Tetris Worlds Review

Developer: Radical Entertainment Publisher: THQ
Release Date: June 26, 2002 Also On: GCN, PS2 and Xbox

Among the best known games of all time sits a game that has quite possibly been ported/remade on every console since the 8-bit generation, Tetris. The original Nintendo version was an almost instant classic, although the competing Tengen version gets more hype today from NES game collectors, and the game has won over new fans on nearly every console since then. After the release of the GCN, THQ decided to get into the game with the very forgettable Tetris Worlds. At first glance, Tetris Worlds is a decent game; six different versions of Tetris with 15 levels each. However, beyond that, THQ did many things wrong.

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Let’s start with something I can’t complain about too much, the graphics. Like with any other puzzle games, Tetris Worlds has about as good of graphics as it needs to get the job done. The backgrounds are very nice looking, especially when you get into the higher ranks (explained later). Overall, there’s not too much that can be complained about in terms of graphics.

Next, let’s talk about the story. Yes, THQ actually broke the cardinal rule of puzzle games and tried to include a story in it. The story is very basic; a race of beings is going to die unless their champion Tetris players can open dimensional portals through playing Tetris so that the race of people can escape destruction; bland but about the best that could be done for a puzzle game.

Let’s face it, the music in this game is nothing but repetitions of two-second long ideas. That’s not what I want to be listening to for a half hour while I play Tetris. The sound effects are typical Tetris fare, though. I’d say listen to a CD while you play this game as that would be more pleasing to the ear.

There are six types of Tetris in this game, all of which are entertaining, but there is a problem. Every time you lose, the game gives you the option of saving your rank so you can start at the point you died at rank wise. This makes the game more of a “play until you win” mentality.

For each level, you are timed for two minutes to get so many “points” to beat the level. If you get enough points in the time limit, your rank goes up. If you take longer than two minutes, your rank does not go up, but you have to finish the level and go on anyway.

Now, that doesn’t sound so bad, except that most people play Tetris, not for speed of maneuvers, but to get a high score, and since there is no high score list, nor even does it keep track of so many points for single/double/etc. lines, there is no reason to replay to get a higher score. The six modes are all fun nonetheless though just to see how high of a level/rank you can get to before you die. The modes are as follows:

Tetris: This is just your traditional Tetris. Need I say more?

Square: This is the same as traditional Tetris, except the pieces have different colors to them and if you make a big enough square of the same color to get points.

Hot-Line: A stupid mode in which you only get points for rows taken out along certain colored lines on the playing field.

Cascade: The same as traditional Tetris, except loose pieces will fall after a row is cleared.

Sticky: The same as traditional Tetris, but without points at all. The objective is to clear the bottom row of bricks. Cascades happen in this game.

Fusion: Sort of like Sticky, except you are trying to connect yellow fusion blocks to a red block at the bottom of the field. Yellow blocks never go away no matter how many rows are cleared with them, and cascades happen only after the removal of rows containing at least one fusion block.

With the exception of Hot-Line, all of the modes are fun, and six modes means more replay value, but the lack of the ability to earn high scores sort of counteracts that. If you are a fan of puzzle games, you almost have to get this, because there are very few puzzle games on GCN. If you aren’t, this game won’t convert you to enjoying them.

Graphics: 5
Sound: 4
Gameplay: 5
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 5
Final: 5.2
Written by Martin Review Guide

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