Review: Puyo Puyo Tetris (PS4)

Formats:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PlayStation 3 (Japan)
  • PlayStation Vita (Japan)
  • Xbox One (Japan)
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Nintendo 3DS (Japan)
  • Wii U (Japan)

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
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Title: Puyo Puyo Tetris
Format: Blu-ray Disc (1.89 GB)
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Sonic Team
Original MSRP: $29.99
ESRB Rating: E10+
PEGI: 3
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
When Puyo Puyo Tetris released in Japan in 2014 I figured it would never be released in the U.S. due to Tetris publishing rights being passed around between publishers.

This led to me importing the game and using a combination of Google and fan made translations to navigate the menus and story. So when it was announced that the game was being translated and released in the Western markets I was thrilled.

For those that don’t know, this game is a combination of two classic puzzle games: Puyo Puyo and Tetris – duh. Players can play standard Tetris or Puyo Puyo as well as modes that involve combining the two classics or swapping back and forth between them.

There are five main modes to choose from: Versus, Swap, Fusion, Big Bang, and Party.

Versus is the basic head to head mode where you can choose to either play the standard versions of the games. It’s pretty straightforward, clearing lines on your board will send obstruction lines to your opponent’s board until someone runs out of space.

Swap, on the other hand, has players swapping between both puzzle types. This mode can be rather intense as you are managing two boards that will switch between them at set intervals. The time between is rather short and you need to keep track of both boards because if one fills up it’s game over.

Fusion does away with swapping and drops both Tetriminos and Puyos on the same board. The pieces retain their same rule set for clearing them but having both falling in the same field requires a lot of strategy to clear them.

One thing that becomes tricky is learning how pieces fall into place. When tetriminos land on Puyos will push through them and bring the Puyos above them. If you’re planning a big move to clear Puyos it can be easily ruined by a single Tetrimino.

… unleash hell on your opponent …
One mode I’m not a huge fan of is Big Bang, mostly because I’m terrible at it. Big Bang comes in two forms, one for each game. In the Puyo Puyo type, players are tasked to try to set off a chain reaction to clear the board.

For Tetris, players are usually given the same piece over and over to clear a board. If the board fails to clear a health bar will take a hit. Once the health bar is drained it’s game over. Big Bang requires a keen eye and fast reflexes and can be very difficult especially in the later stages of the single player campaign.

The final mode, Party, is amazing. In addition to playing a game of standard Tetris or Puyo Puyo, special items are thrown into the board. When something is cleared next to them they unleash hell on your opponent.

These items can be anything from a black out of the opponent’s board with just a moving spotlight to guide them, a freeze that will prevent players from clearing the board for a set time and many more. The items are thrown at random so sometimes it feels like some luck is required to win, but if you play enough and build up a skill set it doesn’t matter what you draw as long as you keep your board clear.

If playing against other people is not your thing, you can play the single player campaign which features all the modes above with a gradual increase in difficulty. The campaign is surprisingly entertaining and the story is absurd, but self aware enough to be enjoyable. Rarely did I find myself skipping the cutscenes, though it can drag on a bit too long towards the end.

… it’s a great version of both games …
Visuals:
This is such a bright and beautiful game. It’s still Tetris and Puyo Puyo so it doesn’t do anything flashy, but after years of drab looking Tetris variations, it’s nice to see a bright and shiny version of the game.

The single player adventure mode features a cast of characters that are weird and interesting looking and they do a lot with a limited amount of animations.

It might sound dumb to talk about how the game runs, but there have been previous Tetris games, mainly from Ubisoft, that suffered from technical issues. Therefore I am happy to report that it’s fantastic and it’s a great version of both games.

Audio:
Matching its bright and colorful appearance, the music is cheery and bubbly. It features remixes of classic Tetris songs that feel fresh without straying too far from the original music. Overall the music is great and more and more background music will be unlocked the longer you play.

I was surprised that the game’s story was given an English dub as I only expected the game to have its text translated. It really helps that they went the extra mile because the cutscenes can run long and having the voice acting makes them easier to get through.

… plenty of modes with varying degrees of complexity …
Online/Multiplayer:
The entire game can be played with others offline or online. Offline play can support up to four players for most modes. I spent a lot of time playing local multiplayer, forcing my friends to battle me. Even if they were reluctant at first they all ended up getting into the various modes and the competition quickly became fierce.

This is a great party game because Tetris is something everyone understands making people less hesitant to try it out. And after they get the hang of the basics, introducing the more complex modes gets easier and easier.

Online play works well in my experience even when playing with people from different regions. People online are really good though so be warned when going into ranked play.

Conclusion:
Puyo Puyo Tetris combines two great games and has a little something for everyone. If you prefer to just play straight up Tetris or Puyo Puyo, you can do that and have a good time. If you desire more of a challenge, there are plenty of modes with varying degrees of complexity.

The multiplayer has a lot to offer, the online multiplayer is solid, and even the story is entertaining. For something as simple as Tetris, this is a great game packed with plenty of content.

Score:
9.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Michael Cwick

Michael Cwick

Just a nerd from the Windy City. I’m actually really bad at describing myself because I get all self-critical and self-conscious. Follow me on Twitter, @The1stMJC, to see my borderline insane rants on tv shows and other non important subjects. If I’m not tweeting I’m probably just watching Buffy or Firefly for the millionth time.

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  • Johzho

    Do you know if you can play against PS3 players? i got the original imported.