What game do you think of when I say "Puzzle Game"? Well... if it wasn't for the picture and the title of the entry you'd probably said Tetris. Tetris is the best known puzzle game and has appeared on nearly every single system since it's release. Nintendo has 2 of its own puzzle series, Puzzle League (Tetris Attack) and Doctor Mario.
Unlike Super Mario Brothers, Doctor Mario games haven’t changed since it first came out in 1990 for the NES and Gameboy. Doctor Mario Online RX is practically the same as the original NES/Gameboy, Super Nintendo, or the N64 version. No new game modes, no new moves, no new combos. If anything they took the N64 version, took the story mode out, took Marathon mode out, took out 3 and 4 player mode, and left 3 out of 4 of the music in. But they did add in Virus Buster mode, which I will talk about later.
Anyway, if you've never played a Doctor Mario game I'll explain it to you. Mario, or your Mii in this version, has a bottle with viruses in it. The viruses come in 3 colors: red, blue and yellow. To get rid of the viruses you must place Megavitamins, which also come in the same 3 colors and in variety packs, on them to destroy them. The name of the game is colour matching. Blue pills go on blue viruses. Pretty simple, no? It gets a little more complicated, the pills aren't always solid colors. The pills are divided in half and one half can be a different colour, see the image. So you have to line up the colors, match 4 pill halves together to clear them. 3 with 1 virus, 2 for full colour pills and 2 viruses. You can set up combos and more depending on how you set up your pills.
The game play of Doctor Mario hasn't changed, but presentation wise has, the series has done way with the 2D Mario tossing avatar and viruses dancing around in a circle for some very poorly modeled versions of the Doctor and the viruses, and the Miis. The animation for the Doctor, Viruses, and Miis are all extremely stiff and awkward to watch as an animator. Even more so then Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance in game animation. As far as multiplayer goes... don't try it. The screen is divided up so poorly that you can't see your pill jar very well, a major step backwards, especially since the N64 version had 4 player battles.
The second part of the game is Virus Buster, which comes from Brain Age 2. In Virus Buster mode you use the Wii Mote to point and pull down the pills onto the viruses and get to control the falling junk as well. Up to 4 people can play this mode and it is rather entertaining. During this game play, your Mii and several random Miis from your Mii Channel are shown in a crowd pushing against some viruses. It is rather strange seeing Hungry Hungry Hobo in a doctor's outfit and saying," Never Give Up!" in a text bubble, see below. Virus Buster contains 2 different versions of Chill and Fever, compared to the other mode that just recycles the music from the N64 version. I was very disappointed, considering the awesomeness of Chill from Super Smash Brothers Brawl which was just released earlier this year.
If you want a version of Doctor Mario and don't have your copy of the NES, Super NES, N64 or Nintendo Puzzle Collection for the GameCube and need a Doctor Mario game, then give it a go. There's nothing to unlock, nothing really to draw you back other then the basic mode. If you want a better puzzle game then go for Planet Puzzle League, Tetris DS or Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords on the DS or download Pokémon Puzzle League for the Wii through the Wii Shop Channel. Here's hoping they release The New Tetris for the N64 soon for the Virtual Console.