Friday, June 23, 2017

Puyo Puyo Tetris Review (PlayStation 4)

Written By: James Nicolay

Title: Puyo Puyo Tetris
Developer: Sonic Team
Publisher: Sega
Genre: Puzzle
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Also Available On: Nintendo Switch

While most gamers, casual and hardcore, most likely had played one of the most quintessential games of all time Tetris on a variety of platforms, the cross-over of our beloved Russian game with the Japanese cult hit Puyo Puyo works like magic. The fusion of both games with five fun multiplayer game modes (some familiar, some strange) and its sheer bizarre quirkiness make Puyo Puyo Tetris a delightful multiplayer puzzle game that everyone should play.

Tetris game mechanics might need no introduction. But if you've been living under a rock for the past thirty-three years since Tetris came out or if you're just too young or busy to play a Tetris game, I got you covered: Tetris is a puzzle game where six geometrically shaped blocks called Tetriminos made up of four square blocks (which I will call pixels) fall from the top of a screen and your goal is to make them fit together by rotating and navigating them to the bottom of the screen to form a line (or more) of pixels. Your goal is to always make sure that you clear the Tetriminos by making lines and lines of pixels, avoiding having way too many gaps in the block formations, deterring you from making line of pixels, which unfortunately might reach the top of the screen, which ends the game for you. The more line of pixels you line up (maximum of four cleared lines of pixels called 'tetris'), the more score you get. The game gets faster and faster eventually, raising the intensity of this simple puzzle game.

In Puyo Puyo, slightly similar to Tetris, two blobs of same or different colors called Puyos (with cute weird animated eyes--obviously stamped with Japanese quirk) fall from the top of the screen. Like Tetris, you can rotate the Puyos to fall down the screen. However, unlike Tetris, your goal is not to make a line of Puyos but to form a connection of at least four same-colored Puyos, which will be cleared once done. Expert Puyo Puyo gamers, though, will try to make a chain of cleared connection of Puyos in order to score higher and penalize your opponent with non-colored Puyos (aka Garbage Puyos) that can disrupt their strategy of connecting their own Puyos. The pacing of the game, similar to Tetris, gets faster and faster as you level up.

I played the game initially alone with the Adventure mode, where a story campaign that consists of various Tetris or Puyo Puyo battles with different characters of different difficulties will intrigue any player who wants some semblance of a story. To be honest, though, this is probably the weakest mode of Puyo Puyo Tetris. Where this game shines brightly are in the five multiplayer modes.

In Versus mode, up to four players can play either Puyo Puyo or Tetris style. You can switch things around by trying Party mode which introduces some power ups in the game. My personal favorite, though, are the Swap and Fusion modes, where the gamers are introduced to the more quirky environment of the game. Swap mode makes the players play both Tetris and Puyo Puyo in roughly thirty seconds for each--thus making the gameplay really tense and slightly confusing--though it's riot when your friends all fumble for their next move in either modes. In Fusion mode, literally both Puyos and Tetriminos fill up your screen, and your job is to make a line still and a connection of Puyos. To be honest, it's difficult to describe, but it's fun nonetheless. Big Bang mode levels up the craziness a notch by applying both Lucky Attack of Tetris and Fever mode of Puyo Puyo.

To those of you who don't have any friends to play with locally, online mode is available in Puyo Puyo Tetris, so this will definitely make the game still fun being played on your own after you finish the Adventure or story mode.

I cannot recommend Puyo Puyo Tetris enough, just in case you're looking for a simple but crazy party game that anyone can instantly understand and have fun with. While the combination seems too strange, the magic of the game is in its quirky modes and the level of intensity it brings about to the players in clearing their playing spaces or beating their friends.

 Rating: 4.5/5