by Jason Clement
reviewed on 3DS
Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks, cont.
'Stage Racer Plus' is a bit unorthodox as far as following the main Tetris formula goes. Instead of arranging falling Tetriminos, the goal is to guide a single one through an entire course that is constantly scaling up the screen. You'll have to arrange the Tetrimino accordingly so that it fits through holes and slots as the course continues to scale. This is one of the modes I had the most fun with and thought was a refreshingly original take on the game.
In 'Capture', the object is to surround stars with Tetriminos and then clear them in order to finish the stage. 'Master Mode' is exactly what it sounds like: a mode that's for master players, meaning that each Tetrimono falls at their fastest speed from the beginning.
Yes, There's Multiplayer Too
Rounding up the 20 different modes are the multiplayer modes, which can be played through 'Local Play', 'Download Play', and 'Internet Play'. With 'Internet Play', you can either play with a friend whose friend code you already have inputted in your 3DS, or with anonymous people all over the world. In this respect, it's nice to see that Hudson has virtually every base covered as far as the multiplayer goes.
Now the AR modes are a different kind of beast altogether. The AR is sufficient for what it is, and it's a neat little addition, but since it requires great lighting and that you reposition yourself around the AR card, you likely won't play this beyond one or two playthroughs. It's more of an experimental mode and a chance to test out the 3DS's AR capabilities, so in that capacity it succeeds, as it is pretty neat to move all around and see the grid from different perspectives as the tetriminoes fall. Just don't think you'll be firing it up every time you play.
The graphics are bright, cheery, and attractive for a puzzle game, and the 3D suits the look nicely. It's not overpowering and in-your-face like some 3DS games, but rather a more subtle enhancement to the visuals. There's also a Mii that dances on the bottom screen during the gameplay; don't ask me why. You can change him or her to any Mii on your 3DS though.
I quite enjoyed the music as well, which is a pseudo blend of classical and electronica/trance, incorporating such classics as the main Tetris theme, both The Russian Dance and The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from Pyotr Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, among others. Most of the songs are relaxing to listen to as you focus on arranging Tetriminos and clearing lines, though some can get a little bit repetitive.
When you look at the complete package, Tetris: Axis packs quite a wallop. This might in fact be the most extensive version of Tetris ever, which says quite a bit. If you've never been a fan of Tetris, I can't say this will change your mind, but puzzle fans and Tetris afficionados will find a lot to love here. I'm confident in saying that this will likely be that one 3DS game that people will have in their 3DSs for a long time to come, and for good reason too: Tetris just doesn't get much better than this.
Classic Tetris fun, 20 different game modes ensure spectacular replay value, 3D is used well
If you\'re not interested in puzzle games, this won\'t do much for you.