by Professor Layton
reviewed on WII
Time to Party!
Every system needs its version of Tetris – Tetris Attack for the SNES, Tetris DS for the Nintendo DS, Tetrisphere for the Nintendo 64, etc. Prior to the release of Tetris Party, the Wii was left standing in the dust, desperately awaiting its turn when it too could host a Tetris outing. Thanks to Hudson’s efforts, the award-winning franchise is heading to Wii. Behold, Tetris Party, the latest addition to the timeless franchise.
With some franchises these days, developers are struggling to incorporate new ideas. Take for instance Bomberman and The Legend of Zelda. The core gameplay in each game in their respective series is copied and pasted from game to game. By thinking outside of the box for a change and taking some risks, these series could be a whole lot fresher.
With that comes Tetris Party. Following in the footsteps of its predecessors, the game does very little to innovate the franchise. For those who’ve played Tetris since its debut more than two decades ago, you’ll find much more of the same with this latest addition – blocks fall from the top of the screen and the main objective is to create horizontal lines. Once a row is completely filled, the blocks will disappear and more will continue to fall.
Perhaps the biggest selling-point of the game is the addition of online battles. As the gaming industry turns to online play to deliver a more appealing experience, many gamers often skip games if it doesn’t incorporate online play. With only a handful of online games available on the Wii Shop Channel, many gamers will likely end up turning to this.
With most games, Tetris Party requires the usage of friend codes. Despite many gamers detesting the use of them, Nintendo still asks developers to incorporate them. On the bright side, the game allows random battles with up to six people. Pretty appealing seeing as most online WiiWare games only support one additional player, with the obvious exception of Bomberman Blast.
As of mid-2008, developers have been trying their hardest to think of innovative ways to incorporate the Wii Balance Board. Hudson has once again outdone itself by taking advantage of the peripheral in the game. By adjusting your weight from side to side, players determine where the block will land. Though I personally thought that the mode failed to live up to its expectations, I can easily see casual players having a ball playing the game this way.
In addition to the new mode that incorporates the Wii Balance Board, there’s also a slew of other additional modes. One of the highlights for me is field climber, a mode in which a human is trapped at the bottom of the playing field and by arranging the falling blocks into stairs, the human can reach the top and escape the hole. Watch out though, if a block falls on the human, he’ll be crushed, thus resulting in game over!
But wait, that’s only scratching the surface of the wide array of modes. Mixed in among everything is a traditional mode, a shadow mode in which players have to try and make a certain shape using the falling blocks, and finally, a mode where you’ll have to guide a block down a maze-like chasm. At heart though, Tetris Party still stays true to the idea of falling blocks. Essentially, there’s very little to write home about here.
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, Tetris Party is aimed more at multiplayer than it is at delivering a solid single player experience. The latter is definitely dull and loses its shine only after a couple of hours, but the former is where the game excels. Get a couple of friends over, give them a Wii Remote each, and have a party! It’s the same-old Tetris we’ve come to love, plus a few new game modes.
No Pros and Cons at this time