Game Reviews

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 Review

The puzzle mash-up returns yet again.

by Dean James
Puyo Puyo Tetris 2

Tetris will always be the king of the puzzle video game genre, but the Puyo Puyo series took elements of both it and other games like Dr. Mario to create a very successful franchise in of itself. For the most part, Puyo Puyo remained a Japanese exclusive franchise, including with the initial release of the crossover Puyo Puyo Tetris back in 2014. This game was localized a few years later for the Nintendo Switch and PS4 in the West, which has now led to the sequel releasing nearly simultaneously around the world as Puyo Puyo Tetris 2.

Like its predecessor, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 brings together the Puyo Puyo and Tetris brands into one cohesive product. Rather than actually combine the two styles into one gameplay type, the two are still separated overall into the two distinct gameplay styles. The Puyo Puyo style features two connected Puyos dropping at one time, with each one being its own color. Sometimes these are two of the same, while more often than not they are different. Unlike Tetris where you want everything in a line to clear, Puyo Puyo just needs to have four of the same color Puyo touch to send all connected Puyo of that color away, which is very much like Dr. Mario. On the other hand, everyone knows how to play Tetris, with it being just as you would expect here gameplay wise.

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Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 comes with a number of game modes for you to enjoy, including the ability to jump right into either play style right from the title screen. From here, you have the option to select Main Menu to take you there, or just simply pick Puyo Puyo or Tetris to the left or right of it. This will bring you to an endless single player version of either one, which is very quick and easy for those just looking to pick up and play a game based on point scoring very quickly.

The meat of the game comes within the returning Adventure mode, which is made up of more than 80 individual stages that are spread out on an overworld map. The navigation between these can get kind of confusing though with what are known as SS Tetra levels being introduced, but thankfully there is an option to bring up a shortcut menu that just has the levels laid out that you can pick from a list.

Adventure mode’s story is very wacky as you play as characters like Ringo and Tee after being summoned by the Keeper of Dimensions, with both of them returning from the first game. Ringo represents the Puyo Puyo side, while Tee represents the Tetris side. The game starts off with the characters not remembering one another, but feeling like they somehow do know each other. As the game goes on, more characters are introduced and more zany moments arise. For someone more focused on just the gameplay, you may find yourself wanting to skip what become lengthy talking scenes between stages that are definitely not for everyone, but they are quite fun for those that enjoy having that story element included.

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The gameplay within Adventure mode actually depends on the level itself, though you will be facing off against an opponent regardless of which one it is. Some of these have you playing Puyo Puyo and others have you playing Tetris, with some even letting you choose which one you want to use against your opponent. The key here is to just do well on your side and get large combos together that will send blocks to the opponent. Doing this will make everything harder for them and knock them out before your side is filled up.

While most of the matches will be pretty standard from what was found in the first game, the game does introduce one brand new element found in Adventure mode and beyond that are known as Skill Battles. These Skill Battles are almost like typical JRPG battles, where both you and your opponent have a health bar and MP bar. You start by selecting a team, which is made up of a main character and two support ones, with all three giving you one ability to use in the battle. The more you play, the more characters and power-up items you can unlock to make your team more formidable.

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By expending MP, you can use these abilities, such as attack moves to help damage the opponent or even to heal yourself. You can deal damage just by doing well at Puyo Puyo or Tetris and sending blocks to the opponent that way, but this adds even more to the experience. These games seem to go a lot faster overall than others, as you’re not only racing to not have your screen filled up, but also are making sure you don’t let your HP run out. As a result of the pace, this is much easier said than done due to the heated competition.

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 does have some real difficulty to it, especially when the matches go on and on sometimes and you get bombarded with blocks at one time. Adventure mode itself has something rather neat with the addition of what is known as Auto Difficulty. This sort of scales the difficulty to give yourself a better all around experience, rather than just keeping the same difficulty throughout.

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Outside of Skill Battles, much of what you can expect in Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 will be similar to what was offered in the first game. This includes an array of both solo and multiplayer game modes to choose from, including Versus, Swap, Party, Fusion, Big Bang, and Challenge modes. That is all available locally, with you also able to go online and pick between the different game variants. On top of that, there is also the Puzzle League online where you can choose between four different leagues and battle for rankings on a worldwide leaderboard.

Puyo Puyo Tetris was a really enjoyable game when it released a few years ago and the sequel builds on that foundation ever so slightly. The core gameplay and game options are all here, along with the new Skill Battles that are a lot of fun to play. Even though there really isn’t all that much that Sega could have done to changed things up drastically, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is more of the same great puzzle goodness that fans of the first game will love yet again.

The Verdict

There may not be a whopping amount of new content besides the introduction of the JRPG-like Skill Battles, but Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 refines the overall formula and offers players another great puzzle game that is even more accessible than before.

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Puyo Puyo Tetris 2

  • Available On: Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One
  • Published By: Sega
  • Developed By: Sega
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • US Release Date: December 8, 2020
  • Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
  • Quote: "There may not be a whopping amount of new content besides the introduction of the JRPG-like Skill Battles, but Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 refines the overall formula and offers players another great puzzle game that is even more accessible than before."
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