Review: Puyo Puyo Tetris (Nintendo Switch)
- Release Date (NA): April 25, 2017
- Release Date (EU): April 28, 2017
- Release Date (JP): February 6, 2014
- Publisher: SEGA
- Developer: SONIC TEAM
- Genres: Party/Puzzle
- ESRB Rating: Everyone 10 and up
- PEGI Rating: Three years and older
- Also For: Computer, PlayStation 4
Single playerLocal MultiplayerOnline MultiplayerCo-operative
Puyo Puyo Tetris is the game born of two popular puzzle games in two different parts of the world made over 25 years ago. Developed by Sonic Team, and published by Sega, this single game combines both Puyo Puyo & Tetris into one package for a low price. Officially licensed by Tetris themselves, this game features a fully playable version of both games with the most recent of rule sets as well as boasting a variety of gameplay modes that range from single player story to multiplayer modes that can be enjoyed either alone or with up to 4 players at the same time either locally on or online. While not
Where to start? This is awkward.
Raise your hand if you knew this would happen 20 years ago. If you did, that is good, cause honestly, I did not, but to my surprise, it did and here it is. Two popular games merged into one package. Behold, invented in Japan comes Puyo Puyo and invented in Russia comes Tetris, two games that became wildly popular at their own pace around the world (or exclusive in some areas). Easily most people could recognize tetris as one of the most addicting and easily made available games ever, it has been on many home systems, computers, arcades, pda, calculators, and even mp3 players, if you can name a system, chances are it was on it and you may either seen it or played it, not to mention it was constantly supported with updates, starting with single player to multiplayer, supporting up to 4 players at once. How did the concept of stacking blocks become so overly addicting to gamers across the world!? Beats me.
But what about the other game, Puyo Puyo? Well if you lived in Japan, you may be more familiar with this game remaining mostly exclusive, but what about the rest of the world? Very curious indeed. Well I guess maybe some back story would help lesson will help with insight. Of course maybe some of you have a idea but it wouldn't be much help if I didn't share why it so important or least let people who don't know "What's up doc!" But you can skip it if you don't care about the origin of the game and Sega making it what it is now. I figured a informative lesson would help people understand things a bit better.
So you wish to know what Puyo Puyo is huh?
The game modes
The adventure mode is best described as put together to give the player a plan of how to become a balanced player. There is a total of 10 Chapters each with 10 acts for a total of 100 scenarios to play. Each one has a grading system represented by a total of three stars. Each act can earn up to three of them by satisfying the required conditions. They range from scoring a specific amount of points, defeating the opponent before a set time and so on. The acts also incorporate all possible game modes from and of the six single player challenges to any of the five competitive modes. So basically by the end of this adventure you should no longer be a beginner, but a much improved player.
The actual story is put together to be of interest. Sonic Team the developers of modern Puyo Puyo games uses Characters they made like Ringo and Amatie, but also uses characters made by the original developers Compile like Arle & Carbuncle, Rulue, and Suketoudara. You may wonder how would the this work? Tetris never had any characters for their games. So they made some. Sonic Team created some Tetris characters, that's right, not only do you get a children's anime story, you get Tetris anime characters. Captain of the Starship Tetra is Tee, the support character O, the spoiled brat Ess, twins who are mischief makers, Jay & Elle, a talking Chihuahua Ai, and a robot named Zed. if you haven't noticed by now, the character's name each represent one of the seven tetrimino pieces in Tetris. (T, O, S, J, L I & Z) Besides the rather interesting naming phenomenon, there is more characters that all balance the roster out with a alignment. The devs made sure that there is enough characters with the affinity of both games equally, interestingly enough they took some Puyo Puyo characters and made them aligned with Tetris. While personally is a bit strange but I suppose it was a shortcut to not having to come up with newer characters for the game.
As you progress through the story, you can unlock new characters to use in other game modes, and earn points to redeem for additional unlockables. These unlockable can be used to get new skins for the two game pieces, so if you want the Puyos to look retro or just goofy, you can. You can also unlock more voices for characters as well. A portion of the unlockables are obtained from earning points by completing matches in any of the game modes, and then buying it, the others are obtained by playing adventure mode which encourages players to do so if they want all the characters. You can also earn achievements as well to be earned.
Solo/Multiplayer Arcade and the game modes
There are several game modes to enjoy. There is a single player arcade and multiplayer arcade you may choose freely what type of game mode they wish to play. If you are playing alone, you can use the solo arcade option, if you playing with two or more players either on the same screen or with multiple systems, then multiplayer arcade can be used. There is normal versus which is the standard, for this there is battle and endurance. In battle, player picks a character and a play style of either Puyo Puyo or Tetris, and also choose same conditions for the cpu players that can be either up to 3 at once to battle with. If you do choose more than one opponent, you can put them onto teams for more interesting battles. Set the stage backdrop from the available choices, customize the game settings like music, skins of the pieces, different rules and even handicap and you are all set to play. You can even save replays of the matches to watch later or upload to the server for others to watch. There is also a endurance mode in which you do battle against cpu opponents one after another in a survival type of game. This endurance mode is available for solo arcade mode only and any sub game mode.
In fusion, you can play with both Puyo Puyo and Tetris pieces in one board. If Tetrominoes (that's what they call the Tetris pieces) fall onto the Puyo (that's what they call the Puyo Puyo pieces), the block slowly falls to the bottom of the area or another Tetromino piece by slowly passing each Puyo piece on the way and after it reaches the destination, the Puyo pieces fall from the sky in the same column relocating itself on top of the Tetriminos. In other words, the solid blocks doesn't mix well with the squishy blob. You still are limited to the same rules as each game, put the Tetrominoes into lines to clear them and connect four Puyos of the same color to clear them. Using both of these in conjunction with each other is how the new game works to make effective combos to devastate opponents with. The thing I should mention in this mode is that depending on your character chosen, it does effect what pieces the player gets at random and is one of the few game modes that do matter which character you choose. This is a game mode that is good for introducing new people to either game if they don't know which one to start with.
In swap mode, the game is played by continuously swapping between both Puyo Puyo and Tetris boards at set intervals throughout the match, if either of the boards gets the conditions for losing, the game ends for that player. The first board is chosen at random, then depending on the set timer in custom settings, will determine how long until the next swap happens. The trick to this game is a clear on each board close to the time of the swap to perform swap combos to be effective. The game also works because it requires more management on both boards to set up for those. The other part of this mode is having the player play to what could be their strength and weakness. For example, if you know your opponent doesn't do well at Puyo Puyo, then you can plan to launch setups at that board for a advantage. This is a better option for trying to introduce new players to either game and not sure which one to play as opposed to fusion that puts them both into one with slight rule changes.
Party Mode is a game mode which adds items to the pieces that you play, clear them will give specific effects. It can range from sending large amounts of garbage to opponents or helping you clear your own pieces and garbage. The interesting thing about this game mode is that instead of focusing on filling the players board with garbage to win, no one stops playing and declared the loser simply because their board was filled, they simply start over, the goal here is to play with a timer to see who can get the highest score. The use of items is used to help make even unskilled or more skilled players more balanced. This is also one of the other game modes that allow you to pick either Puyo Puyo or Tetris to play with and the character chosen matters as it determines what kind of items you get and how it effects other players.
Big Bang Mode is very different from the other game modes. The goal here is that each player participating has a life bar that must be depleted by other players. Instead of each player's board starting empty, is preset and the player must use the given pieces to create continuous combos until the board is cleared, then the next one is given and is continuous. This takes on the puzzle element of the player figuring out how to clear the board as soon as the board is given, rather than giving the player any chance to set up the board to clear on their own. The goal here is to quickly solve the puzzles as fast as possible within the given time limit set in the custom options for the game mode. If you fail to clear enough boards or don't clear as many as your opponents did within the time frame, you are eligible to suffer damage. The damage is calculated based on all participating player's performance vs your own. This is another mode that you can choose either Puyo Puyo or Tetris style, the character chooses doesn't effect the game.
I have to mention that in Solo Arcade, there is a exclusive challenge game mode that has 3 rules for each Puyo Puyo and Tetris. These challenges are not played with any other player or cpu opponent, instead are played independently and perhaps serve as a practice mode for players.
The Puyo Puyo challenges featured here are as followed. In Endless Fever mode, this challenge is much like the Big Bang in the arcade modes where the board is setup with Puyos and player must use the pieces to clear the board with large chains. In endless puyo, the game takes on the survival mode of a never ending game until the player uses. In previous games, this was the exercise mode that allowed players to practice playing the game without any concern for another player's attacks. The goal here is just to get a high score, the longer you play the faster the pieces drop pressuring the player to lose. In tiny puyo, the puyo pieces are the size of the Tetris blocks, that is basically the only difference. The other thing here is the character chosen matters, each one have different way of receiving pieces in this mode. Not much to say, is a game mode if you ever wanted to play Puyo Puyo with Tetris size pieces.
The Tetris challenges featured here are as followed. In sprint, the goal is to clear 40 lines as fast as possible and the game ends when the player does or fails to do so. It features a scoreboard of a timer and how many lines left to clear. Marathon is much like the same thing as sprint but now the goal is to clear 150 and Ultra is basically trying to get a high score within 3 minutes time. As stated before, the challenge modes can serve as a practice mode for individual players as well as offering a twist on the single player experience.
The online mode is for playing with other players around the world. A internet connection is required to use, either wifi or ethernet. In this mode, players can enjoy the same arcade modes with other players. In Puzzle League, you are given a rank, a league, and ratings based on your wins and losses to other players. You start with 2000 points of ratings and losses decrease them while wins increase them. More wins increase your league and ranking. This is where serious competitors are found. Before you start you can go to options to set your online matchmaking settings. You can choose what location you are in. This helps when recording the games so that is tied to your region for more categorized ranking. There is regional which is based on the location setting you used and world wide against every player who played Puzzle League. You can also set your favorite character, this will be the default chosen character for every game mode that ask you to select a character for faster selection. You can also filter the five game modes you wish to play as well as the internet speed requirement for choosing your random opponents. These filter settings will determine which of the games will be played when searching the Puzzle League and if their connections is good enough that you get paired with. Every match in Puzzle League is played with only 2 players at a time and any disconnects during the game in progress will effect the player's ranking.
Freeplay Mode is a non ranking system that can be played with up to 4 players at once. You can search for other player's lobbies or create your own. Make it public or private if you only want friends to play with, select what game mode is being played, how many players, set the rules of the game and simply wait for players to join, and play. Is basically the same thing as the solo arcade or multiplayer arcade but played online with players around the world. If you ever need someone to play with but don't have anyone around, then this is for you.
Replay mode is exactly what you think it is. You can watch player's uploaded replays here or even upload your own. You can save a replay of any completed match to watch in the gallery or upload to share with others, alternatively you can save other's replays to your own system to view offline later from the online replays. The replays have various categories which are not really determined by any type of management system. Is has tags and ranking for each replay that appears based on situational outcomes. For example, two players who are both from California will get a tag of "Regional Battle." Either way, is a good place to watch other players play to see how intense the games can get if you are still learning and new at this game.
This game is actually a well put together. It provides any player with enough content to enjoy for variety of different reasons. If you are new, you can learn how to play in lessons mode, then practice in challenge mode, have fun with friends in local or online multiplayer, or improve skill further in adventure mode or by watching replays. Even if you never played any of the two games before, there is modes that provide newcomers a mix of balance even with skilled players, and also allow anyone to stand a fighting chance against online warriors or just play casually alone or with friends. The story mode may have been a bit unnecessary but the characters are all fully voiced and have decent production value, during the scenes of the story, the characters don't do lots of moving, instead is visual novel style with character portraits displayed on screen and text reading what they are saying, and has a option to auto advance. The story is mostly just there for entertainment between the game itself, taking a break from it all to enjoy something different, so is not to be taken seriously, is at the level that is meant for children.
The game is low price. The game is priced at $29.99 on eshop compared to most retail games which is either $40 - $60 If you buy the retail game on Nintendo Switch, the game is instead $40 and comes with two key chains of a green Puyo and Purple T shaped Tetromino, depending on the customer, that extra $10 will make a difference. This game is also available for Playstation 4 for around the price of $30 or lower, but only at retail, from what I know, there is no download option. Either way, is a nice package to own weather you like Puyo Puyo or tetris, or even like one more than the other new to either game.
+ Plenty of content for anyone to enjoy
+ Easily welcomes new players to the series and satisfy long term fans and experts
+ Make attempts to be creative with both games combining various game modes
+ Adventure mode provides a stepping stone to higher level from beginner to expert
- Character voices during the game play can't be switched off (may become irritating or distracting)
- Plenty of legacy music from Puyo Puyo missing (not sure about Tetris)
- Unlockables require a lot of points which can take very long time to get them all
- Generic story for the game's adventure mode.
The presentation of the game is a bit simple, you have a title screen with quick play options, and lesson mode that has instructional videos on how to play each game, various game modes and a full story mode. While is pretty simple standard and probably expected, is not bad, they did put effort into it. It couldn't have been easy to come up with all those game modes mixing both the games together or the story and how it would make sense. (I can only say at least they tried)
I am not really sure what to say here. If you recognize both of these games then you know most of the game play already and that is mostly survived on the replay value among players. As long as you keep playing and don't give up, you will keep getting better. Most of the fun is becoming better through trial and error, learn from your mistakes. Even if you don't feel confident, playing any of the various game modes will give even the greatest players cold feet, those give a bit of a balance that even non experts can compete with. Is a straightforward situation with this, if you know what you are playing the game for, it caters to many people at once which is good.
Like its been said, the game thrives on replay value. The game is something you can keep playing as long as you want to no end. Though the game has a adventure that does end, doesn't mean you should stop playing. With solo, local, or online multiplayer with up to four players, the fun can keep going for long time. Basically the game only ends when you don't find it fun anymore and stop playing. Though you may keep it around just for parties and gatherings.
out of 10
(not an average)
To have such a thing at a low price is a good thing. I said before that crossover games could be considered a celebration, and this is no exception. You're getting a decent collection of content for the price and well put together. At its core, is simply two popular puzzle games put together into one and made available at your convenience along with combination of game modes to play using them both. Probably no one was expecting these two games to become one but did work well for the most part.