By Jenae R / December 18th, 2020
|Title||Puyo Puyo Tetris 2|
|Release Date||December 8, 2020 (Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S)
TBD 2021 (PC)
|Platform||Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC|
Not too long after I got my Switch, before there was a Puyo Puyo Tetris 2, I thought the first game might be a good little five minute break game in between my hours upon hours of JRPG exploration and grinding. I wasn’t expecting to spend many hours on it, I merely wanted something simple and fun for when I was getting tired of grinding. To my surprise, it was a wonderful game and while beforehand I had not really played or been into similar puzzle games, I found Puyo Puyo Tetris to be a breath of fresh air. It was colorful and pretty chill with all of the various game modes and options. Not being a puzzle game expert myself, I found that I didn’t have to be super skilled. There were so many different difficulty options and endless modes to relax with. When going through the story, I was even able to unlock a variety of background songs and different colors/themes for the puyos and tetriminos. It ended up being a truly carefree puzzle game and a great break from the JRPG grind. Which leads us to now, when I was asked to review Puyo Puyo Tetris 2, I happily obliged, eager to see what the sequel was like and get back into all of the tetrimino clearing and puyo popping action.
If you’re like I once was, and have never played any Puyo Puyo Tetris before, you might want to know what the game is all about first. Puyo Puyo Tetris is a mash-up, or collaboration game if you will, of two different puzzle game franchises, Puyo Puyo and Tetris. Puyo Puyo is a popular puzzle series in Japan, where you stack a bunch of stacks of three of the same color puyos and then chain them together with a fourth color at the top, so the puyos drop down in just the right way to pop all of the others below. See, four of the same color connected will cause the puyos to disappear. Tetris on the other hand, is its own puzzle series, which is much more popular in the West. Tetris involves stacking up a bunch of tetriminos and then clearing them all out by completely filling out lines/rows.
Together, in Puyo Puyo Tetris, you can play these two puzzle games in any number of ways. There’s Versus, where one person can choose Puyo Puyo and another person could choose Tetris, or both people can pick the same. Once you’ve chosen and picked a character, you try to knock each other out by doing well enough to fill up their board with garbage before they fill yours. Once someone’s pieces hit the top, in any of the available modes, it’s game over. There’s also Big Bang, an even more puzzle filled mode where you rack up points placing puyos or tetriminos as fast as possible, in only the correct spots required to clear the board. Or, perhaps you want to play Fusion, where you’ll start by stacking puyos but periodically get to drop tetriminos on the same board. These are only a few of the returning modes not new to the sequel, every single mode from the original has been brought back. What is new to Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is the Skill Battle mode. For Skill Battle, you’ll put together a team of characters with different abilities and stats, equip some cards (earned from Skill Battle matches in Adventure Mode) and try to make big enough combos in either Tetris or Puyo Puyo (whichever you pick for the match) to reduce your opponent’s HP to 0. There are a variety of skills you can use in battle, ones that turn a few rows into one color and make a bunch of your pieces disappear, ones that reduce your opponent’s attack power, and even skills that can restore your own HP.
For the most part, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is a repeat of the first game. But along with the new Skill Battle are new customization options where you can piece together an in-game avatar with any number of characters, a brand new Adventure Mode, an auto difficulty option and quite a few new characters for you to play as. Still, I didn’t find that the sequel felt all that new and exciting. The new content is insignificant enough that it could’ve been added as an update to the first game. I did like having an all new Adventure Mode to go through and I enjoyed what extra options and features were added in, but PPT2 is lacking a lot as well. For one, there’s not nearly as much of a music selection. PPT1 had a ton of cool battle songs to enjoy, whereas Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 has far too many Adventure Mode story scenario songs mixed in and not enough of the awesome battle music. Plus, I found the sound levels to be a bit wonkier this time around and, unfortunately, there are no volume sliders whatsoever, only the option to turn off the sound effects or music. I also believe there weren’t any brand new design options for the puyos and tetriminos, and some of the old design options are even a smidge different (i.e. different colors). Fortunately, we do know that SEGA has future, post-launch updates planned for Puyo Puyo Tetris 2. I can only hope they add brand new designs for the pieces and, most importantly, a significant amount of quality battle oriented music instead of additional, bland story scenario tunes.
Prior to writing this review, I made sure to play online for a little bit. Everything seemed to mostly run smoothly. Except, both in online matches and offline in Adventure Mode, I ran into the occasional rare lag. More often than not it was later on, after my board was filled up pretty high. It was minimal though and, again, SEGA does have future updates and support planned for the game. At the very least, I didn’t have any issues with matches completely freezing up and shutting down. Now that didn’t used to be a concern of mine. The original Puyo Puyo Tetris wasn’t a taxing game at all and I often would play online with Justin, one of our site managers. We didn’t use to have any issues whatsoever, it was quite smooth. This past year, however, all of a sudden anytime we tried to play, the game would incessantly freeze up at some point and we lagged out. We couldn’t finish one measly match without it crashing. So, seeing if I had any of these issues this time around in playing the sequel online, was extremely important to me. I just hope it stays problem free as, like I said, that wasn’t even an issue in PPT1 until this year.
Overall, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is a decent quality game. Sadly, it doesn’t have a ton of new content outside of a whole new Adventure Mode to go through, and even that is too similar to the original’s. Nevertheless, it’s still the fun puzzle gaming experience I expected and I’m happy to have a copy. I look forward to playing it more, as a break from whatever I happen to be absorbed into, and I can’t wait see what the future updates have to offer. I recommend it if you’re a huge fan of fast paced, puzzle gaming action, or if you loved the first Puyo Puyo Tetris and plan on playing online, seeing as this is now where everyone will be at. If you’ve never played Puyo Puyo Tetris whatsoever and you’re interested in getting into it, then you might as well get Puyo Puyo Tetris 2. I don’t see much reason to own both games at this point if you don’t already have the first one. Your own copy of Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 will cost $39.99 and there’s a whole bunch of platforms (listed above) you can get it on. Oh and, before I end this review, you should also know that despite my earlier two player examples, the game does allow for four player multiplayer in specific modes, online and locally.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
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