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So much more than war...
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Tetris Preview

KevinS By:
KevinS
11/17/10
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Puzzle 
PLAYERS 1- 4 
PUBLISHER EA 
DEVELOPER EA 
RELEASE DATE  
E Contains No Descriptors

What do these ratings mean?

Dude, it's Tetris.


I've been playing Tetris for as long as I can remember, over nearly any electrical platform with a screen. Every gaming platform that I know of has likely had some incarnation - legal or not - of Tetris grace its controlling device. It is truly a legend in electronic entertainment. And now, the PS3 is generating the blocks of justice. Too much?

click to enlargeThis time around, Tetris has a very clear focus: multiplayer. For casual players just hanging out with their friends, the classic Marathon mode is still there and plays just like it always has, but this time has the option for multiple players to play together. Instead of having to take turns and share a controller, everybody can play at once, on the same screen. Up to four players can play together on one screen.

There are new multiplayer modes in this release, and I got to get legitimate hands-on time with two interesting ones. The first is a battle mode similar to that in Tetris DS, where up to four local players (or six via Wi-Fi connection) can fight or tag-team battle against friends in a fight to the finish. The more lines that are cleared at any one time, the more an opponent's screen fills up.

The second mode is a two-player co-op mode, where the screen is shared with some overlap space in the very middle. It doesn't take long before one player, who might have their side completely filled and in need of space, finds themselves yelling at their buddy to fill in the appropriate spaces to clear the way. It can add tension to an already heated situation.

click to enlargeIf you find yourself all alone, there are new ways to sharpen those skills. The Variants are an exaggeration of what I remember as Game B, complete with blocks in need of clearing in some odd formation. If you're in for some pain, you can try a new mode for American audiences: a quick-drop version of Marathon I have come to know from YouTube videos as "death mode". In it, the game instantly drops a piece to the bottom of the screen with only the bailey to twist awkwardly before settling into place. The longer the game goes on, the quicker that reaction time gets. Being totally honest, it scares me a little.

Tetris on the PS3 via PSN will be released to the world (again) some time later this year, in full 1080p high-definition glory. From green-screen 1980s computers in Siberia to the PS3, it's amazing that Tetris has been around so long... and now it's the PS3's turn.
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