The title of this game actually tells you a lot about it. It's a puzzle
game, and the characters are banchos (that is, a certain kind of tough
teenage delinquent that had its heyday in the 70s and 80s, and have a
bunch of attatched stereotypes). Also, I'm pretty sure that "gyakuten"
means something along the lines of "comeback" or "reversal", and there's
a pretty good mechanic relating to that in this game.
But before I get on to the mechanics, I want to talk about how great it
looks. It's made by Fuuki, and like their most well-known games, Asura
Blade and its sequel Asura Buster, it's full of large character sprites
and very bold and vibrant colours. I don't know how they do it, but
something about the colour in Fuuki's games really bursts forth from the
screen, and Puzzle Bancho is no exception to that. The designs of the
characters and the world they inhabit is well-done, too, being extremely
exagerrated caricatures of bancho stereotypes. There's also a sukeban
(female bancho) character, and I'm sure I've mentioned before how
mysteriously absent they tend to be from videogames, so that's nice too.
As for the mechanics, it's a versus-style puzzle game of the sort that
sprung up in droves in the wake of Puyo Puyo. Coloured blocks fall from
above, and react when placed together in groups of three. The blocks
come in large and small variants, and upon "reaction", the large blocks
disappear, and the small blocks grow into large ones. Obviously, this
opens up a new way to make chains (and as is usual for these games,
chaining is the most important thing): if three small blocks react and
grow into large ones, those large blocks will instantly react again and
By now, you might wonder where the "comeback" concept comes into things.
Like most games of this type, there's garbage blocks that fall upon the
opponents of skilled players. When a large block disappears while
touching a garbage block, the garbage block becomes a small block of the
same colour. With proper planning, a good (or very lucky) player can
use the garbage blocks to form monstruous chains that wouldn't otherwise
Although it's a good game with no real downsides, I can't really
recommend Gyakuten!! Puzzle Bancho. Unless you really love versus
puzzlers and want to play every one, or if you really love the
aesthetic, it's just not different enough or any better than the likes
of Puyo Puyo or Magical Drop.