Tetris – there’s nothing better than that (Photo: Tetris company).
The reader describes a lifelong love affair with Tetris and why he considers it the ultimate video game entertainment.
I own several recent generations of PlayStation and Nintendo game consoles (and a few laptops), and as I browsed through my game collections, I was surprised at the number of games that probably meet the criteria for a retro video game franchise, according to this week’s Hot Topic. Those are Pokémon, Super Mario (and Mario Kart), Donkey Kong, Punch-Out!, Metroid and Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda, followed by PlayStation Need For Speed, Streets Of Rage, Sonic The Hedgehog, Final Fantasy, Mortal Kombat, Worms, Resident Evil, The Elder Scrolls, Street Fighter, WipEout and PuyoPuyo.
Over the years, I have tried to list the above in the chronological order of my enjoyment. The Legend of Zelda, oddly enough, is the only game I have never played. From the above, I would probably pick Pokémon as my favorite, despite my love of platform games, but this franchise has brought me gold and silver. I have a younger cousin who loves it, so maybe I’ll try the latest version anyway; they’re not terrible games, but they seem useless to me. I’d rather dust off my old Game Boy Color and relive Kanto and Johto.
Defiance is my favorite retro franchise, and I don’t know if it’s important because of its complicated legal history or if it’s a genre in itself, but if so, I hope I’m not the only one who chose it: Tetris. It’s not the genre you’d naturally think of as a franchise, and for the same reason it is and always will be the best; it’s timeless.
Even though the games are moving to the next generation, with super fast load times and other nonsense, Tetris is inherently addictive and endless. As you can probably tell from the above, I have rather eclectic tastes when it comes to games. This occasionally leads to jeers from my colleagues because I don’t put all my energy into the latest AAA game. But in response to this snobbery and rejection of “mobile gaming,” Tetris is the only example that comes to mind to show that good games don’t necessarily have to mean big open worlds.
Tiki-Taka, Hegenpresses … it’s up to the experts and professionals to dissect, but soccer was a beautiful game long before this technical glitch. And Tetris has always been a beautiful game. If we ever managed to communicate with the non-contact peoples of New Guinea, the Santinelians of India or the lost tribes of the Amazon, we would offer them Tetris to familiarize them with modern civilization. The games were developed over 30 years ago by a Soviet computer engineer.
For those who haven’t played it yet, Tetris Effect, originally released exclusively for PlayStation 4 with VR support, is the perfect version of this great game, a mix of everything Tetris. I remember completing the main mode of Journey in a single session of a few hours in virtual reality. At the end of the last level, my eyes began to blur. It was not uncommon for there to be heat, so I persevered. But when the end credits came and I took off the PS VR helmet, I felt tears streaming down my cheeks.
Except for the times I lost the spare file, I can hardly remember shedding a tear over the game. But here Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s audiovisual masterpiece – the stimulating visuals, the exhilarating music – penetrated the primitive part of my being and made the game an extension of my ego, my emotions, a crucial input, as well as the game controls that visually overwhelmed me.
If you have a PlayStation 4, but not the game itself, you can download the dynamic Metamorphosis theme for free to see how enchanting Tetris Effect can be. Tetris Effect had its flaws, but they were recently fixed when it became available on Xbox, allowing more players to play it (I heard it was included in Game Pass; if you have a subscription, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t try it) and a new multiplayer mode, from which the title Tetris Effect: Connected was born.
Tetris is also probably the only game where I unabashedly consider myself a good player. Sure, not as good as league players, but I have family members who watch me when I play. That’s the pure goodness of Tetris. Few games are more fun when the pieces fall into place.
I don’t know what the future holds, but at the time I wasn’t expecting the Tetris effect. Maybe a duel with some other puzzle games? But unlike other franchises I like, I don’t feel the need to buy the latest version. Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 has come out, and while the first one entertained me (a rare beast at the moment, with nice local gameplay for four players), I don’t plan to try the second one for now.
Instead, I will eventually return to Tetris, an old friend I meet with immediate familiarity no matter the time of day, to relive old stories and experience new adventures.
Jay Johnson Reader
PS: One last point about local games for four players: Tricky Towers is a great game that uses a fun variation on classic Tetris mechanics. The goal is to build towers, with the physics in play, and so I indoctrinated my nieces and nephews into a love of tile-based puzzle games. It’s worth checking out, and it’s often on sale (at least on the PlayStation Store).
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READ MORE : Tetris Effect : Paired Review – the ultimate puzzle game
READ MORE: Revisiting the Tetris effect on PC – the ultimate puzzle game
PLUS : Tetris Magazine 99 – The Royal Battle of Tetris
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