Tetris. The word alone has so many memories for so many players. Wither you played in the 80’s on a handheld or played one of the many variations over the years, it’s part of many of our lives. Even when I first played Tetris I knew the magic that before me and I knew that somehow someway, there would be the ultimate version. So simple yet challenging it’s one of those moments that anyone can pick up and play. So does Developers Resonair and Monstars, Publisher Enhance Games, and the mind of Tetsuya Mizuguchi give us the ultimate phenomenal edition…I don’t have to really ask…Yes…Yes, they do.
Before we really get into everything, let’s talk a little bit about the name itself, Tetris Effect. The name itself is a phenomenon where not so much the addiction of playing the game, but rather what happens when you stop. There are actual real-world cases where people started to see the shapes of the blocks well after they played. Even those with some brain damage that played and could not form any new memories, started to see these blocks. But this phenomenon is not limited to Tetris itself, but even with other shapes and movements, people will start to see these patterns. But where some might blame video games, research has found that playing Tetris can, in fact, improve mental rotation, attention, perception. So if you think about it, it really is fascinating.
I want to say this up front. Tetris Effect can be played without PlayStation VR. In fact, it will be played up to 4k and 60 fps on a PlayStation 4 Pro. And as impressive as that is, the real magic is playing this in full immersive Virtual Reality on the PlayStation VR. With that said, let’s continue…
The first thing you will notice with Tetris Effect on PlayStation VR is the immersion. You are in the world of Tetris and it is one of the most beautiful experiences there are. The rules as I mentioned are simple. You have endless blocks that fall as you try to make rows. You will be using the DualShock 4 controller to rotate these blocks to complete the rows and you guessed it, the more rows that you can clear, the more points you will gain.
And as simple as those rules are, when you start to get to the levels where the blocks are falling at increasing speeds to add onto the rows of blocks that you thought you would be all boss like and try to make your rows as high as you can, only to have these new blocks with an adrenaline rush to add to the frantic greatness makes your start questioning the word simple.
But as I mentioned, when you have immersion such as what Tetris Effect brings to PlayStation Virtual Reality it adds to an already amazing experience. But along with immersion, you need sound and not just any sound, but immersive sound as powerful as the visual immersion and that is what you get here. Each level comes alive with its own beautiful, engaging, and therapeutic atmosphere. When you add how the sound starts to come alive with every movement of the blocks and when that individual-level music hits, and the style of blocks being used on each level and when you add how the DualShock 4 compliments it all, this really is the whole package.
What I really like is not only the overall design but the changeling it can get as you move along. Sometimes I would have to restart, but then I had to think for a moment. As visually breathtaking Tetris Effect is and how immersive you feel, as I mentioned, start to speed up the blocks. This is when I had to sit back for a second, and in my mind, separate myself from going at it as one, but separate myself like the blocks themselves. Each working separately for the common goal. It was then that somehow my mind and body were not trying to conquer the atmospheric immersion, we were becoming one with the experience.
Tetris Effect gives you some options up front. You have Journey Mode where you are able to go through the different levels. Think of Journey Mode as a Campaign Mode of sorts. Each one more beautiful and challenging. As you progress, you are able to unlock new levels, in game avatars, and music. What I thought was really cool is how you are able to see your friends that are represented by avatars just floating around. It would have loved to be able to somehow visit someone you know and that both of you or more, could then join in for a multiplayer round. I mean anything is possible, but it would be pretty amazing if the ability ever came to Tetris Effect.
Along with Journey Mode, you also have Effect Mode. Think of Effect Mode as the place for different challenges based on your mood. It’s really cool to go in and choose the type of mood you are in and then categorize them based on your mood. You can also edit your avatar or change your location as well as check your ranking. Of if you want to just chill out and fly around and check out the other Avatars, then feel free. When you decide you are ready for a challenge, you have quite the selection. How about you try your best time in Sprint or even or have a Marathon and pick your favorite stage. It’s really up to you and the mood that you are in. This is what is great…the options that you have. Along with everything I have mentioned above, you also have leaderboards to show who is the best as well as community events, there is plenty that Tetris Effect has to offer.
Tetris Effect shows what the working formula is for improvement over previous variations while still paying homage to the past. And with this formula, it shows that what happens by remembering the past, how we can improve the future.
Tetris Effect is out now. A review copy was provided. To learn more about Tetris Effect, please visit the site. To learn more about Resonair, please visit their site and follow them on Twitter. To learn more about Monstars, please visit their site and like them on Facebook. To learn more about Enhance Games, please visit their site and make sure to like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. And make sure you also follow Tetsuya Mizuguchi on Twitter.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going back to get connected.