Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 Review — Second Time’s The Charm
Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 provides an excellent re-imagining of both the Puyo Puyo and Tetris gameplay loops with awesome local multiplayer and creative new modes.
I have a confession to make: as big of a Tetris fan as I am, I never owned the first Puyo Puyo Tetris. That’s not to say that I’ve never played it though; I never picked it up is because of how big its demo was. In fact, its demo was infamous in the early days of the Switch for how content-complete it was. I remember coming over to a friend’s house and playing that demo for hours on end even though Mario Kart 8 Deluxe had just come out.
Of course, I’m sure that old player data taught Sega not to put out such a robust demo this time. However, I would gladly play Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 for hours on end just like the last one, even if it only included the stock Puyo Puyo and Tetris modes. The iterations of those classic game types they’ve included in this package are just that strong.
Obviously, it’s not the same transcendent experience offered in Tetris Effect Connected. However, it offers a clean, arcade-y, and robust experience that’s equally important in games like Tetris and Puyo Puyo. Sure, most of the game is effectively the same as the last with only a few small balance and quality-of-life upgrades and a new story for the Adventure Mode to differentiate the two releases. That said, I can’t stop playing.
Booting up the game can feel a little daunting at first because of just how much it offers to you from the start. You have a story mode multiplayer modes, single-player modes, tutorials, and an online mode. And all of those give way to even more menus that, while occasionally busy and overcomplicated, help to show just how many modes are available in this game.
In fact, I took some time to try out all the different single-player and multiplayer modes the game had to offer. It took me hours to try one game of each mode alone. So, for those looking for new spins and iterations on these two puzzle classics, there’s plenty to check out across a ton of interesting and varied modes, each with their own uniquely compelling spin on each game’s formula. Heck, some even merge the two.
A few of these modes have been added or changed in some way to introduce new mechanics to the game. However, a majority of the modes offered are things you’ll find in the last version of Puyo Puyo Tetris or in other Tetris games, like Tetris 99 or Tetris Effect Connected. A couple of my favorites, though, are the modes that find ways to mix Puyo Puyo and Tetris gameplay together.
For example, there’s the ‘Swap’ mode, which gives each player two wells, one for Puyo Puyo and one for Tetris, to play with. Another mode that accomplishes this blend of the two puzzle titans is the ‘Fusion’ mode, which will randomly send Puyos and Tetrominos at each player. It lends a kind of frantic chaos as the two seamlessly switch.
Some might find themselves a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of options and modes available to them. Or maybe they’re just looking for a good introduction to different modes or gameplay styles. For them, I highly recommend the game’s adventure mode. Comprised of short dialog sequences interspersed with Puyo Puyo and Tetris gameplay, the adventure mode throws most of the modes found in Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 at you within the first hour or so.
It’s certainly nothing on the caliber of a Last of Us, or any game one might see being recognized for its voice acting or narrative. The said, the voiceover for just about all the characters is genuinely too good for what the mode actually is, aside from the occasionally annoying anime-style yelling that sometimes happens during the actual gameplay.
While I think it would be good to offer more specific and clear details about how some of the more obscure modes that the adventure mode throws at players, I’m also glad it doesn’t make you sit around and play through a basic Tetris tutorial for 20 minutes. Instead, any tips or tricks for players to learn are tucked away in the ‘Lessons’ section on the menu. There, players will find varying degrees and levels of tutorial for all the different skill levels.
And if you’re going to try out online play, I highly recommend checking out some of the higher-level tutorials at the very least. After about an hour online of getting absolutely destroyed across a bunch of the modes that this game had to offer, I don’t think I won a single round. And no, it wasn’t close. That’s not to say that I’m a Tetris slouch, either, but I encountered a skill gap in Puyo Puyo Tetris 2‘s online modes, unlike any other online game I’ve ever played.
While Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is largely derivative of the first one, every change and addition made is an overall improvement. The difference between the two games feels most comparable to the difference between the original Splatoon and Splatoon 2. Just about every change made to the overall game is for the better. Sega has provided new updates to balance and gameplay, while also introducing a few new modes and options that sweeten the deal overall.
Between Puyo Puyo Tetris 2, Tetris 99, and Tetris Effect Connected, one thing is clear; we are in a golden age for Tetris fans. Each major offering gives players something different. Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 gives players an unparalleled slate of local multiplayer content that elevates both Puyo Puyo and Tetris from just addictive, hypnotic puzzle games to fun, bombastic, colorful party games.