Tetris Ultimate (3DS)
Review Written By: Adolph Vega
The stereoscopic 3D effect was clearly an after thought when they developed this game. Certain menu icons will pop out of the screen every so slightly, this is neither impressive nor interesting. During regular gameplay tetromino’s and other blocks will be floating around in the background, they do appear to be farther back in 3D, this has no impact on gameplay and is only a novelty. When you play the game your 3DS system mii’s face will appear on the left of the main playfield and will pop out when your tetromino’s stack is near the top of the matrix playfield. When your mii’s face pops out it’s meant to be silly and look distressed and it's a fun little thing, but for some reason the graphics blur so it’s more a distraction than a cute bonus. Also when you align several tetromino’s lines and cause them to disappear white sparks will flicker and pop out of the screen to congratulate you. I understand making 3D look interesting without being distracting maybe difficult on a Tetris game, but I feel this game really didn’t put much effort and is only a cheap gimmick and not worth while to play in 3D.
Final Verdict: Terrible 3D
Tetris is like a cheeseburger, its widely available and well liked by a vast majority of people. Just like a cheeseburger so many versions of Tetris exist and you have to make your game special to compete with all the others. Tetris celebrates its 30th anniversary with this game. Just in case you have never played Tetris I’ll explain it for you. Tetris is a puzzle game with falling blocks (Tetrimino’s) and you attempt to rotate and align the blocks to create make lines and score points. You cannot win Tetris, it will become faster and the randomly picked blocks will make it difficult to create lines. The point of Tetris is to get a high score and try your best to survive as long as you can. This game has all the modes you would expect in a Tetris game, including a Marathon mode, Endless mode, Ultra mode, Sprint mode, local multiplayer and online multiplayer modes, and Challenge modes. The marathon mode is 15 levels of Tetris that must be completed in order. To beat a level of Tetris you must clear 10 lines to advance to the next level, and the game becomes faster at each level, and after you complete the 15th level you are given a score and win. The Endless mode lets you play Tetris until you eventually fail. The sprint mode is where you attempt to clear 40 lines as fast as possible. The Ultra mode gives you three minutes to get the best score possible. The game also has a challenge mode that has several very difficult modes of Tetris. One challenge mode is called Rotation lock and within this mode you cannot rotate the Tetromino’s in any way. Another challenge mode is the Invisible mode that makes the tetromino’s turn invisible after they are set down. Another challenge mode is Escalation and each level requires more line clears than the previous level to advance. The final challenge mode is called Master and the Tetrimino’s fall to the bottom of the matrix as soon as they appear. Sadly I found the challenge modes to be more painfully difficult than fun, and overall I felt the game had the bare minimum amount of modes and lacked personality. The game also has a multiplayer mode that allows you to play against the computer or local human players with or without items. The items range from making things easier for yourself to making it more difficult for your opponent and are gained by clearing specific Tetrimino’s with question marks printed on them. Luckily you can play local multiplayer with up to four people with only one copy of the game. One interesting aspect of this game is the fact replays are automatically saved and the game has a level progression system. Certain modes need to be unlocked by earning badges. Doing specific tasks or accomplishing preset achievements gains badges. I like having challenges within the game, it gives you something to work toward and a majority of them are fun objectives to reach for, but I don’t think it was a good decision to lock game modes behind meeting badge quotas. The game also has an online mode, which I think is probably the strongest feature. The game will automatically show your 3DS friends that own the game and show you their top scores. This aspect gives the game an asynchronous multiplayer mode that drives a rivalry between friends as you compete to beat each other’s top scores. This mode automatically populates the replays your friends generate and gives you notifications when they have a new high score or beat your high score. I really wish more 3DS games used this simple style of turn-based multiplayer. The game has several competitive online modes that let you play against other people from across the globe in various scenarios. You can even play against top players replays of people you never meet before. A few times I couldn’t find anyone to play against online. This is probably due to the game being recently released and few active members, which is not any fault of the developer. The multiplayer online matches I did play were perfectly smooth, fast paced and fun and never had input lag. The online modes within Tetris Ultimate are something I must applaud and are the highlight of the package. Tetris Ultimate is lacking in the presentation aspect, the main graphics and menus are generic and have no character. The music in this game is disappointing and sounds like generic 1990’s techno. This game has two distinct songs and the first song is slow paced ghostly sounding theme that's forgettable and doesn’t fit the gameplay. The remix of the Tetris theme (Korobeiniki) within the game sounds like an amateur electronic piano version of the famous catchy melody and not memorable. The sound effects however are actually well implemented and enjoyable. Specifically I like the satisfying click noise that you hear when you set a Tetrimino’s into place. The controls within this game are perfect and are easy to understand and feel tight and responsive. Overall I feel this game is lacking in presentation but nails the fundamental elements that make a fun portable puzzle game.
Final Verdict: 7/10
Tetris ® & © 1985–2014 Tetris Holding. Tetris logos, Tetris theme song, and Tetriminos are trademarks of Tetris Holding. The Tetris trade dress is owned by Tetris Holding. Licensed to The Tetris Company. Game Design by Alexey Pajitnov. Original Logo Design by Roger Dean. All Rights Reserved. © 2014 Additional game content by Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Ubisoft and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the US and/or other countries. Developed and published under license by The Tetris Company.