We previewed Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 last month, and the game officially launched this week. Time to see how it turned out and if this is a must-buy sequel for every current and next gen console out there – the PC version is coming a little later.
As discussed in our preview, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 evokes a strong sense of deja vu, and that’s still true for the game in its final form, right down to how challenging it can be to take on the AI-controlled opponents. The ultra-colorful and bright visuals along with the cheerful disposition of many of the characters might trick you into a sense that this is a game that’s welcoming to a young crowd, but that’s deceptive because the difficulty level can quickly ramp up.
These spikes in difficulty were a part of the first game as well, and can still lead to frustration here, though it mostly applies to versus-type modes. If you just want to play a somewhat relaxing game of Tetris then Puyo Puyo is a bit more challenging, and the mashup can be especially challenging to newcomers. Luckily, you can choose how you want to play, so if you have a strong preference for one game over the other you can stick with that if you want to – though of course the greatest and most unique aspects in the game only shine when both formats are combined.
Most of what’s on offer is eerily similar to what was in the first game, and if “Swap” was your favorite game mode you’ll find it’s been left alone for the most part. It’s still a ton of fun to dynamically have to switch between Tetris and Puyo Puyo (a form of Match-4), especially when playing with others, but it’s not a reason to rush out and buy Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 if you already have the first game.
The biggest appeal, therefore, is the new Skill Battle mode with its RPG-like influences. Here, a team of three characters goes into battle (you’ll unlock more in the game’s adventure mode as well), and they all have unique abilities you can use. We already talked quite a bit about this in the preview we did, and although it’s essentially a different take on the existing versus modes it’s a nice evolution of the concept. It should also, through unlockables and possibly more DLC, increase the game’s lasting appeal.
The new/expanded Adventure mode is a welcome challenge for veterans of the game, and its back and forth mechanics with other modes (unlocking new stuff for Skill Battles) is a great idea as well. At the end of the day not much has changed though, and ultimately the experience feels like the Puyo Puyo Tetris you already know and love (or don’t love). The campaign is a great way to get to know all the familiar and new modes in the game while also being entertaining and silly with its story, and as a full package this is a wonderful puzzler to have in your collection. Just don’t expect it to be radically different, and maybe consider grabbing it on a different platform if you have both a regular console and a Switch – though the lack of cross-platform play is an oversight there.