Tetris is a pretty significant title in the history of Nintendo - had the company not been able to license the seminal Russian puzzler back in the late '80s then it's likely that the Game Boy wouldn't have been the massive global success it was. Long seen as the game which sold the general public on portable play, Tetris has since grown into a cross-platform behemoth which has been sub-licensed to a great many companies - but Sega's Puyo Puyo Tetris is perhaps the most inventive use of the game's concept.
Originally released in 2014 on 3DS, Wii U, PS Vita, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, the game sadly skipped a western launch, which meant that non-Japanese players missed out on one of the best puzzle titles of recent years. Thankfully that's now being remedied with a Nintendo Switch port (as well as a PlayStation 4 release), which is due for launch in April. However, in Japan it was a Switch launch title, and given how easy it is to access the Japanese eShop, we've decided to take the plunge to see what it's like.
As the name suggests, Puyo Puyo Tetris combines two of the world's best-known puzzle titles - quite literally, in some ways. While it's possible to pick Tetris or Puyo Puyo - or even pick one and then switch mid-match - you can also play the "Fusion" mode where both Puyos and Tetriminos are dropped into the field at the same time, making for some seriously frantic matches as you attempt to pop blobs and line up blocks at the same time. Tetris blocks can squash Puyos in this mode, which adds a whole new layer of strategy to proceedings.
Add in a story mode (which will be almost pointless if you're playing this on import as it's all in Japanese) and a quite frankly brilliant online versus mode, and you can see why Puyo Puyo Tetris made such a splash in Japan back in 2014. The online side of things on Switch is especially good; we were able to jump into a match against a Japanese player in a matter of seconds, and didn't notice any lag or stutter during play.
What makes the Switch version truly stand out is the ability to effortlessly set up four player matches on a single screen, using four Joy-Con controllers. Naturally, this works best when you're playing on a large television but we had a few matches on the Switch itself, and it's still pretty easy to see what's going on - provided all four players are able to get quite close to the screen. As for playing with the Joy-Cons, it's worth noting that when they're bolted onto the sides of the console or used in the Joy-Con grip, you can use the left-hand button cluster for movement. While it's not quite as nice as having a proper digital pad, it works well in a game like this, where you only need horizontal and vertical input, not diagonal. That said, the analogue stick is still perfectly fine when you're using a single Joy-Con.
While there's not much here that is different from what Japanese players were lucky enough to get back in 2014, the fact that this amazing crossover is finally getting a western launch is something to be celebrated - and the Switch is perhaps the ideal platform for the game, especially if you plan on cracking it out for social gatherings alongside 1-2-Switch and Super Bomberman R. Puyo Puyo Tetris for Nintendo Switch launches on April 25th in North America and April 28th in Europe, but if you don't mind the language barrier (almost every bit of text in the game is in Japanese), then you can download the Japanese version now.
Thanks to Play-Asia.com for providing the copy of Puyo Puyo Tetris used in this feature.
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I downloaded the Japanese demo, and I found it to be surprisingly fun. Will definitely consider this when it releases in the West.
I like these stories about getting the non english region games. I'd like to set up a JPN eshop account to get some games not out in the USA but need to know how text intensive the games/menus will be.
I tried this game at a Switch preview event and it was a lot of fun.
I've never had much of an interest in Tetris, but found out this weekend that that's because I'd never played it multiplayer before! I downloaded the Japanese demo and had an absolute blast with a group of friends. Went home and pre-ordered the NA retail release that night.
It's also been a great game to show off the Switch at work with. Me and a co-worker will play a couple quick rounds of Tetris on our lunch break, each with a Joy-con.
I wish we could get an english version of Dragon Quest Heroes.
I'm just glad I kept forgetting to buy this when I would do my import runs. I hate buying games only to have them get localized later. I did get the demo. If I ever turn Zelda off I'll play it.
@Xaessya We got an English vers...oh wait you mean for the Switch...nevermind.
FREE PUYO PUYO TETR--
@Xaessya you really don't wish you could. It runs really bad and isn't optimized at all for the Switch. The game makes us look like we're using really under powered hard ware
@SaltFaceDave64 Lol @ Saltfacedave64! Ever since the Switch was not a super specced beast his videos are rather negative (and he doesn't appear to realise it!)
Seeing this game skip the 3DS (where it would fit perfectly) in our countries annoys me.
PS: second reason, being beat up by all those (super) japanese players online is highly frustrating.
Demo is great, but the full price is still a hair too high on the Japanese eShop for a game that I can't read (~$47 after currency conversion). $39.99 however seems quite fair and I'll be able to understand the game, so I think I can just stick to playing some one-off games with my wife on the demo for the next month and a half.
This game is on Wii U and 3DS?!Why it wasn't released outside japan?!I would have so bought it,maybe even on both consoles.
I tought it was a new game,not yet another Wii U port.
@uumm390 Dude, stop.
To be honest... with the demo I can play Tetris, with multiplayer, as many times as I want. So... I'm not sure I could get much more fun out of it. I'm definitely interested in this game but I don't know if I'd be willing to pay full price for it. Maybe when it hits discount on the eShop.
The demo was really addictive. Can't wait to play all those modes in English when it comes out. Excellent choice of game for the Switch!
Gonna be the first title I'll ever play from either franchise so I'm definitely looking forward to this. Hope it doesn't get overshadowed by Mario Kart 8 in my household.
Got mine pre-order ready for April along with Mario Kart deluxe of Amazon with my prime discounts. I did not know how old this game was an the fact it has a Wii u version surprise me. And seeing it sold 12k for a 3 year old game with 3ds selling the best version. Glad it coming to the west.
for future games it would be amazing if I could buy them on the japanese eshop first and once they are released in the west an update would add english.
Hope to see more news on import games, and maybe even a weekly eShop update on what's available in Japan, since I seem to be buying more games there so far.
I bought the Japanese digital copy, and I'm getting the NA physical copy too! It seems pretty good so far, and it's cool watching people's replay videos, like someone cleared 40 lines in under 40 seconds with a perfect clear at the end.
Looks like a lot of fun, I might pre order.
Does the game have a colorblind mode?
@JHDK Agreed. It deserves its own regular feature. Even if the game isn't reviewed or have full impressions, the information about whether I will be able to read it or don't need to anyway is very valuable.
Handed the Switch to my wife with this game demo installed and she was transfixed for over an hour as I watched. It's a must buy in our household and I'm already feeling like I might miss the voices in an english language dub.
I have to say that I'm leaning towards digital on this one... but it's complicated. I have physical preordered and my wife even liked the idea of the key-chains(!) but then I just feel like this is the type of game you want instantly available to play a round or two at any time without swapping carts. And this (one and only?) time the digital game will be cheaper when it releases because of the key-chains.
Just to get this out of my system, I wanted to say that the implementations of the controls and details in this game are top notch.
@ElekidDude That's unrealistic. People won't do that. /sarcasm
This launch week I've already made interesting use of the unique features of the Switch. Two-player cooperative with son at doctor's waiting room, it was too distracting to have on the TV while kids do homework, so I just played it as a portable, power actually went out yesterday (and today)... didn't have to stop playing Zelda.
I even brought it into my college game design class and had people verbally praising Snipperclips having never seen it before and having a blast with, yep, 1-2 Switch. (Heh, I also probably unwisely, brought it into my Java class because I was teaching about "switch" statements that day. They got to play Snipperclips during break and I got to have a shootout with a student, but it was a bit too much of a distraction).
@aaronsullivan @JHDK I found what seems to be a decent menu guide over on the Puyo Nexus Wiki.
Gonna compare it to the demo menu in a bit and see if it lines up well. I just remembered that I do have about 1200 yen left unspent on my account, so I could actually pick up the game now for ~$40. I dunno.
Edit: Yeah, I'm just gonna wait until April. That demo is so dang generous, the only thing it's really lacking is online. And the only nuisance is having to go back through the menus each round. I will definitely be picking up the NA release though. Best version of a Tetris game I've played since Tetris DS (what I wouldn't give for another Nintendo/Tetris collaboration...).
@DragonbornRito Exactly.. The game is going to be cheaper on the US store so seems to be worth the wait. I was about to grab it when I got my Japanese account setup but then realized the price was much higher.
In case anyone wasn't aware, I'm terrible at Puyo Puyo. But dang it if that mix mode isn't fun.
Puyo Puyo Tetris Nintendo Switch USA version will be released on 25 April 2017. Stay tuned !
@Xaessya is it not coming to the west?
I do think that having part of the title of your system after a game's name is typically pretty dumb (Super Mario 64, Mario Kart Wii, New Super Mario Bros. U, etc. etc.). But I really think having the title Switch as part of the Switch version of this game's title would be so perfect for what this game is. So maybe call it Puyo Puyo Tetris Switch. Because that name would illustrate everything you need to know, its both Tetris and Puyo Puyo, and you'll Switch between the two puzzle game experiences while you play, and then of course its also the Switch version of the game. Seems like a no brainer to me.
Another one of those cheaply made port games that'll try to milk early Switch owners with an overinflated price.
The demo for this on the Japanese eShop is extremely fun. Easy enough to set up a 2 player game in tabletop mode despite being in Japanese, and it's a generous demo.
It was shown in the NA list of games so, I think it's safe to say it's coming. Just... not until later in the year. See, they're just now releasing DQ Heroes II on PS4 in a few weeks, and will want to cash in on that first before selling both games together on Switch.
But dude is right. The framerate is pretty janky in the demo. I don't mind small framerate issues but this one was bad. I mean, I still enjoyed it, and maybe it'll get patched/run better in handheld mode... who knows.
I would have preferred Puyo 20th Anniversary, but Tetris is fun too. I hope they release more Puyo games outside of Japan in future.
Looks great but 40 bucks? I have about 50 games like this and the most I ever paid was 10 bucks for the wii Tetris remake.
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