Sunday, May 25, 2008

Review: Tetris Evolution

I've had Tetris Evolution for a while but I finally got the last achievement (thanks to this YouTube video), so now it joins the short list of games for which I've gotten all 1000 points. I'm glad I did, because I have loyalty to Tetris, but the game itself doesn't merit such loyalty. For being called Evolution, one would think that it would take everything from previous Tetris games (New Tetris for Nintendo 64 and Tetris Worlds for PS2 and others would be my choices), put in some different backgrounds, music, and maybe a new game mode, box it up, and rake in the profit.

In some ways that's what they did. It does have new backgrounds, and it has all of the standard game modes from Worlds, but the game itself seems like something rushed to meet a deadline. There are a couple choices for backgrounds, but some of them are incredibly distracting, and there's no way to tell what they are until you load up a game with one. There are thumbnail pictures, but some of the pictures have absolutely nothing to do with the actual video that will play in the background. There are only one or two music tracks that one wouldn't mute after five minutes, much less the hours one would conceivably be playing for. The video and music playing during the menus are the best of the lot, but there's no way to actually select them for in-game.

Evolution does support 4 player local or online play, and it has all the game modes that one would expect, but they're not put together very well. In Tetris Worlds you would choose your stage, and by playing and getting to higher levels you would change your environment- terraforming it or something. You would also unlock customizations for your little block character. It felt like over time, you were actually accomplishing something. Not so in Evolution- you can start a game, and it will remember your high scores, but that's it. It has achievements (thankfully none require you to play online), which are possibly the highlight of the game. Nothing else kept me playing, except the desire to unlock them all and prove to the world that I am a decent Tetris player.

Once the achievements are earned, there's really no reason to keep Evolution. It's not broken, but it's about as forgettable as Tetris games come.

Tetris Evolution: 2/5

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