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Tetris Worlds






Tetris Worlds wasn't developed for anyone but die hard Tetris fans. Keeping thus in mind, come in and check out our lengthy review!

Tetris is one of the most legendary video games ever created. The series has appeared on several formats throughout the years, selling a total of over 60 million copies worldwide. When it comes to the puzzle genre, the Russian invention tops the charts with ease. Just over a week ago, THQ released Tetris Worlds, the Xbox's first title of its type. Tetris Worlds has already hit the PlayStation 2 game market, and was simply ported to Microsoft's next-generation console with a few minor additions. Nevertheless, THQ's latest Xbox title is entertaining, addictive, and somewhat of a disappointment all in one not so big package.

Tetris Worlds offers two game modes; story and arcade. The story mode is an innovative addition to the Tetris series. The storyline itself lacks, and the mode in general is a disappointment. As to what I understood, the Mino "Tetrinaut" planet, Hadar 4, is to be shattered as soon as their sun disappears. However, life has been detected on other planets throughout the galaxy, so it is up to the player to help the tribe evacuate safely. On one hand, there are lots of different game types to play and enjoy, where on the other, there's no explanation as to what the goal of the whole thing is. You just play and hope you're winning I guess.

The player's character is a dice (Mino), and it's customizable from eye and skin color to hat style and name. It's nothing major, but it's pretty cool to watch it jump around on the side of the screen while in-game. In short, Tetris Worlds' story mode was a decent first shot, but it would have taken plenty more work to make it any better then that.

Arcade mode is where the multiplayer is at. Up to 4 players can play per console, either through the Knock-Out or Race game type. In Race, players must compete head-to-head to see who can clear a set number of lines the fastest. It's quite fun, but I found it a bit short. After about 3 minutes of play it was already over. The other game type, Knock-Out, is where the fun is at. Each player has a section of the screen and must try to complete a predetermined number of lines before moving onto the next level. Clearing a large amount of blocks at once hits the opposing players with trouble; a bunch of garbage blocks. The last player remaining in the game wins. One of the major complaints when it comes to the multiplayer aspect of the game is its lack of background color. At times the screen's backdrop is amazingly dark on one end while the other is bright enough to blind someone. It's a major disadvantage when trying to have a competition. All things considered, Tetris Worlds delivers a fun multiplayer mode, but like many other things in the game, it could have been better.

Throughout both the story and the arcade mode, the player will run into a bunch of different mini-games. Here is a rundown of them...

Tetris: The objective of Tetris is to manipulate falling Tetriminos forming horizontal rows of blocks. A point is earned for each line cleared. Bonus points are earned for simultaneous line clears. Points earned are subtracted from your goal. When your goal reaches 0, the game levels up and becomes faster.

Square Tetris: The objective of Square Tetris is to combine Tetriminos into squares in addition to playing the classic Tetris. Lines cleared that contain a piece of the 4x4 square earn big bonuses.

Cascade Tetris: The objective of Cascade Tetris is to clear lines that cause cascades while playing Tetris. A Cascade happens when blocks falling due to a line clear cause another line to clear. The more cascades a player can cause with one Trimino, the bigger the bonus will be.

Sticky Tetris: The objective of Sticky Tetris is to clear the bottom line of garbage blocks. Gravity is turned on, as in Cascade Tetris, so cascades happen, blocks of the same color stick together. When 25 blocks of the same color connect, they form a critical mass and are cleared from the board.

Hot-line Tetris: The objective of Hot-line Tetris is to clear lines of blocks on the Hot-Lines. There are six hot-lines in the game. The higher up the line, the more points are awarded for the line clear. If you clear a line that is not on a hot-line, you will not receive anything towards the goal.

Fusion Tetris: The objective of Fusion Tetris is to connect falling "Atom" blocks to the "Fusion" block at the bottom of the board. Clearing a line containing an "Atom" or "Fusion" will cause a cascade. Neither Atom or Fusion blocks are cleared in a line clear.

Learning Tetris: This is a mode for people who have never played the classic game of Tetris. The player learns to build line clears using all seven Tetriminos.

Tetris Worlds provides a simple and down to the point control scheme. It is modifiable, but there really isn't any need for that. The left analog stick navigates pretty much everything. A flick downwards gives the blocks a slow push to the ground level, where as the smallest movement upwards sends the block all the way to the bottom like a kid running towards a mountain of toys. That's the only complaint I had when referring to the controls; the upward movement of the analog stick is much too sensitive. The A button is the only one worth taking note of as it controls the different block positions. When it's all said and done, Tetris Worlds' control scheme is a fine choice for the genre of game.

When it comes to the audio department, Tetris Worlds lacks a vast amount of effort. The music chosen for the game is boring and un-captivating to say the least. THQ's smartest choice with bringing Tetris Worlds to the Xbox was to provide a custom soundtrack option. Without it, the audio aspect of Tetris Worlds would have collapsed and been better off muted. The voice over made after successful Tetris lines is also quite annoying. I still can't figure out what the lady, computer or thing says. Anyways, Tetris Worlds' audio is sub-par, but thanks to the custom soundtrack option, the player's ears don't need to undergo all that much suffering.

The graphics aspect of Tetris Worlds is dull. Keeping in mind the game is of the puzzle genre, I have to admit I didn't have big expectations for this department of the title. The backgrounds are somewhat neat at times, and at others, aggravating. A few of them are tinted with such dark colors that it becomes almost impossible to play from less then 2 feet away from the television, causing eyes to water quickly. Take into account that it is quite difficult to even pay attention to the backgrounds in the middle of a Tetris Worlds battle, so their absence doesn't affect much more then a small degree of the game. The Tetris game board itself has taken a few improvements from the basic and tedious 1989 days. The colors are brighter and overall there are a number of little 3d touches to the objects. Generally speaking, it's hard to compare a game like Tetris Worlds to Halo when it comes to graphics. From what players expect from the Tetris Worlds' visual effects, the game delivers a fair amount, but the space for improvement was certainly present.

When it comes to the next-generation aspect of Tetris Worlds, the game sends out crap. It's the same gameplay, a few little background changes, a customizable soundtrack option and a couple new modes mixed into a big pot. I guess with the success of the series, changing it could have been a costly mistake for the developers.

Matt Thomas
If life was a game, I would have run out of credits.

Tetris Worlds: The Scores













The Final Word:  At a low price of just 29.99$, I suggest that die hard Tetris fans not overlook this title. On the other hand, everyone else in the gaming industry is advised to disregard its existence. Tetris Worlds wasn't developed for everyone, so look into your fondness ahead of time.

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