I think it is safe to say that Tetris is not new - by any stretch of the imagination. I was first introduced to Tetris back on the NES when I got both the official Nintendo version and the soon-off-of-the-shelves Tengen version that offered two player. The nature of this puzzle game appealed to me immediately, but what was even more fun for me was that this was one of the few video games my dad would play with me.
I give him credit - my dad tried his hand at Super Mario Bros, Legendary Wings and Iron Tank. However, while he had played quite a few of the games on our old TI99/4a, the NES itself was never a comfortable system for him - until Tetris. Fast-forward a couple of decades, and this is still one of the few titles my wife will play. I have owned it in a lot of versions over the years, from the two NES titles, to the Game Boy one, to Tetris: Splash and more, but I do believe that the PlayStation Network version of this game is my favorite so far.
So, because today's my dad's birthday, I'm going to post this review of what was probably his favorite game when I was growing up.
Graphics - 7:
There is not a whole lot you can do with the visuals in Tetris. Gone are cute Nintendo-inspired scenes from two decades ago, and I have not yet had a chance to try it in 3D (that day is coming soon, as I'm pretty sure Tetris: Axis is on the horizon) - but the high definition remake here looks good, and there are some cool effects seen in some of the modes as well. It hardly reinvigorates the game visually, but it is pleasing enough to look at without ever getting in the way of the basic block-twisting formula.
Sound & Music - 7:
The sound effects are nothing special, and probably veer into the repetitive range a bit too often for my liking. Still, the music provided is good, and if you don't like that you are welcome to use your own music off of the system like you can in other titles like Little Big Planet, which is a plus.
Gameplay - 8:
The basic controls are still there. Twisting, dropping and lining things up are as tight as ever. If you enjoy the formula you know what to expect and should enjoy what you see here as well. The menus are pretty easy to get around as well, which is a bonus because there are quite a few different modes.
Intangibles - 9:
There are a lot of different modes, as I mentioned above. These different styles of play all still use the basic mechanics of the game, but add nuances that help keep things more fresh than simply clearing out lines using blocks that continually fall faster and faster. Trophies are a plus for those who collect them. For me? The best thing is multiplayer, and while there are other games of Tetris that offer this, I believe this one gives me the most options I have seen to date and I love a good competitive matchup. I don't always do great in them - I go for Tetris after Tetris and that sometimes leads to me getting behind and being unable to catch up, but it's still fun.
Really, I'm not sure what else to say. If you like Tetris, like different modes, trophies and online? Then this is a pretty good buy. I picked it up when it was on sale, so it was a bit cheaper than normal, but it's one of those titles I was planning to eventually get anyway. It is something my dad will play when he visits from Florida, and a title my wife will sit down and play as well. For me? That means the game is a better value than most, but if you are not a fan of the formula or don't feel there is enough new brought to the table here or you have it in some other form, you may want to pass as your mileage may vary.