Over the years, a lot of video game franchises have crossed over, bringing together two or more properties to create one stellar title. Sega gets a ton of credit in this field, as they definitely have put in their share when it comes to crossing over into their competitor’s realms. Now, we are getting some puzzle flavor with this idea – bringing together Puyo Puyo and Tetris to create one complete experience while offering something new to the fans of both. How does this crossover fare? Let’s find out.
While Tetris certainly never had much of a memorable story, Puyo Puyo is all about adding characters to create a greater sense of threat while progressing forward. With that said and considering Sonic Team and Sega are behind this title, no one should be too surprised to see returning faces from Puyo’s last trip into the market. This tale starts us with Ringo, Amitie, and Arlo reuniting, only to witness large Tetris blocks falling from the sky. The blocks take them to a space station with Captain Tee at the helm, where we find out many of the ship’s crew have turned up missing. It is now up to our Puyo friends to find out why the worlds have come together and find all the missing passengers in order to make things right yet again.
Yes, it is a hammy plot, but one that was handled with a lot of care and charm. Puyo Puyo has always had a way with creating a storyline to go along with its simple gameplay, and even though Tetris is now involved, most will be happy to know that both properties come out smelling sweet as this supplemental tale brings some character to the experience.
Puyo Puyo Tetris works with the idea of almost always having a competitor for its main gameplay modes. The reason for this is that everytime you clear a line, the board and so on during the Tetris side, you “attack” the other players with more blocks, while Puyo Puyo makes this more about the classic combos chaining into strong attacks. If both players are playing the same game, that particular franchise’s main rules then apply. It’s quite simple and a fairly accessible formula to get behind, even for those a bit rusty in either field.
While Adventure mode is about battling characters, other fares have been added to bring more people into the experience – as this is primarily a multiplayer title when it comes to the main courses on display. Standard VS. mode is exactly what it sounds like, and is simply a basic way to go up against a friend. Fusion mode is a hefty challenge however, as players are responsible for Tetris blocks and Puyos in the same board – meaning you have to eliminate one or the other before clearing the next chain in line. Swap mode simply swaps the boards between Tetris and Puyo every 30 seconds, keeping the player on their toes as the gameplay changes constantly. Big Bang Mode is quite nice as well, with the player ramping up points to create one massive attack in what feels a bit like an offtake of Endless Fever.
Party Mode is the primary multiplayer romp of the lot, combing almost every other mode to make a fun, fast-paced place for a group to play in, filled with a lot of new damning power-ups to use against your friends as they try to conquer you with whichever game that is assigned. Even though the single player experiences are quite basic, there is a ton of content and re-playability in this mashup, as the combination of Puyo and Tetris simply works in every way to make something immensely satisfying for the player. I personally am not a huge Tetris fan as Puyo has always been my main puzzle game as a whole, but this title covers that and more with options to craft the board to your style in almost every mode. Even the online multiplayer is on point, bringing together a ton of new options to take on the world with password protected lobbies, custom rulesets, and a server that didn’t have too many problems staying connected.
Visuals and Audio
The main reason to even mention the visual presentation of Puyo Puyo Tetris is the bright colors. Sure, that is what Puyo Puyo is all about, but the art style is definitely still a strong selling point as it makes what could be standard characters into charming personalities that are hard not to care about. The menus and other fare also are easy on the eye, and make this grand combination feel like it was executed with a lot of thought and attention to detail to make its simple existence feel a little more special.
The soundtrack would be the biggest selling point of the audio as it truly mashes up the best of both worlds and brings us some catchy beats that become earworms as the game rolls along. Yes, that famous Tetris theme is in the game, but has a slightly new sound to bring some familiarity without taking us out of the Puyo universe completely. The voice acting is also well done, but again – poor voice acting in a Puyo title in my opinion would be a rarity, as Sega usually do well to ensure that the little bit of dialogue included works well with this bubbly little world.
Puyo Puyo Tetris is an example of a crossover done right. With two addictive styles of gameplay merged together, you would think that one would shine a little brighter than the other – but Sega managed to keep this experience balanced, and that is definitely something to applaud in and of itself. With the Switch needing to prove itself in the multiplayer department, Puyo Puyo Tetris does not drop the ball, but instead carries it to the next challenger with a great deal of finesse. No matter what satisfies your puzzling itch, this mashup is the one to get on Nintendo’s new semi-portable platform.
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