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happygoluckymoi
07-05-15 03:06 PM
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SacredShadow
07-05-15 08:32 PM
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Most Portable Tetris Ever

 
Game's Ratings
Overall
Graphics
Sound
Addictiveness
Depth
Story
Difficulty
Average User Score
6.6
7
N/A
7
7
N/A
9
6.6
7
N/A
7
7
N/A
9

07-05-15 03:06 PM
happygoluckymoi is Offline
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Tetris has been a game that has been passed down from generation to generation, being celebrated every year after the next. So many versions of the game have been released. There were the original computer versions which carried the idea in its earliest stages. Then there was the Game Boy version, which made the game immensely popular and an on-the-go necessity. The game had such a long history. Through new features, new ways to play, and entirely new gameplay experiences, both successful and unsuccessful, the Tetris franchise became one of the most successful video game franchises ever. Of course, for every groundbreaking new Tetris title, there had to be a few obscure, not-so-spectacular games. The version that I will be talking about today is a version released on the PocketStation.
Basically, the PocketStation was sort of like the VMU for the Dreamcast, but for the original PlayStation, if that clears anything up. It's like a memory card, but you can play games on it. The PocketStation version of Tetris, along with the PocketStation itself, is very obscure in North America and Europe, among other areas. This is because the PocketStation was only released in Japan. Although it was popular in Japan after its release in 1999, the game itself is still not too popular among the general public. I discovered it when I was searching new Tetris variants to play in the Retro Game Room. I've played the game enough times to get used to it, so I decided that I would be the first person to do a review on it. So, here's my review of Tetris for the PocketStation.

Graphics: 7/10

This game, compared to other titles for the PocketStation was average. Now, the PocketStation was that it wasn't as keen on graphics as the Game Boy Color, especially considering it could literally only display black and white, but it displayed more detailed objects than this game provides. It can show cartoon people at the most, and this game just lacks the detail. Then again, those people are bigger and more complex, but the blocks do seem a bit small. They look like they take up a single group of 4 pixels, so I'm not going to criticize it for that. I mean, it is Tetris, of course. They are, however, inferior to other Tetris games, seeing as how the blocks are untextured. The size of the actual unit can be blamed for this. If the blocks were big enough to texture, they would be too big for the matrix. Even with that, I think the simplistic layout doesn't bring the game down, but it is a little weird.

Sound: N/A

There isn't any sound in this game, so I'm not going to hold it against the game.

Addictiveness: 7/10

It is Tetris, so it's pretty much given that this game is really addictive. I would, however, prefer the Game Boy version over this one. Maybe it's because of the lack of music, maybe it's because I'm more familiar with it, or maybe I'm not used to playing Tetris in the way this game provides, with the size and all. I just find this version a little bit out of my preferences. Some people may like it. It is definitely more challenging than the Game Boy version. I'll get to that later.

Story: N/A

Since this is Tetris, it really doesn't need much of a story. You just stack blocks. Nothing more, nothing less than the original formula

Depth: 7/10

Even though it is Tetris, it doesn't feel as much like Tetris as other, more popular versions of the game. I guess it's just the transition from Tetris being sort of small, to big, and then smaller than ever. As for being a Tetris game, it's as deep as it is. You keep stacking blocks further and further, trying to get better each time you play. You start to pick up the idea quickly. I do think, however, this game allows less opportunity for the player to really develop as a player in favor of a more challenging environment. Once again, I'll explain that as I go on to the Difficulty section.

Difficulty: 9/10

There are some things in this game which I find particularly difficult or challenging compared to other versions of the game. One of the things I really notice about the gameplay that I find difficult is the locking. In the Game Boy version, whenever you soft drop a block by pressing down on the D-pad, it allows time and opportunity for you to fine-tune your decisions, like if you want to get a T-spin, for example. The PSP version gives you even more time. In this game, however, the soft drops are faster and don't give you enough time at all to fine-tune, so you have to wait for the block to slowly come down.
While we're here, I find it strange how the soft drops are faster and letting the block slowly fall is slower than pretty much every other version of the game. Also, the constricted width of the matrix can affect gameplay by not giving you a lot of horizontal space, while the increased height of the matrix makes it hard to know where a block might land when you soft drop it, which again, is really fast, and you have to be super-accurate in order to get it into place like that.
I should also point out that the speed of the game increases by a significantly larger amount by each level than in previous incarnations of the game. In level 1, it starts off really slow, while level 2 is faster, but manageable. Level 3 feels really difficult, and level 4 on the PocketStation feels like level 9 on the Game Boy. These changes make this game much harder than other versions of Tetris.

Other Concerns

Although the Difficulty section seems long and full of complaints, I don't think it affects the game's overall performance too much. It's kind of a nuisance, I'll admit it, but some may think that the game's challenging layout is new and interesting. If you are a huge Tetris fan and love playing and are looking for a challenging new experience, then this game might be a nice one to consider.

Overall Rating: 6.6/10

This game definitely wasn't horrible to me, but I wasn't ready for this new game, I suppose. The idea of being able to play the game on such a small level is a bit jarring, but it's a fun, new experience for those willing to see it through. The PocketStation was fun and interesting to all the people who experienced it back in Japan, and I'm sure that even though this was just a little minigame on the PocketStation, which was capable of so much more than a little minigame, people were at least somewhat interested in it. This game is by no means an underrated gem that demands more attention, but it's an interesting little feature. If you happened to be a part of this PocketStation craze back like 15 years ago, then you might remember the PocketStation as a memory card that played PlayStation games on this teeny-tiny little thing you could actually fit in your pocket and not have it bulge out. So, let's just remember that little memory card for what it could do.
I wouldn't recommend this game to friends, especially considering its general insignificance. Not that it's bad (like I said, it's definitely not horrible), but it's but a mere speck in the library of amazing games in the library of amazing video games. As for this review, it's definitely one of the weirdest I've done. I don't know why I chose to review this game out of all the possible games, but I suppose there's a first time for everything.
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07-05-15 08:15 PM
janus is Offline
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Good review my friend. You structured it well, gave it plenty of details and (a personal favorite) you compared it to other Tetris games. Now that I know that there is another Tetris game out there, I want to try it!!
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07-05-15 08:32 PM
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Excellent work on this review, you did a fantastic job of separating it into sections and then specifically taking the time to talk about each of them in greater detail. I think your introduction does a great job of serving its purpose and giving the reader a brief synopsis as to what the game itself entails, so good job on that as well. 

Another thing that stands out about your review is the way your presented it. Although it might not seem like a big deal at first, the neatness of a review is a crucial part of grabbing the reader's attention. Nonetheless, your review is neatly broken down into categories and is easy to read (you wouldn't believe how many people just present their reviews as one large block of text).

Altogether, this came out quite nicely, keep up the good work!
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