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August 2021

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Genre: Puzzle
Publisher: SEGA
Release Date: Dec. 8, 2020


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PS5/PS4/XSX/XOne/Switch/PC Preview - 'Puyo Puyo Tetris 2'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on Nov. 16, 2020 @ 7:00 a.m. PST

Stack, chain, and combo your way to victory in the ultimate matching of two puzzle game legends!

Pre-order Puyo Puyo Tetris 2

If you've ever touched a video game system in your life, you probably know Tetris or Puyo Puyo, two of the most popular puzzle titles to ever exist. There are literally thousands of variations on the two games, so it's not a surprise that the first Puyo Puyo Tetris was such a delightful experience. Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is what you might expect in a sequel, and it gives you more of the same with some new features and a new mode.

As in the first game, not only are there single-player variations of both titular games, but there is also a lengthy and incredibly goofy story mode. A story mode might sound ridiculous for games like Tetris, but Puyo Puyo Tetris makes it work. The cast is the same bunch of dorks from the first game who amount to goofy, cheerful, punny people who solve everything by playing games. This time, they're forced to team up when an evil (maybe?) girl works to force the worlds of Tetris and Puyo Puyo to merge forever. How is it solved? By playing a lot of puzzle games.

How exactly do you make a lengthy game out of two puzzle titles designed for infinitely simple replayability? The answer is variety. There are a significant number of different ways to play the game, some of which were in the previous title and some are new to PPT2. For example, you can play traditional versus Puyo Puyo or Tetris. If you've only ever played the single-player version before, this is fairly similar with a twist. When you clear blocks or create chains, you'll send gray "junk" blocks to your opponent that make it tougher for them to clear their screens. You have to balance solid play with sending enough junk to your enemy so they can't create a giant chain and ruin your hard work. It's one of the most long-lasting and enjoyable variations of both games, and it's at the heart of titles like Tetris 99. Like that game, these modes can also be played online.

Why choose one of Tetris or Puyo Puyo when you can have both? Fusion mode has you play both at the same time, as you attempt to form chains of Puyos and Tetris blocks on the same screen. Tetris blocks can temporarily squish the more goo-like Puyos, so careful play involves figuring out where to construct chains and where to crush. There's also a Swap mode, where a game of Tetris and a game of Puyo Puyo are on both players' screens at the same time, and the game swaps between the two boards every couple of seconds, with a loss on either screen counting as a loss.

The newest and most significant mode in Puyo Puyo Tetris is the Skill Battle mode, which is pretty unusual in that you don't just try to make the enemy fill their screen before you do. Instead, it's based on a JRPG-style game. You create a party of three characters from the story mode, each with their own active and passive abilities that determine your stats as you battle against your opponent. The winner is the one who's first to reduce the opponent's HP to 0, which is done by completing chains or removing blocks on your own side. Of course, bigger chains and tetrises (four lines cleared simultaneously) do more damage, and if you can fill up the opponent's screen, they'll take massive damage, but HP is king.

This is made both easier and harder by the aforementioned skills. In addition to an HP bar, you have an MP bar that can be spent on special abilities. Some characters have abilities that work only on one of the two game types, and others are universal. For example, one character can instantly delete the bottom two rows of any Tetris board, another can change all the colors of Puyos to something friendlier, and some offer damage boosts or health recovery. Of course, the more powerful the skill, the more MP it costs, and while MP regenerates over time, using a big-ticket spell too early can leave you in trouble when enemies use skills of their own.

Do you like Puyo Puyo? Do you like Tetris? Do you perhaps like both? Then Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is something that you'll enjoy. There's an argument to be made for these simple puzzlers to be among the most perfect games ever made; their simplicity allows for near-infinite replayability, and the variations and changes are icing on the cake. If you're looking for new ways to play Tetris or Puyo Puyo or you're just longing for the classics, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 might be exactly what you want. The full version comes out on Dec. 8, 2020, for all systems, so thankfully, it's not a long wait.

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