can completely take over your life.

There's a review here, though admittedly I did write the thing. You can trust me! There was also a review in NGamer once but the

reviewer hadn't even played the game properly so it's irrelevant. There's another review here (in Spanish) which Google translates

into something which sounds like it's a good review. It mentions that Famitsu gave the game 26/40 but I can't find any evidence of

this and it's TOO LOW ANYWAY. Finally, there's an 8/10 review of it on World of Stuart, if you scroll down a bit.

The other thing to mention is its awesome music. It's kinda, silly, and pretty Japanese, but at the same time it's addictive as hell

and will be in your head forever. It does this without ever being irritating; I've played the DS game for over 60 hours, I'd say, and

haven't felt the need to mute it once. Each world has its own tune and every one of them is great.

As well as the standard puzzle mode which features 360 puzzles to solve, there's another mode which is called "hiking mode," which

generates thousands of puzzles based on combinations of words - there are some hidden surprises in this mode but I'll leave those

for now (they were certainly hard to find!)

A final note on the language. Yes, it's all Japanese, but no, this isn't a problem at all. It's really simple to work out, there are very

few options.

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PSP

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Official Site

A PSP version approaches! I've a feeling that the main mode in the PSP game will be lifted right from the DS game, maybe with

a few levels extra; it's that good that I don't even care and I'm buying it again anyway.

There's also an added "cat mode" although details about this are currently scarce.

Differences between the PSP and DS version noted thus far:

There's voice acting which I'm almost certain wasn't in the DS version but I could be wrong.

The undo button on DS only goes back one move, on PSP you can go all the way back to the start of a level if you keep pressing it. This is goooood.

Holding the R Button during the tutorial levels (I say tutorial levels, they're just the "easy" set really, but they work as tutorials because you can view solutions) auto-solves the level like in the DS game, but here it counts as completing the level if you use it, whereas in the DS you had to solve it yourself.

Barely any loading times

Easy and medium are unlocked to begin with, like in the DS game. There's no "empty" slots but I expect more difficulties.

Music is the same but the quality is better. Ace

Game doesn't auto-save. Save by pressing triangle on the level select screen.

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So that's Loopop Cube: Lup ★ Salad, and why it's the best puzzle game ever. Any questions?

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  • Upvote 1

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Yes! Thank you.

Yeah, it is a bit like that. But you have to join three (or more) cubes together rather than two. And the addition of Salad pushing the cubes around makes it 100x better. You can't just worry about the cubes any more, you have to ensure that she can reach the cubes at the top, and she can't push them from walls, etc.

It's Puzznic but awesomer.

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Picked this up a few months ago after Recap and Icycalm gave the PS-X version the once over. Rather quite enjoyed it, as I'm fond of these "walk in" puzzlers - Mr Driller, Gussun Oyoyo, Solomon's Key, etc. Tho I also love Puzznic, so that helps too.

Thanks for keeping the flame alive. :(

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Yeah, I've done that one. Can't remember the exact solution but IIRC,

you need to get rid of the oranges first, and then put the stack of two blues you're left with over to the other side of the level (beneath where the 12 is) and jump over them. If you then jump pushing them from the left, they move the whole lot right, including the one against the wall.

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Just started playing this. Very nice puzzle design so far, though I can see how it could very easily get frustrating if there are levels that require 30+ moves in a particular sequence in order to succeed. At that point it'll just be trial & error agitation for me, like a lot of the puzzles in Blockoban.

It's not happened yet though, so it's all good.

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I have the DS version and I played through it last year. It's very good, with some really nice, well-designed puzzles, but it's a bit too easy :wub: It is lovely though, and it's exactly the kind of game I love to play on handhelds (see also: Polarium, Guru Logic Champ, Denki Blocks...).

I can see how it could very easily get frustrating if there are levels that require 30+ moves in a particular sequence in order to succeed.

Yeah, they're a pain. There's no real way of working out how to do them, which is wrong for a puzzle game. There are a only a few though, so it's not too bad.

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I have the DS version and I played through it last year. It's very good, with some really nice, well-designed puzzles, but it's a bit too easy :wub:

Did you finish it? Some of the last puzzles in the third difficulty took me literally hours to work out, definitely wouldn't call it easy.

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Ahh.

I loaded it up last night and it seems I only completed the first set of levels :facepalm:

No wonder it was so easy. I blame the language barrier, of course. Anyway, I started the second set of stages and my love of the game is renewed. Some of the puzzle design is genius :(

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Ahh.

I loaded it up last night and it seems I only completed the first set of levels :hmm:

That's actually quite reassuring :)

Now stuck on 2 of the first level of the third difficulty.

It's gonna get much harder ;)

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