- Tetris Attack -




Tetris Attack - November 30, '00 by Dorsola
Game:Tetris AttackCompany:Nintendo

Before I get started, I'd like to point out that this is my 60th Review for JoseQ's EmuViews. Thanks again, JoseQ, for your excellent site and for all the support you've given me as I write these things for you.
Alrighty! Here's my latest Review - a puzzle game from Nintendo that I found to be surprisingly good! Tetris Attack (whose name is pretty misleading because this game actually doesn't have anything to do with Tetris) is one of a few puzzle games that the Big N produced around this time period, and I believe it's by far their best one.
The concept is pretty simple, as usual: You have a playfield consisting of a number of squares containing different shapes and colors, and in order to clear them off the playfield, you must connect at least three of the same type horizontally or vertically by swapping any two pieces next to each other. (Sorry, no diagonals!) As you play, the pieces will all move upwards, new pieces filling in the bottom of the puzzle, and if they reach the top, your game is over. You can score extra points (or in two-player competitive games you can drop "garbage blocks" on your opponent) by completing chain reactions and/or clearing more than 3 blocks in a single shot.
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Tetris Attack features a great deal of the cast from Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island (which is reputed to be one of Nintendo's best single-player platform games). Yoshi is your host and hero (and the Mario Brothers are oddly missing entirely), and as you play, you'll face many of the characters you found in the other two games. Depending on which game mode you play, you can go up either against Bowser or Kamek, and each one is quite skilled!
Ah yes, that brings me to the Challenge and Replay Value parts for this review. They both get perfect 10's for a few reasons: The game has a lot to offer, what with multiple game modes for both one and two player games, a VERY complete tutorial and strategy guide right in the game, and brilliant adjustable computer AI. In a two-player game, you can set either or both of the players to be controlled by CPU, and the intelligence levels can be adjusted between 0 and 9, 0 being like playing a snail and 9 being absolutely impossible to beat. I'm currently playing with the AI level set to 5, and the computer is still kicking my butt every so often.
Combine all this with some very nice graphics - highly detailed, energetic and yet not too distracting, and some high-quality sound effects and music (though most of the music is too saccharin-cute for my tastes), and you have yourself a real winner of a game. (Good graphics aren't usually what people think about first in a puzzle game, but Nintendo really did work to put some good detail into this one.)
Unfortunately, all is not roses and cookies with Tetris Attack. While I consider it to be one of the most fun and challenging puzzlers I've ever played, it has an extremely steep learning curve and takes a considerable amount of patience to learn how to play properly. I don't detract from its Replay Value at all for this, because once you get the hang of it, it's a really fun, and addictive, game. But you do need to be prepared to be confused for a while if you're just starting out.
The other downside to Tetris Attack is that you actually really need a keyboard (or something with the immediate response of a keyboard) in order to play it properly. If you're going up against a tough opponent and you need to act quickly, you may not be able to go fast enough with a SNES controller. (And the game is flat-out impossible to play with my Gravis GamePad Pro - a controller that suffers from getting its directions confused rather easily.) This may be why Tetris Attack never did quite so well in the stores - people may have found it too difficult to play.
But on emulators like ZSNES, it's great! I highly recommend it with keyboard controls. You'll find it performs quite well, will have you hooked very quickly, and it *might* even prove to be more addicting than Tetris! ;-) Enjoy!
Play Control
Replay Value

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2000 EmuViews