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Tetris 2 Review

Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: N/A Also On: None

Tetris was a phenomenal game. It introduced an entire genre to gaming, and spawned the release of many other games that tried to be as addictive as it. Among these games was one direct sequel, called Tetris 2.

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Since Tetris 2 came out a little after the original Tetris, the graphics are somewhat better in it. However, the graphics in this game fail to be anything overly impressive compared to other games of its day. You can clearly tell what piece is falling, and what color each of the four blocks within the piece is, as well as the color of the blocks on the playing field, and that is about all that can be asked for with a game such as this one.

The sound effects are basically borrowed from its predecessor, but the music options have been changed. This game actually has six songs to choose from, three for the single player and three for the multiplayer. Although not all of them are of superior quality like in the original Tetris, none of them are anywhere near the point where they would be considered bad, and, on the off chance that you don’t like any of them, you can always turn the music off. Overall, the music is well done in this game and the sound effects aren’t bad.

But, for all that remains the same, the gameplay is different from its predecessor, which is likely why it wasn’t as well known. Or maybe this game was just overshadowed by Dr. Mario, which was very similar in gameplay.

Anyway, the gameplay works like this. Tetris pieces fall from the top, just like in the original Tetris. Like the original Tetris, each piece has four units to it. However, unlike the original Tetris, the four units are each one of three colors (red, blue, or yellow). The objective of each level is to remove obstacles that are on the playing field of these three colors by getting three in a row of the same color to make that row disappear. You finish the level when all the obstacle blocks are removed from the level.

The obstacle blocks can be removed in one of two ways. Obviously, you can start at the top and work your way down, clearing them all one at a time. However, there are bonuses for clearing a level fast, and that’s where option 2 comes in. On the very bottom row of the playing field is one block of each color. You will know these three because they will blink at you. If you can get pieces down to them and remove one of them, every obstacle of the color of blinking block you cleared will be removed automatically. So it would be more accurate to say you beat a level by clearing these three blocks.

However, you may be asking how you are supposed to get pieces down there without clearing a path down to them. And in some cases, you do indeed have to clear a path down to them. However, in many cases, you don’t. You see, unlike in the original, some of the items that come onto the screen contain blocks that are loosely attached to each other. When one part of such a thing lands, the other part (or parts), possibly single blocks, will continue falling, and these single blocks can be maneuvered quite easily to the bottom if a route is open, or can be used to open routes if they need to be opened.

However, you do have to remember not to just pile the other stuff at the top because you do lose if your stuff gets to the top of the screen. So, in later levels, it is often safer to work your way down a little before attempting to reach the bottom, although sometimes an opportunity will still arise for you to make a fast move to the bottom.

This game is simple enough for anybody to understand and play well, but becomes challenging enough to give even the most talented puzzle gamers a run for their money. In the one-player mode, you can start anywhere from level one to level thirty, but there are actually eighty levels. Yes, I know this from experience. I found out how many levels there are using a method that I will not mention in this review, although I do own the actual game and play the actual cartridge anymore. Add to this three different falling speeds and you’ve got a puzzle game that could last a single gamer quite a long time.

However, unlike its predecessor, this game is not limited to a single gamer. There are three modes of play in this game. The first mode is simply one player. You start at a level of your pick and keep going up in levels until you lose. If you reach level eighty you will continue doing eighty over and over until you lose, but there is more than one set of block placements that you can get in each level, so it won’t be the same thing over and over.

The second mode is player one against the computer. This works much like the two player game except you are playing against the computer. You can choose any level between one and fifteen, and any of the three falling speeds. This mode uses the two player music selections rather than the one player ones, just for your information. You will note however that the computer always does the exact same level and falling speed as you.

Depending on your skill at the game, there are three skill levels of computer player available. The easy skill level is a pushover for the most part, making mistakes often and not doing as much to attack you. The hard skill level is the opposite, working quickly and accurately and attacking you a lot. As in the two-player mode, the first person to win three rounds wins. It should be noted that in this mode and the two-player mode, even though the obstacles on the bottom row still flash, you have to remove all obstacles manually.

And then there is the two-player mode. It works basically the same as the one player against the computer mode, but with the following differences. The two players can choose different levels, and they can choose different falling speeds. This is so handicaps can be given to players of different skill levels. It is still a game to win three matches first.

I will admit that I am unsure how to activate the attack system in this game, but the result of it is that, by some means, you can either raise your own ceiling or lower your opponents. The attack system is the same in the one player against the computer and the two-player modes.

Overall, Tetris 2 has a lot to offer, and I tend to enjoy it more than Dr. Mario, although they are very similar to each other. I would personally recommend that if you don’t already have this game, you should try it, although, if you already have Dr. Mario, this game might not have enough more to warrant a purchase.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 9
Final: 8.3
Written by Martin Review Guide