Thursday, 22 November 2018 14:11

REVIEW: Tetris Effect ( Playstation 4)

Written by CR34MY CR4Y0N
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1984 was the birth of Tetris, it's had many games since, but this Playstation 4 exclusive might be the coolest to date. Developed by Resonair and published by Enhance Inc. This is the first time any Tetris game has being able to be experienced in virtual reality, so how does it stack up?

Sony for one weekend gave PS4 owners the chance to play a limited time demo for Tetris Effect, I managed to play what the demo allowed and although I enjoyed it the price seemed pretty damn expensive, it’s just over $50AUD and even after playing the full version I still can’t see why it's that price.

This is a fantastic edition for a Tetris title. Tetris Effect has just two main modes, the first is Journey Mode which is the games campaign, having 27 stages clustered together you’ll make your way to the grand finale which has you needing to clear 90 lines. Completing the campaign unlocks a rather cool mode which is a theatre mode. Journey Mode does have replay value attempting to beat your previous scores as once you complete a stage you can go to whichever one you want instead of in order. But what I believe will have players coming back is what’s called Effect Mode. This option includes a weekly challenge for community players, there will be weekly events that if you complete you’ll unlock player avatars to use in game it's about earning points and if the community reaches 100% you get a bonus reward.

trip effect screen 04 ps4 us 05jun18
Now, Effect Mode also offers far more than just the weekly ritual challenge, there is a number of different modes that require you to get the highest score possible, along with others that are all about clearing Tetris lines. Completing these earns a ranking from SS rank down to at least D rank. It's all about having fun though, remember this is just a single player game and the only thing that’s competitive is the online ranking system but you don’t need to even pay attention to that unless that's what motivates you to play your best. There is also a level up system that carries across all modes.

The name of the game is to clear lines, you’ll maneuver each piece into the best position you possibly can, there are 7 different Tetris pieces and their has always only being 7. There are factors to be aware of when playing, the first is the dropping speed of the blocks, speeds 1-8 are slow to medium, but 9 and 10 are extremely quick and can have you failing pretty quick at those speeds. The next is the amount of lines you must clear to pass the stage, also displayed is your score. There are difficulties that you can select from practice which means there are no game overs and every stage you play is at the slowest speed, selecting this in Journey Mode won’t allow you to complete the entire campaign though. The other main difficulties are beginner, normal and expert.

There are some nifty things that are best to check out and that can help significantly. The fact you can zoom in when playing and focus on just the middle of the screen where the blocks are is a great help. Note that it will block most of the action in the background. Now in Tetris the next block to drop has always being displayed but in Tetris Effect you can have the next block shown as well as a second, third or fourth so you know what’s coming far in advance. Some people aren’t into change and though music can’t be taken back to the classic sounds the Tetrimino blocks can be selected to stay at there bright glowing selves, if you choose customise they change with the theme of the level.

trip effect screen 05 ps4 us 05jun18

I use to play Tetris on my old school Gameboy when I was a kid and I still can hear that classic Tetris music, but unfortunately it’s missing from Tetris Effect. Though, the music that makes the cut is a mixture of many styles some a fast pace while others are the total opposite. Tetris prides itself on tension when those colourful Tetris pieces are dropping at breakneck speed the music doesn’t help, imagine trying to disarm a bomb with intense music it would end badly, but that’s how Tetris has always being. The music heard will change depending of the theme of the stage, some stages the rotating of the Tetris pieces will make their own sounds. As for the games visuals playing on a 4KTV it's pretty spectacular looking running in 4K on the PS4 Pro console and at 60fps. It's super sharp looking, and talk about colourful from the background of stages to the Tetris pieces themselves.There is even support for HDR that makes colours really pop, but even if your television doesn't have HDR the game still looks pretty good without it.

VR, or shall I say PSVR is something Sony is still trying to push out there, I myself own PSVR and some games implement it very well while others not so much, but Tetris Effect could have easily skipped the VR side. My problem with playing the game in VR was I just felt it didn’t do all that much, the only thing I noticed was a slight depth of field with the background of each stage and only rarely I had particles flying at my face it was much more enjoyable without PSVR. So if you don’t already own PSVR this wouldn’t be a game I’d go out of my way to get one for.

Anyone who has played Tetris since the 80’s or 90’s will always have time for a game of Tetris, it’s a simple game that you can play a quick game or hours on end. I like what this version offered but I think the price might put gamers off purchasing it and then there’s the issue that not everyone owns a Playstation 4. This game isn’t going to make people go buy a Playstation or PSVR for that matter but it's still a very good game.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PS4
  • Developer: Resonair, Monstars
  • Publisher: Enhance Games
  • Genre: Puzzle