TETRIS BATTLE! PUYO PUYO BATTLE! IT’S ON!
Ah…. a puzzle game. I thought this would be a great game to cover given a certain boss present in a certain game. I will be spoiling this boss later on in the review so you have been warned. Puyo Puyo Tetris is a combination of two of my favorite types of puzzle games being Puyo Puyo, a stacking combo bubble popping game, and Tetris, a line breaking combo game. Mashing these games together was never something I asked for but really glad it came out. This game is a ton of fun and if you are a dedicated Puyo Puyo player or Tetris player it can be pretty challenging to get 3 stars on all the missions. This game has an online mode, very long and entertaining story mode, and the versus mode is great if you are playing against someone that knows what they are doing. Here is a picture of the icon in case you were wondering:
I wonder where to begin with this…. Tetris or Puyo Puyo. I feel as though most people will know Tetris so let’s get that out of the way.
Tetris is line breaking puzzle games where pieces fall from the sky and you have to create rows to make them disappear. Tetris has come in many different forms over the years and for something so simple and has changed a lot since its initial release. Even getting several variant titles such as Tetris Attack, Tetrisphere, and Tetris 2, which are all games that at their core are Tetris but play very different from one another. The mechanics of Tetris has never changed, you line up blocks to form a line and they diappear. The overall gameplay has changed from game to game due to the mass amount of developers that have worked on the title. The original Tetris flowed a certain way while slowly speeding up and would immediately lock your piece into place once it comes in contact with another piece unless you performed a T-Spin. Future games would go on to add the ability to hold onto a piece, rotate a piece in place to stop from locking in, and adding versus modes that give special power ups. If you ever have the chance to play “Tetris The Grandmaster” it is the best arcade version of the game and one of my favorite versions to play at home. If you want something more casual, Tetris DS made by Nintendo is an amazing version that has a ton of modes.
Puyo Puyo is a stacking combo bubble popping game that isn’t as well known in the US compared to Tetris due to the limited releases here. Given that the last US release for a Puyo Puyo game was Puyo Puyo Fever in 2004 while Japan went on to receive a game almost every other year there we got nothing. Puyo Puyo Fever is one of the last Gamecube and DS games I kept in my collection since it was the only way to play it. So spoiler alert for Sonic Mania…. The boss that has you fighting Dr. Robotnik is almost identical to the original Mean Bean Machine minus the animated portraits and elevated music when you or your opponent is close to defeat. The original game, Mean Bean Machine, was one of the first releases of the series in the US followed by Kirby’s Avalanche and both are remakes of Arcade game done in their respective styles. This series has never gotten a ton of love outside of Japan which is one of the reasons why I imported the game almost 2 years ago for the PS4. It was a game I never thought we would receive due to Japan having over 10 titles while we are currently on 4.
Puyo Puyo Tetris takes a lot from the Puyo Puyo Fever game with the story and much of the characters so if you were a fan of that game this is just like it. It has a ton of characters and some exclusive to the Tetris world but the bulk of Tetris characters is few to none being only a handful. The range of characters from previous Puyo Puyo games is massive but the same ones you can find across almost all of the games since the original release. All the classic characters are here and I believe most of them have changed voice actors since Fever and there is no way to enable the Japanese voice acting if that was something you wanted to listen to instead of the English dub.
This is the best part of the game, if you love corny humor you will love this game. The game’s opening cutscene starts off with a Puyo Puyo match that sends Amitie and Arle into another dimension that takes them to Ringo. Then Tetris music starts and Tetris pieces start falling from the sky. The characters freak out because blocks don’t fall from the sky only Puyo Puyos fall from the sky. The characters process to talk about the blocks and their magically properties of disappearing. The game then jumps over to the Tetris world where Tee is talking to O about a routine check in space. A loud crash and bang happens outside of his command center and he goes to check it out. Ringo is now on the ship and blames Tee for the disaster happening in her world. Ringo challenges Tee to a battle since he knows how to “match them up and make them disappear too” leading to the events of the first Puyo Puyo vs Tetris battle. After the battle they clear up some air about what is going on and look for her friends. After finding their friends they crash back on the home planet where Ringo and friends are from. Problem is the ship is broken, friends are lost, friends have been taken over by dark magic, and Tetriminos are invading and merging the two worlds. It’s our job to play Puyo Puyo and Tetris to fix our friends and fix the merging of the worlds.
I found that most of the cast were very likable with Schezo being my favorite since he seems to be word challenged? He has a very small understand of the English language resulting in very explicit lines that can be taken very dirty or just plain weird to hear a character in a children’s game given the E rating. If you love anime or keep up with any English dub anime you will also love this game much like Disgaea 5 they don’t cheap out on voice actors so you will know at least ¼ to ½ the cast because they play well known roles.
Example of Schezo:
The story takes you across different areas and back and forth between the two styles. This is a picture of the first chapter and there are 7 main story chapters and 3 epilogue story chapters each chapter is broken down into 10 stages with 3 stars each. The story mode covers a range of modes that you will need to master to get 100% since each chapter has a distinct style of either just playing Puyo Puyo or Tetris or the combination of both or one of the party modes.
Adventure Mode Menu:
I think this is pretty obvious for the certain styles so I will just cover the mixing and party modes. In Solo Arcade you will find 6 modes, Versus, Fusion, Swap, Party, Big Bang, and Challenge. Versus is exactly what you think it is either play one or the other against a computer or play Tetris vs Puyo Puyo. Fusion is a combination of both where Puyo Puyo and Tetris pieces fall on the same play area which can be very confusing the first time playing this mode and the endgame has a terrible time teaching you how to play it resulting in low scores until you master it. Swap goes between the two on a timer. Party is just like versus but has items to change up the gameplay. Big Bang is their fever mode to clear out as many lines or combos at a time to rack up points to send to other players. Challenge gives you Endless modes, Tiny Puyo, Sprint, Marathon and Ultra which are all modes found in older games of both series.
The game also has an online mode but don’t think you can jump into it right away. I recommend getting through the story mode and epilogue before going into it. This is where you will be murdered by good players and there is no real good ranking system due to the limited numbers of players. I’ve played against top players in my area up to top 10 in the world and I am no pro at the game. I was top 10 in my area for the first week but quickly fell out of that position into the top 100 and I never put enough time to rank up. Going online is unforgiven and no mercy will be shed for no players. This is truly an online mode where you just need to get good or just don’t bother since there is no “fun” to be had there. Even with the Free Play (non-ranked) players will always aim to win. I found a lot of enjoyment watching the uploaded replay matches though since they get really show how evenly matched players can be even when it is Puyo Puyo vs Tetris. The game seems to lean a little toward the Tetris side at lower levels but I found that these higher levels matches are split.
During a Match:
I have spent a ton of time across all versions of this game with the bulk of it being on the PS4 version and I believe the voice acting is better in the Japanese version but that could be almost 2 years playing it ingrained into my head. The game is a very solid game at $60 and I purchased it with the big box with the keychains. I think it is worth every penny but I missed being able to walk into a store and pick up Puyo Puyo since it is one of my favorite puzzles games so that alone made me love it. The story is funny and my type of humor. The Tetris part of it I didn’t really need but with the raise of playing Tetris online on FaceBook over the years. I had my fair share of playing with friends and ranking up to get a grip of all the special moves like T-Spin Singles and Doubles. I wish I could spend more time with this game but it was a game that quickly left the cart slot once another game appeared. I pop it in from time to time just to get in a few matches or play with friends but none of my friends are very good at it and online just tears me to pieces. I wish more casual players would pick it up so the online modes wouldn’t be as brutal but even then being months late there will likely only be high level players.
If you need something to scratch that Puyo Puyo or Tetris addiction it is an obvious pick up but if you like puzzle games in general and want something funny it is a great story mode that will keep you coming back for that extra star. Puyo Puyo Tetris is a great pick up for the Switch if you need a little more variety with friends and a better choice than most multiplayer games currently. I really love this game but given that online is broken for casual players and if you like Puyo Puyo or Tetris you likely already picked it up. I recommend you give the demo a try and if you like the demo and want a good story mode and can handle stupid funny jokes and clueless characters this is right up your alley. Giving this a score is a bit rough but I would gladly give it a 8 out of 10!
As always let me know how the review was, your thoughts and opinions on the game, did you pick a copy already, and what games would you like to see me cover in the future!