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dbarry_22's Video Game Reviews (221)

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Kid Icarus: Uprising 4/5
Portal 4.5/5
Pilotwings 2/5
Ghostbusters: The Video... 3.5/5
Resident Evil: The Merc... 3/5
Batman: Arkham Asylum 5/5
Mario Party 9 1.5/5
Galactic Pinball 4/5
Panic Bomber 3/5
Vertical Force 3.5/5
Teleroboxer 4/5
Dead Space Ignition 2/5
Dead Space 4.5/5
Dead Nation 3/5
The Legend of Zelda: Sk... 4/5
LIMBO 3.5/5
Mario Kart 7 3.5/5
Tales of Symphonia: Daw... 3.5/5
Fortune Street 4/5
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12... 4/5
Star Fox 64 4/5
Castlevania: Lament of ... 2.5/5
Wipeout HD 1.5/5
3D Classics: Excitebike 3/5
Super Stardust HD 3.5/5

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Tetris 99   Nintendo Switch 

A Tetris Battle Royale    3.5/5 stars

Tetris 99 provides a lot of frantic and intense action and is most enjoyed in short bursts but lacks any real depth to be considered a complete game.

Nintendo's first attempt into the "Battle Royale" genre that has exploded a while back is this game, Tetris 99. It's available for free on Nintendo Switch if you have a Nintendo Online Subscription. When you start the game, a group of 99 players around the globe are paired together and it's a winner take all Tetris game.

The Tetris in this game is just like any Tetris you've played in recent memory. You try and make complete lines by aligning the blocks given to you. You can hold an item to save for later by pressing the trigger button and the bigger line clears you get the more "trash" gets sent to players you're competing against. The game starts off slow but as more and more players get eliminated the speed increases with huge jumps occurring at the 50 and 10 players remaining mark.

Here's where things get interesting. You have the ability to choose who you're attacking with the "trash" you get from clearing lines. One joystick gives you the ability to specifically target a single person while the other joystick enables one of four presets so you don't have to focus so closely on it. Those presets are "attackers", "badges", "KO", and "random". The random setting is pretty obvious, and the attackers setting is a way of countering other players who are targeting you. The KO setting targets the player closest to going out while badges targets the player who's had the most success so far. When you KO another player, you get a badge. By obtaining badges you can increase the amount of trash you sent. If you take out a player who already has badges, you get those two. But, getting badges is a double-edged sword since while you can send more trash to opponents it's highly more likely you'll get targeted by other players who want to knock you out. This is the best part of Tetris 99 because there's a true element of strategy to it.

Here's the thing though, I've played a decent amount of this game and it's truly difficult to multitask. The most important thing is that you play the game of Tetris well. There's no point in strategizing on who to target and when if you get knocked out quick because you're playing the game poorly. Also, by the time you really want to fine tune your attacks the game is going so quick that you're focused more on not dying than you are trying to take out an opponent. It can be frustrating if you let it.

It's extremely difficult to actually win a match. Skill is a part of it but I'd say part of it is luck because early on if you get targeted a lot you get put in a hole that's really hard to get out of. I'm pretty good at Tetris and I can get in the top 10 probably a quarter to a third of the time.

Don't expect much more from this game though. There are no other modes. Nintendo did expand by charging $10 to unlock a marathon mode and a computer mode which lets you play against computer opponents instead of real players. Honestly I don't recommend getting this at all unless you want to practice a lot and you often play your Switch in places that doesn't have internet. If you want a marathon mode spend a little extra and buy Puyo Puyo Tetris which is a complete game that provides tons of modes to go along with marathon.

One last thing to point out is that you have no idea who you're playing against. It's a random group every time. You can't get a bunch of friends together to play in the same room. You don't even know players names until the match is finished and you see the leader board. There is no group chat. It's just a frantic, crazy, intense, competitive Tetris match. Fortunately there appears to always be a bunch of playing the game so starting up a match doesn't take much time at all.

This game is great to play in 15 to 30 minute bursts if you're looking for some competitive action and the free price tag can't be beat but this game lacks the depth to be considered truly "great".




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