- Developer: SEGA
- Publisher: SEGA
- Price: £34.99 / $39.99
- Release Date: 08/12/2020
- Review Code Provided by SEGA
Introducing: Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 Switch Review
When I saw that Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 was coming out I have to say that I was pretty excited. I mean, I have spent what can only be conservatively called a metric barge-load of time playing the first Puyo Puyo Tetris. Like… if we’re looking for a ball park figure here I’m going to say that the hour count is somewhere in the 125-150 hour range. I’ve been blessed enough to have a group of close friends who LOVE playing it with me, so I can assure you that I am somebody who can tell you if this new version of the game is up to snuff!
So whaddaya say? You wanna play some Puyo Puyo? Some Tetris? Maybe a little bit of both? Let’s talk about Puyo Puyo Tetris 2!
About As Simple A Concept As You Could Get
If you’re new to the Puyo Puyo Tetris circuit then let me get you up to speed. The entire premise of this game is playing either Tetris or Puyo Puyo and clearing pieces or setting up combos to send garbage to your opponents until they can’t put any more pieces down. I mean, if you haven’t played Tetris at this point I don’t know what to tell you besides “play one of the 300 versions of Tetris and get back to me”. Puyo Puyo is a different beast altogether. Puyo Puyo has you stacking pairs of different colored blobs(called Puyos) that disappear when you match up four or more of them of the same color. The idea is to make chains (dropping puyos complete matching sets and disappear as well).
Players can choose which game mode they would like so they can maximize the amount of garbage they can send to their opponent and/or have the most fun. The game consists of several different rule sets that add a fair amount of variety and chaos to an already chaotic and fun game. There’s an additional story mode that unlocks new songs, characters and stages as well as a new mode, Skill Battle, that adds RPG elements to the puzzle action. All-in-all, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 just gives fans of the original game more of what they liked about the game they already fell in love with.
Much More Than the Sum Of Its Parts
To some of the people out there who might be on the fence for trying a mashup of two very popular puzzle games, I offer you this: Puyo Puyo Tetris is the single most addictive multiplayer game I have ever played. There aren’t a lot of games out there where I can start playing this with friends and then realize that three whole hours have passed. Every few weeks I have the chance to head over to a friend’s house where this game takes center stage on their 80 inch TV and I cannot express accurately to you how great those nights feel. Between the casual trash talk and exceptional skill, this game delivers on the addictive action that a great party game can offer.
Each mode plays so differently that it keeps things fresh and varied. For the sake of being thorough, I will list each mode off and give a brief ranking of how fun I thought they were:
- Versus: Good old fashioned multiplayer versus mode. Pick if you wanna play Puyo Puyo or Tetris and fight to the death! Solid gameplay and great fun between friends. 9/10
- Swap: Every 30 seconds everybody switches from one game mode to another! Things get crazy as garbage from one game mode can be sent to another if the timing is right. This mode is bonkers and SUPER fun to play. It also helps build your skills. 10/10
- Fusion: Easily the least of the three returning game modes. Play both game modes simultaneously in a strange mish-mash that never really feels like it completely comes together: 3/10
- Big Bang: You are given a board that is set up for a massive combo. Use the pieces correctly and clear as much as you can in the time limit. After the timer hits zero, launch all of your garbage in one huge shot. Fun, but not as great as the other modes. 7/10
- Party: Versus, but with items that make things extra crazy for everyone involved. Perfectly fine, but somehow not as fun as the other modes. 6/10
- Skill Battle: The newest mode in Puyo Puyo Tetris 2. Create a team of three characters with unique skills you can use to buff your team or weaken your foes. Instead of having garbage blocks thrown at the opponent, cleared lines and combos deal damage to an HP bar. It’s… well it’s alright. Definitely strange and not exactly my cup of tea. 5/10
With each of these modes available from the get go, this game has plenty to offer no matter how you want to play. Given, it’s nearly identical to the previous offerings that Puyo Puyo Tetris 1 offered, but it’s still really fun if you haven’t picked up the previous iteration.
Certainly Some Kind of Story
If there’s one thing that Tetris could do without, it would be a story mode. I’m not dissing the work that the team at SEGA put into this whole game, but it’s certainly something that you have to experience to really understand. Like… what story can you really add to the simplicity that is Tetris? Or Puyo Puyo for that matter? Well, let me explain. The entirety of the story mode revolves around all of the characters from each universe (Tetris or Puyo) from the first game all meet up and find out about some cosmic evil entity bent on removing fun or something from the world? It’s about as convoluted as it gets and is just about the weirdest thing I have submitted myself to this year.
Now, while the story mode on a content level isn’t worth more than witnessing some strange interactions between characters, it is VERY good for giving you practice in different modes and unlocking music and stages. You might be asking yourself, “Really, Kevin? Stages? Who cares?” One of the biggest gripes I had with the fist Puyo Puyo Tetris was that when you played any of the versus modes you had one, maybe two songs that seemed to play constantly, but now there are a bunch of stages and songs to keep things fresh and lovely. All-in-all the story mode took me about 5 hours and it was relatively harmless. Some of the challenges in the stages got a little frustrating as time went on, but it’s all part of the experience and it certainly didn’t detract from the fun the game was giving me.
Pretty, Sharp Puzzles
Admittedly, I’m not one to equate puzzle games and needing to look pretty, but Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 gave some much needed visual upgrades to the formula it introduced back in 2017. Some of the upgrades in the visual department include new animations for characters in versus modes, a few new stages as well as a few new costumes for a couple of characters. It’s not a ton in terms of new content, but it really adds some much needed flavor to a game that I already love.
For the audio I already touched on the main things. The music is an excellent addition and I love having some much needed variety. Additionally, most characters have added voice lines to their repertoire which increases that spice to the entire experience. It really adds up to a lot of small improvements to this game that make the whole thing shine.
Never a Hard Drop
If you’re looking to see how well this game runs, just know that the first game ran dang near perfectly and PPT2 is no slouch. I feel like matches always start quickly and run without a hitch. I can’t say that I ever ran into any kind of glitch or soft lock of any kind in my 20+ hours of play – most of which was done in 4 or 5 hour sessions with some friends.
If there is anything to talk about in terms of detriments to this game is that the online multiplayer is pretty rough. There’s so much lag and it takes so long for the game to pick up that it can make the entire netplay experience hard to endure. Local multiplayer is where it’s at if you can manage it.
Lastly, if you have the opportunity, play this game on a TV with some friends. Handheld plays perfectly, but having this game on a larger screen makes for some great times. This is one of the best, if not the greatest, multiplayer puzzle game I have played on the Switch.
Fitting It All Together
Man… Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is such a strange game to have to talk about. Like, as a consumer, the game is almost exactly the same product as Puyo Puyo Tetris 1, but as a player of the game I can tell you that when I start playing this game with friends that I am compelled to play it for upwards of 3 to 4 hours at a time. I love this game, and there are some great new additions to polish up what was already pretty great. I’m telling you, if you get people who are the same skill level as you to play the game with, this is EXTREMELY hard to put down.
- Massively replayable
- Simple, satisfying gameplay.
- Landing big combos makes you feel like a legend.
- Really feels like it could have been a paid expansion rather than a retail release
- Skill Battle feels unnecessary and isn’t as fun as other modes.
- Story mode is ridiculous, but not always in a fun way.