[a new year, another round of complete time wastage due to fire emblem … more confessions to come …]
the first game of the year i sat down and finished was the original US release of tetris attack, a.k.a. panel de pon. i’ve been a fan of puzzle games since i first played tetris on the game boy, so i was looking forward to seeing how i’d like this, one of the most venerated series of tetris-like games (the other main one being puyo puyo, which i played last year in the form of kirby’s avalanche). in short, i found panel de pon to be fully deserving of its reputation as one of the greats. it’s an addicting game, although with a learning curve that’s much higher than tetris and even puyo puyo. as a result its gameplay is deeper, particularly with the numerous ways there are to make chains. but this is not to say that panel de pon is “the best”; each of the three series for the most part holds its own against the others.
in terms of the implementation of it, as with kirby’s avalanche tetris attack’s artwork, etc. are actually a complete reworking of the original japanese game. in this case, characters are taken from super mario world 2: yoshi’s island. unlike avalanche’s problems with balance in vs mode, here the gameplay is very well balanced and it’s quite easy to have long matches in which garbage blocks get sent back and forth as each player struggles for the advantage. there have been tons of sequels on various platforms, the most recent being planet puzzle league on the DS. you can be sure that i’ll be checking all of them out, as well as revisiting the original (in the US anyway) tetris attack to play some more vs matches and finish the puzzle mode. oh, and this is another great game from intelligent systems (who also do the fire emblem series). they’re my heroes!
attack of the links!
– screenshots of the endings to all the modes
– great fansite with info on how to play, animations of various ways to make chains, passwords, and music
– some worthwhile cheats at IGN
– entry at wikipedia