Monday, December 26, 2011
Review: Not Tetris 2 (Mac)
This revelation has left my desires for fresh takes on the Tetris formula to come from games that diverge significantly from the original structure (Tetrisphere, Tetris Attack, etc). This way I wouldn't have to overwrite any of those twitch instincts I've have developed over the years. This must be the sort of thing that drives the hardcore fighting game community crazy as their prized title gets tweaked in successive sequels and updates. I own a copy of Street Fighter: Anniversary Collection which allows you to select 5 versions of Street Fighter II Chun Li's. To the uninitiated, it's confounding.
But I kept playing it.
The goal shifted from simply figuring our how to play NT2 to how achieve a higher score. This is something that in the long term, my old Tetris games never truly provided because they're lacking an internal battery to retain leaderboards. I developed various strategies to best tackle NT2. Firstly you have to approach block stacking with greater patience and care than classic Tetris because of the delicate rotational balancing required to place pieces in specific crevices. You can press a piece up against the side wall to get it in a "right angle" position, which is helpful to maximize your early game before things get messy. If you've got a decent pile built up at the bottom, I found that holding the "down" button as you place new pieces will slam them with extra force that can occasionally trigger a line clear somewhere below (line clears are based on horizontal block density).
The amount of time I spent with NT2 dropped dramatically after reaching the cap. Modern story-driven games add meta-game achievements, side quests, and multiplayer modes to flesh out their worlds, which also keeps us playing them longer. Old arcade games like Tetris need that high-score mechanic to incentivize replay. I suppose in this regard that I've "beat" NT2, but that's not something I'd quote in the game's favor, even if it's cool to say about a Tetris game.
Not Tetris 2 is definitely worth experiencing, but as for seriously playing it, that depends on personal discretion, and perhaps a releveling of what to expect from a free, interactive experiment. Download Not Tetris 2 for free here.