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Inside PlayStation Network - Tetris

21 January 2011

The digital delights of Sony’s scrumptious PlayStation Network service know no bounds. Aside from letting punters compete in online gaming, stream films, browse the Internet and more, its premier attraction rests in the copious supply of downloadable games ripe for the picking. From PSN exclusives to PSOne Classics, minis and plain old add-on content, Sony’s online space is chock full of goodies battling it out for your hard-earned digital dollars.

Welcome back to another installment of Inside PlayStation Network, where every Monday – Friday we’ll pluck a PSN release—be it new or old—and put it in the spotlight for a thorough dissection. Fancy getting a new PSN game but don’t know what one to plump for? Perhaps this feature will help. Didn’t realize that a game was available in your region until now? We've got you covered. Or, perhaps you were musing over what those lucky Japanese folk were tucking into over in the Land of the Rising Sun? You can be sure our coverage will extend to those rare regional exclusives as much as those firmly embedded on the public consciousness.

This time around, we take a gander at an all-time classic revamped for the PlayStation Network: Tetris.

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Developer: BeHaviour
Region(s) available: North America, Europe
Players: 1-6

Ah, Tetris. A revolutionary, undisputed classic that’s still as fundamentally thrilling today as it was back in the days when mobile phones were as big as bricks and mullets were fashionable. It is, unequivocally, one of the most recognized video game IPs ever conceived, and rightly so. Who would have thought that lining up brightly colored blocks could prove such a compelling pastime? Indeed, the sheer number of knock-offs that have cropped up over the years are a testament to the game’s enduring popularity. From  Dr. Mario, Bust-a-Move to Super Puzzle Fighter, numerous developers have sought to capitalize on the Tetris phenomenon over the years, each with varying degrees of success.

Still, when all’s said and done, we’re inexorably drawn back to the retro-filled antics of the iconic original. Fortunately, that’s exactly where the heart and soul is of the PSN update. Arriving on Sony’s online service for the Twitter generation with a dollop of HD makeup to mask the wrinkles, Tetris packs in everything you’d expect from the prolific puzzler and more. Aside from a swanky aesthetic and aural overhaul, the chaps at BeHaviour have also thrown in a meaty online multiplayer component where up to six players can compete for a contention-filled Tetris tussle.

There’s a myriad of modes up for grabs, including Time Battle (a two-minute block-busting extravaganza for half a dozen players), Battle mode (your bog standard duel where you fight tooth and nail to become the last man standing), and Shared mode (team up with a mate to clear lines). Meanwhile, further augmenting the multiplayer arena is the stonkingly good cooperative-based Team Battle, where two teams of two lock horns for the ultimate block-dropping competition. And, while the studio has sagaciously opted not to muck with the core foundations of the formula, there are a few welcome tweaks to the gameplay.

Chief among these include the ability to instantaneously switch between both offensive and defensive-based play — that is, chucking lines to your opponent and removing them from their wells, respectively. There's even the chance to lob various power-ups at each other, too. Indeed, while Tetris purists may find it hard to swallow these additions, it can’t be denied they inject a fresh twist on an otherwise already competent template, making for some frantic multiplayer mayhem. Still, the rest of the rudimentary block battling adheres firmly to the series’ perfect puzzling package of addictive, strategic-based antics, where quick reflexes and a keen eye will ultimately see you triumph over the competition. It’s Tetris with a twist, and it’s better than ever.

Join us again on Monday for another look Inside PlayStation Network.


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