Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is what Sonic Team do now instead of, you know, Sonic games. Puyo Puyo™ Tetris® 2 (to use Sega’s official trademark acknowledgements) is a sequel to 2014’s fantastic puzzle game that straddles two titans of the arcade puzzle genre.
This reviewer played the first game to death, getting the max on Xbox despite menus and dialogue boxes being entirely Japanese and almost completely incomprehensible otherwise. Western audiences belatedly got a release on PS4 & Switch in 2017. It obviously sold well enough over here to warrant Koch Media picking up the sequel for publication too.
For those unfamiliar, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is a great combination of the two games, occasionally mixing the two up via rounds that switch between the two. There’s also Fusion that returns from the first game, combining tetrominos and puyos in one bucket. It’s a weird game type and oddly unsatisfying with puyos being very much the junior partner.
We’re happy to report that being a direct sequel to the game, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is generally fantastic and more of the same. At least until you get past the third world.
Then you’ll face a succession of absurdly fast AI opponents who will combo you to death inside a minute. We wish we were joking. The only way to progress is to skip stages. One stage had us beaten in fourteen seconds, we had to save a replay to take stock of what actually happened. The considerable goodwill Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 has earned up until that point evaporates in an instant. Any impetus to try and get the best star rating on all the stages went up in smoke too, hence replayability proves limited unless you like getting repeatedly beaten.
It gets to the point where you need to be a pro-level player to even stand a chance. Fun falls by the wayside as you take beating after beating. It’s not a case of if you get beaten on the latter stages, more when. Fun takes a backseat, in fact we found ourselves swearing more than we would at a Boris Johnson press conference.
Take a look at the screenshot above to get an idea of how absurd it becomes. Virtually every single stage after world four becomes almost impossible to even get a single star on, let alone three. We didn’t get past 60% completion in the latter four worlds. Combined with the relentless AI, they also have phrases they say over and over. It’s almost enough to make you switch sound off.
Given this is a PS5 release we’re a little disappointed that it falls into the same trap as other early ports in terms of zero use of the haptics or the speaker on the amazing Dualsense controller. Once again, we could get away playing with the Dualshock 4 if the PS5 would allow it. That said, we’d have thought due to none of the advanced features being used, battery life might have been a bit better. Nope, we’re having to charge our controller just as frequently.
Another minor niggle is the game saves replays by default and you could find the already sparse space on your PS5 filling up with lengthy extras. We recommend you switch them off pronto.
Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 would’ve been fine if it had simply been more of the same. Unfortunately the difficulty balance is way off, even for those who completed the first game. It’s still great fun otherwise, just forget prevailing in the story mode after the fourth world unless you’re a pro-level player.
It does a great job in terms of explaining advanced mechanics like T and L spins to you, but also completely omits how to see off aggressive AI. They’re the biggest problem here and stop us recommending this over the original game. It’s really frustrating as mechanically it’s still the same game, just the difficulty balance is way off.
+ Great crossover of game mechanics
+ 100% in story mode will be a long time coming
+ Fast engaging gameplay and excellent tutorials
+ Story is fun if you’re a visual novel fan
- Challenge is borderline insurmountable in latter half of campaign
- Replays can take up a chunk of space if left on by default
- Story such as it is, is superfluous
- Doesn’t utilise any of the Dualsense functions