Review by dougmoto
""It was like the sound of my addiction""
-Mitch Hedburg (for mitch it was Velcro, for me, it was Korobeiniki)
I remember playing Tetris for the brick for the first time. Maybe I was too young, maybe I was too foolish, but either way I found it boring and slow paced. After I grew and matured, I decided to purchase Tetris DX, for gameboy color, on a whim. I was shocked. It was great. The profile system added a depth that I think Tetris so desperately needed. I don't know how many hours I've put into that game, but I've managed scores of near 999,999 , and am regarded as the Tetris Master for my obsessive playing during class.
Tetris was so revolutionary back then (and still is). It's gone through some good phases, like DX, and some we'd rather not mention (Worlds), but it all sums down to the newest installment in Tetris DS. Does it stand up to its rich history?
It's almost impossible NOT to reward Tetris a perfect score for gameplay. It's a game that revolutionized gameplay when it first appeared. It's undergone many transformations and they've added new things to bring Tetris DS to near perfection. One of the newest additions is the hold feature. This allows you to keep a block back, saving it for a time when you really need it. This is like a godsend from the Tetris heavens, and will save your backside in SO many situations.
Another addition is the ability to view the next 5 pieces, instead of only one. This actually makes the game much, much easier, and is another godsend if you have the ability to mentally plan ahead. Using this, you can see when those dastardly squares are going to turn up and ruin all your plans.
Don't worry about Tetris becoming too easy however, in this newest installment, the speed has drastically changed. Before, the blocks would fall at a frantic pace, now it's become ridiculously fast. It's impossible to follow the blocks from the top of the screen to the bottom on the highest levels. It's as if the blocks are teleporting down.
Thankfully, to counter this, they've implemented infinite spin, meaning that the piece won't set into place until it stops spinning. Using this, you can control the piece even after it hits the ground and try and maneuver it into the proper place.
It's a change from the classic Tetris, but it seems to be a change for the better. Expect ridiculously high scores, as I scored 1 million easily my first try. No complaints overall though.
Nintendo did a REALLY great job of spicing up this game. You see, on the top screen, you'll be treated to watching several clips of your favorite Nintendo characters, such as Link, Samus, Mario, Ice Climbers and Kid Icarus. It changes every time your speed increases, and is a rather good distraction. The most common question you'll receive from onlookers is : How are you playing both screens at once?
The blocks have gained colors since the original Tetris, and changed since Tetris DX. I'm not going to list them all, but you'll quickly learn to loathe Yellow blocks. All the various colors add a nice, bright feel that will hopefully attract some new fans.
The Tetris theme song is possibly one of the most famous song not associated with a character. It's been covered by Ozma, and Reel Big Fish, and is known as Korobeiniki. It's popularity is overwhelming, and if you crank up the volume, people will recognize it right away. This music was glaringly absent from Tetris DX, and I was crossing my fingers from the moment I paid, hoping that Korobeiniki was in this game.
Thankfully it paid off. If you're able to reach level 20, you'll be rewarded with the sweet, sweet sound of the Tetris theme. It's well worth it.
I'm not saying that the music leading up to that is inferior: That would be quite the opposite. The music usually associates with the backgrounds. If there's a Zelda background, expect to hear some classic Zelda music. It adds a nice little gimmick that will keep you smiling as you hit your high scores.
If I had to estimate how many hours I've put into Tetris, it would create a swirling vortex sucking in all light and matter around it. Seriously though, I've put a lot of hours into this series, and it's not going to change with Tetris DS
On top of the flawless gameplay, they've added several new features. Push mode is among my favorites, two players pushing down on each other. Touch mode is mediocre at best, and missions are slow paced. You're definitely going to be spending the bulk of your time on the standard game, for sure.
Multiplayer is one of the best experiences for the DS. I'm fortunate enough to have a friend with the game cart, and we battle quite often. Push games get quite intense, and standard games as well. The concept of garbage is a bit odd, since you can easily clear it all with a well timed line block. Still, it provides a fun and rewarding experience.
Overall (not an average) 10!
Ah. My first 10, and to one of the most deserving games I've played. I think I might have serious problems. Honestly, I close my eyes, and I see blocks falling. I've been feasting upon the succulent gameplay, and taking in the cheery music for far too long. Help me with this addiction!
-Dougmoto (currently in Tetris Rehabilitation Clinic)
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/24/06
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