just a quick post. i know i said i was going to cut down on the sequels, but i had some games already in the pipeline to finish, one of which was the game boy version of tetris attack. i had played and thoroughly enjoyed the SNES version and was looking forward to trying out the various iterations the game has gone through since its original release in 1996.
puzzle games tend not to vary much, and the original game boy version of tetris attack has even less reason to as (according to the game’s page at wikipedia) it was released pretty much simultaneously with the SNES version. in terms of the trappings and modes the games are pretty much the same. the biggest difference is the size of the well [alert! alert! geek speak ahead. skip to the next paragraph to avoid!]: in the SNES version the well is 6 blocks across and 12 high, whereas in the GB version it’s 6 across and only 9 high. this definitely changes the rhythm of the game, and working your chains vertically becomes less feasible. the difference in the well size will probably require you to adjust your strategy if you were reliant on working in the middle of your stack to make chains like i was. also, perhaps as a way to compensate for the limitations on making chains, it feels like the game handles garbage blocks a bit differently than the SNES version. as in the SNES version, making a line next to a garbage block causes all the garbage blocks to turn into regular blocks, but in the GB version there seems to be a significantly bigger pause while the garbage blocks are popping; this makes it easier to rearrange blocks below the garbage blocks and set up chains based on what the garbage blocks have turned into. this change helps make the game more balanced overall, although it also makes it easier to rebound from getting a lot of garbage blocks. since i haven’t played the SNES version in a while i may be mistaken on that, but that was my impression.
since i hadn’t played any version of the game in a while i had a good time just getting back into it. even though i’d played the SNES version a fair amount i’m still far from being a chain master, so there was definitely plenty of worthwhile time spent just improving my tetris attack/panel de pon skillz. i cleared the regular mode on the hardest difficulty, which was rather on the easy side, before proceeding to the “vs COM” mode. on the hardest normal setting this was definitely more of a challenge, but the game gives you infinite continues so it doesn’t take too much effort. after beating bowser the game challenges you to beat bowser without any losses in the first 7 stages (in which you battle your “friends”, e.g. lakitu or poochy, who have supposedly been put under a spell) and with less than 7 continues in the final four stages (i.e. you can use each of the “friends” you’ve accrued as a continue). this is also more of a challenge and definitely kept me coming back for more.
all in all this was a nice portable alternative to the SNES version. the graphics, music, and sound make the transition pretty much intact, and although the gameplay ends up having slight variations, it’s still the tetris attack you know and love and it’s very much worth checking out. especially if you’re a geek like me who gets into the minute differences between versions of the same game! lucky for me there are still plenty of iterations of the series to check out in the future. hahaha. 😉
another attack of tetris attack links!
– linked to this before, but still worth noting: nice general PdP fansite
– themushroomkingdom.net has a comparison of the SNES tetris attack to the original, japanese-only panel de pon
– passwords at IGN
– entry at gaming.wikia.com with info on all the characters