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Puyo Puyo Tetris Review: New Tricks

/ May 23rd, 2017 No Comments

Puyo Puyo Tetris Review

If you’ve never heard of Puyo Puyo, it is hard to fault you. The series has never made much of a splash in the Western market. Most people are probably familiar with the series as “Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine” or “Kirby’s Avalanche,” depending on if you were a Genesis or SNES kid. But it would be crazy if you’ve never heard of Tetris. Everyone is familiar with the iconic theme and the core concept of dropping Tetriminos to clear lines.

Regardless of your familiarity with them, both franchises are puzzle game juggernauts.

Puyo Puyo Tetris originally released three years ago in Japan and made a splash in the import scene because even if you couldn’t understand what was going on, the core mechanics were undeniable. If you were up on the game in 2014, then you already know what an addictive game it is.

After a long wait, Puyo Puyo Tetris has received an English localization, allowing Westerners to appreciate the game fully. It is every bit as addictive, but being able to comprehend what’s going on gives you a deeper appreciation of its mechanics and various modes. Some of the charm provided by the Japanese voiceovers is lost in translation, but Puyo Puyo Tetris is one hell of a puzzle game.

A Metaverse Misadventure

The walls between worlds are bleeding together, throwing the universe into chaos. Tetriminos and Puyos are showing up where they shouldn’t be, threatening to upset the natural balance.

Something seemed funky when Ringo and her friends popped some Puyos and traveled to a bizarre spaceship with people wearing tight-fitting clothes. It only got more weird when Puyos and Tetriminos started overrunning the ship.

Through a series of comic misunderstandings and Puyo/Tetris Battles, Ringo learned of Tee, the Tetris King’s ship and Tetrimino-laden world.
 

Puyo Puyo Tetris Review

Things aren’t quite right and its up to you to fix them in Puyo Puyo and Tetris!

After a lot of farcical mishaps and more Puyo and Tetris battles, they realized their universe was out of whack. To fix the boundaries between worlds, they’ll have to team up and improve their Tetris and Puyo skills to travel to the edge of the universe.

Puyo Puyo Tetris’ story isn’t high art, but it doesn’t need to be. The fluffy adventure mode tells a goofy story about Puyo-popping middle school students meeting Tetrimino-dropping young space travelers who team up to save their respective worlds. It is silly with fun dialogue and quirky characters, which is more than it needed to be.
 

Puyo Puyo Tetris Review

The story mode has some delightfully silly moments.

What is cool about adventure mode is how it provides players with amble opportunity to practice their Puyo and Tetris skills. It does this by providing decent challenges in the different game modes against CPU opponents and through target challenges. The challenges are often the most fun and allow players to Puyo and Tetris in creative ways.

Too Much Junk

Puyo Puyo Tetris might seem odd at first if you’re unfamiliar with what it has to offer. Some might think it is just Tetris, and who hasn’t played that a million times? Others might not have any idea about what Puyo Puyo is. The beauty of Puyo Puyo Tetris is it offers both and let’s the player choose which puzzle giant they want to play in multiplayer (and single player vs CPU).

It is the flexibility to choose what board you want that makes the game so fun. Whether you’re playing a four-player Tetris or Puyo Puyo match, a Tetris vs Puyo Puyo game, or any combination in between, you have the freedom to show up your friends and strangers online with the puzzle game of your choice. The game is well balanced regardless of the boards you choose or what configuration your matches are using.
 

Puyo Puyo Tetris Review

The different modes available give players tons of different ways to Puyo and Tetris.

There is an extreme amount of depth and strategy to Puyo Puyo Tetris because both games have their own tricks and strategies to master. Be it the T-Spin in Tetris or the complex Puyo stack in Puyo Puyo, you can figure out clever, devastating ways to drop junk on an opponent. The sheer complexity is compounded when you add the different match setups you can do. It results in huge replayability.

Outside of the core mechanics and advanced strategies, Puyo Puyo Tetris has a ton of additional modes that shake things up. Modes like Party, which adds powerups to the game, ramp up the intensity and craziness ten-fold. Fusion mixes Puyos and Tetriminos, forcing you to develop a strategy on two folds and play a much grander meta game. It amounts to a lot of diverse ways to humiliate your friends and strangers.

Throwdown

One of the goofiest features of the Nintendo Switch was the tabletop mode used for multiplayer. It looked silly and felt like something no one would ever use in real life. Turns out that isn’t true. It just needed Puyo Puyo Tetris to put that feature over.
 

Puyo Puyo Tetris Review

The true beauty of Puyo Puyo Tetris is the ability to play Puyo Puyo or Tetris at your choosing.

There are many times when I found myself taking out my Switch and setting it up in tabletop mode to figure out who had the Puyo Puyo or Tetris dominance. Using the JoyCons to play is a bit odd at first, but you get the hang of it easily and you’ll be popping Puyos or dropping Tetriminos with the best of them.

The only drawback is the smaller screen can be hard to see. The mode may be too limiting for four-player royal rumbles. However, it is perfect for one-on-one grudge matches and is a ton of fun.

Overall

Puyo Puyo Tetris is a perfect title for the Switch. It utilizes the system’s unique features extremely well, whether it is switching from the dock mode to portable mode or using tabletop and JoyCons to pop some Puyos on the go.

That is on top of being a top-notch puzzle game. The innovative twist of being able to mix Puyo Puyo and Tetris boards means anyone can get into the game. With all the modes it has to offer, there is endless replayability.

Puyo Puyo Tetris was reviewed on the Nintendo Switch using a code for the game provided by the publisher.
 

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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PUYO PUYO TETRIS REVIEW: NEW TRICKS

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall82%

GAMEPLAY9.5

Puyo Puyo Tetris offers tons of modes and different ways to enjoy both Puyo Puyo and Tetris, which makes it easy to find new ways to embarrass your friends in multiplayer. The simple yet elegant ability to mix both Puyo and Tetris boards creates a nearly perfect competitive puzzle experience.

GRAPHICS9

Puyo Puyo Tetris has a great art style with excellent animations and a smooth as butter frame rate even with four players dropping junk.

SOUND7.5

The greatest disappointment of Puyo Puyo Tetris is doesn't include the Japanese VO. That isn't to say the English VO is bad, but it doesn't have the charm the Japanese VO has.

STORY7

Puyo Puyo Tetris' story mode is a lot of goofy fun, but won't blow you away. Its main benefit is affording an opportunity to practice your Puyo and Tetris.

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