Recently, I finished covering an analysis of Puyo Puyo Tetris’s story mode. Now, I have finished its sequel, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2, and am ready to compare the two games in a review. I was a little unsure of the sequel when I first heard about it, as it looked like there wasn’t much new here. Let’s take a look at whether or not that is the case in today’s review.
In case you haven’t heard of Puyo Puyo Tetris yet, this game and its sequel feature both classic puzzle games Puyo Puyo and Tetris. You can play either game separately, or can play Tetris against a Puyo Puyo player, or vice versa. There are several ways to play this game, with various modes that combine each game’s features, or allow you to play your preferred game in isolation.
If you haven’t somehow heard of either puzzle game, here’s the breakdown. Tetris features blocks that consist of four squares called tetriminoes that you control as they fall from the top of the screen. You have to form complete rows with these blocks in order to score points, make that row vanish, and prevent a game over. The game ends when the tetriminoes reach the top of the play area. Additionally, when playing against another player, clearing two or more rows at once sends garbage blocks to your opponent at the bottom of their play area, which could speed up winning.
Puyo Puyo, on the other hand features playing pieces that consist of two colored blobs that the game refers to as “puyos”. While losing in both games requires filling the playing pieces to the top of the screen, scoring in Puyo Puyo consists of matching four or more same colored puyos to make them vanish. In versus mode, creating a chain reaction from clearing one set of puyos to make another set of puyos fall into place and make them vanish is the main way to send “garbage puyos” to the opponent’s field. Larger chain reactions cause way more puyos to be sent to the opponent’s screen, and the only way to remove them is to clear adjacent puyos.
Now for those who already played the first Puyo Puyo Tetris, all the modes are back from the first game. These include Swap, Party, Big Bang, and Fusion modes. Swap has you switch between Tetris and Puyo Puyo every 25 seconds, and the trick is to manage between two different play areas at once. Party mode features items that appear on the board that can enhance your playing ability or hinder your opponents. The only win condition in party mode is score when time runs out. Big bang is sort of a puzzle mode. Here, you have to clear several screens as quickly as possible in order to damage your opponent’s health bar when time runs out. Fusion mode has the game switch between giving you puyos and tetriminoes on the same screen. This mode is the most disorienting, as tetriminoes sink below puyos that are already placed. This can lead to neat chain reactions, but can be hard to wrap your head around the best way to play.
So, with the sequel having all the same modes in it, you might be wondering, what is new? First, this game has more tutorials for both games. You actually get to interact with these tutorials, so it should be easier to learn the ropes here. There are quite a lot of these, and the game guides you with examples before you try them out without guidance. This is quite welcome, as I personally am less familiar with Puyo Puyo’s advanced techniques.
Also new is the skill battle mode. Both this game and its predecessor have playable characters, and in skill battles, they actually play differently. Skill battles combine the stat and experience point system from RPG’s in these two puzzle games to make something very interesting. Whenever you send junk blocks to your opponent, you damage their health meter. The three characters you choose to bring have different stats, and an action they can use to manipulate the board. These actions consume MP and most have a cooldown timer, but can do anything from recover health, to clearing tetriminoes or puyos to help attack your opponent. There are some devastating abilities here, so if you don’t know this mode well, you could get clobbered suddenly.
There are some oddities with skill battle, though. First, in order to customize your team, you have to go to the options menu to do so. It also appears you exclusively get experience points in story mode when on a skill battle mission. Even odder is that if you level up after losing a mission in story mode, you need to back out of the mission then restart it in order to benefit from the level up bonus. If you hit the retry button after losing and leveling up, you won’t get those bonuses.
Story mode also has some interesting adjustments in this game. First, there is an actual map to explore with optional missions. While I was critical of the previous game’s nonsensical story, this one has a much more focused narrative. Yes, there are some issues with the sequel’s story too, but the attempts at humor fall flat way less, and there is a clear conflict to resolve. Even better yet, you gain more playable characters by progressing in the story, so there is a reason to play this mode this time. Those who aren’t masters of skill battles though will have trouble a lot of trouble with the high difficulty spike at the finale. There were attempts at the final battle where I had 200 more hit points than my opponent, and he ended up defeating me in one attack!
Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is a game that shines the most when playing with friends, however. The various modes are fun to play when playing with someone with a similar skill level to your own. Even better, yet, it is more fun to talk to whoever you are playing with, assuming you have a way to talk to your friends. The game does not have built in voice chat, so you would need to find some other way to talk with your friends if playing online. There is both local and online play, and you can play with friends if they have the game too. When playing with random players online, I found that there were minimal hiccups while playing. I didn’t encounter much lag, but faced some that hindered my playing ability in some cases. Of greater concern was the skill level of my opponents. I was playing near the bottom of the ranking system, and didn’t have a single win in 11 matches. I didn’t think I was bad at Tetris, but it looks like the other players are much better than I was. It looks like playing online is best for those who are incredibly skilled and dedicated to this game, while the casual player would be quickly left in the dust.
Ultimately, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is a fun game to be played with friends. While it adds some new features, this game is best for those who missed the first game when it came out. Those who played the first game will get less out of it, but this sequel would probably replace the original for some players who buy both games. All in all, this game features the two biggest puzzle games in one package, and is worth a look if you have friends to play it with, or you happen to be among this biggest puzzle game fans. Finally, the game will get updates to enhance the game after release, so it might get better with time.
- If you haven’t played the first game, then definitely play this one.
- Check out the tutorials if you never played Puyo Puyo or Tetris before.
- Play story mode to get more characters and experience points.
- Play with friends locally or online if you are in the mood for this type of game. This is the best way to play the game.
- Play other modes for fun or practice.
- If you think you are exceptionally skilled, play online to see if you are any good.
- Colorful graphics.
- Catchy music.
- Blends two classic puzzle games.
- A great experience with friends.
- Solid online performance.
- Online player base is extremely skilled!
- Skill battles are potentially unbalanced.
- Skill battle interface is unintuitive.
- Story mode is somewhat simple.
- The story, while more focused than its predecessor, might be too silly for some players. (Possible con)
8.4/10 A great but redundant blend of puzzle games
If you already have Puyo Puyo Tetris, it is debatable if you need the sequel. This game is still better than the first, but only slightly. This game could be an 8-9 based on taste for puzzle games, or if you already played the first game.
That wraps up my coverage of Puyo Puyo Tetris 2. Which game do you prefer? Do you like the new skill battle mode? What do you make of the story mode? Let me know why in the comments below! If you enjoyed this review, then click that like button and share on social media. To keep up with That’s All Games, you can subscribe via email or WordPress. Until next time, have fun gaming!