Tetris Party: Mini Review and Tournament Details

Tetris Online recently announced that it would be hosting the first of series of Tetris Party Tournaments begining early next month.  If you haven’t picked this one up yet, now’s the best time to decide if it’s for you.  When Infendo previewed Tetris Party in early October,  I told you that it was shaping up to be the best values on WiiWare, and a great Tetris Title to boot.  Although I still stand by those statements, Tetris’ first outing on Wii has at least one shortcoming and one advantage you should know about.

Let’s be fair, and start off with the good.  Often overlooked, Tetris Party’s option of a one-handed control scheme brings a new edge to the ‘casual’ game.  By this I mean that Tetris Party offers gamers the ultimate in inattentive, one-haneded, multitasking gameplay.  While I still think the traditional control scheme is the only “real” way to play Tetris, I often find myself lazily playing with my free hand while I talk on the telephone.  Being able to grab a remote and pick up the game during long phone calls keeps me from getting restless, but isn’t taxing enough to distract me from the conversation.  It also gets me geared up to play, as soon as the phone goes down, the Wii-Remote goes sideways.

Now let’s cover the bad.  Tetris Party is built on the solid foundation of the classic Tetris Game – flourished with the contemporary spin of holding tetriminos, ghosting, items, and more then a dozen new game modes, it shines as a great single player and multi-player party game – but the breadth of the multi-player experience falls just short of complete.  For all of it’s innovative and fun game modes, only the classic “verses mode” is available for play over Nintendo Wi-Fi.  While I have to admit, classic Tetris battles are still loads of fun, I was really looking forward to trying out some of the new game modes over Wi-Fi, and I feel excluding these modes from online play is a missed opportunity.  One of the advantages to gaming in the modern world means that even if you don’t have time to drop by a friend’s house for some serious couch time, you can still catch a quick game through the series of tubes and wires called the Internet – I thought a company named Tetris Online might get that, but there we have it – only one mode of online play.  Tetris Party’s first tournament begins December 1st, 2008 – where players will submit online rank in Field Climber, Shadow, and Stage Racer modes in addition to traditional marathon Tetris scores – but to register, players will need to go to the Tetris Party website and input a confirmation code.  It sounds a little clunky, but at least it adds an element of online competition to the new game modes.

Check out this Press Release for more on the tournament:

To celebrate the launch of Tetris® Party, the newest official Tetris® game on WiiWare™, Tetris Online, Inc. today announced that it will host a series of tournaments beginning December 1, 2008. The tournaments will give Tetris Party players the chance to compete for Wii Points™.

This means that now is the time for you and your readers to begin practicing your Tetris stacking, puzzle solving, and Tetrimino racing skills to boost your chances of winning!

The first tournament will comprise four rounds, featuring four unique variants of Tetris Party—Marathon, Field Climber, Shadow, and Stage Racer. At the end of each round, players will receive a rank and confirmation code from the game. (See additional details below.)

The first Tetris Party Tournament begins Dec. 1, 2008 and will run through Jan. 31, 2009. The first of the four rounds will end Dec. 15, 2008. To register, players must visit www.tetrisparty.com/tournament. This is also where players will also input their confirmation code. The confirmation code must be entered once for each round the player participates in. Each player’s rank will determine the amount of tournament points they receive for that round.

Five hundred (500) prizes will be awarded, one to each of the top 500 eligible entrants. Final rankings are calculated by totaling the points awarded to each entrant based on his or her results for each round of the tournament. As you can see, it will be really important to submit a score for every round!

5 Responses to Tetris Party: Mini Review and Tournament Details

  1. David says:

    Yeah, gotta agree with Sean on this one. Seemed like it was going to be a blast and I was really let down by the one online mode. Lots of great games to play in a group setting, but it didn’t seem like much of a stretch to offer those same modes online.

    Still, a definite get if you like Tetris!

  2. ejamer says:

    Tetris Party does a lot of things right, but also disappoints in some areas.

    What I liked:
    – online code is tight, even if you don’t have as many options as in single-player mode
    – official tournaments with Wii Points as a prize? awesome!
    – co-op mode is a particularly great innovation for two-player Tetris
    – balance board integration is cool, but should’ve been available for full-sized game instead of just the “beginner” version of Tetris
    – the variety of single-player modes is nice, although I think that only a couple have any real staying power

    What I didn’t like:
    – too much emphasis on T-spin move in competitive play; all other skill moves (like forming squares) removed
    – broken ranking points system that penalizes players at similar levels
    – marathon mode hits maximum speed too quickly, after which the game becomes rather boring
    – can’t move/slide/spin pieces after a hard drop (this is a personal preference, but does help make the game quicker)
    – online rankings aren’t updated automatically, and are hidden away in the menus
    – achievements are also hidden in the menus, and you don’t get informed when you reach a new achievement (either in-game, or after your match) making them almost pointless

    Most of my nits are small issues, but collectively they move Tetris Party from being the definitive version of the game – which it nearly was – to second fiddle against the sublime The New Tetris for N64.

    Oh well, this game is still one of the best WiiWare titles around because the low entry price and endless replay value. Recommended.

  3. Jamie says:

    Great times have been had between me and my brother in the co-op mode lol. Last time I played this game online though I got absolutely detroyed. The game is great but it’s such an old game you have people who are so lightning fast it’s unbelievable. Pity there’s seemingly no matchmaking service on the online portion of the game… That’s my only complaint.

  4. ejamer says:

    Too long, or too lazy? We’ll leave that decision for the peanut gallery!

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