3rd Place – Tetroid – Total: 255
There are some incredibly inventive people in the Retro Remakes competition this year. We’ve seen some fantastic updates of old games and we’ve seen some completely new and original titles that are either totally out there or just plain crap. This game is a combination of both of the above, with it being a mash up. A fused combination of Metroid and Tetris. Yes, really! Two games that have absolutely nothing in common have been bundled together into a single playable entity. And you know what? It’s pretty darned good.
Playing as Samus from the Metroid series, you have to move around caverns collecting the blocks from Tetris and killing typical Metroid enemies. You can only fire one Tetris block of a particular variety at a time, so in order to reach higher areas and to unlock “block doors” you often need to use multiple varieties of blocks. This means that some areas are out of bounds until you have collected the right variety of block. A neat twist on the Metroid
The game is light on instructions or tutorials (it has absolutely none), so initial proceedings were a bit slow – especially where controls were concerned. A redefine keys option or some basic info about the game would have been most welcome.
I can see this game polarising the RR camp. I love the Metroid and similar CastleVania games. Hence I really enjoyed this title – many however don’t. It’s not without its faults and the NES styled/ripped graphics and sound are both very repetitive. I also managed to crash the game after spending ages playing it. There was also one occasion where I got trapped in a shaft with nowhere to go (except to a dead-end corridor to the right), as I had obviously not collected a block somewhere en route. There are also too many long vertical corridors for my liking, which served very little purpose, other than to make the game longer and more annoying.
However, this is a clever, challenging game, which could keep you playing until the wee small hours; as long as you like Metroid, that is.
I know I don’t make it obvious, but I’m not a huge Tetris fan. I know, it’s a shock to most of you but there you have it. I don’t like Tetris. I’ve said it!
Now, when I first tried Tetroid, a mash-up of Tetris and, of all things, Metroid, I really didn’t get it. I couldn’t see past the bastard blocks.
All I did, about a half hour ago, was to power it back up to get a reference point on how bad the game is, and I’ve just had to force myself to stop playing. It’s genius!
Alright, genius may be overstating it slightly, but extra points for actually creating a game using Tetris Blocks that doesn’t make me want to vomit as soon as I see it.
The nitty gritty bit then, musically and graphically it’s got a lovely retro charm about it and you can’t really fault the gameplay, there’s plenty to do and the puzzles are well thought out meaning you have to collect the correct blocks before progressing.
I did get annoyed going back to the start every time I lost a life, the jump and fire controls were a little tricky to get my head around and, heaven forbid, I managed to crash it going into a room below the ‘straight line block’ puzzle, I did also engage the cheat mode (by mistake I’ll have you know, I’m a professional!) and would suggest that in future builds it’s a little more difficult to find….
Anyway, I want a non crashy – non go back to the start version on my PC this time yesterday! Thanks!
Samus is in a bind yet again. Some russian astronauts found themselves on planet SR-388 and managed to get invected by the morpheous virus that still roams there. Once motherbrain picked apart their DNA, it decided to use some of the newly acquired information to strenghten the planet’s security. Now Samus must adapt (as she always does) and do what she does best.
The game introduces elements of Tetris into the game’s puzzles. Strewn across the maze of corridors and caves are strands of blocks with missing pieces. It’s up to Samus to collect the required pieces and fill in the gaps to remove them so she can venture further into the maze. Instead of destructive weaponry, Samus now shoots Tetris blocks. Still deadly to enemies, but a bit awkward, since the blocks stay on screen until you shoot again. Player movement is smooth and feels like playing the original Metroid, except for the scrolling in between locations, which is a bit slow and could do with a bit of speed-up.
I never made it far into the game, partialy because I don’t really like the combination of the two games and I don’t think it works well together. Also, Tetris puzzles require the exact right block to be solved. For instance, if a puzzle needs a 4-in-a-row piece to fill 4 rows up, filling just one row up doesn’t get rid of one row (which is the whole point to Tetris). Once I decided that I wanted to see what lay ahead for me, i envoked ye almighty cheat code, but that only resulted in error codes and the player getting stuck where I could not get out of.
Who’d have ever though this muddle and a half would work. Conceptually it’s madness, but it does in its own strange way succeed. It is a bit of a Marmite, but it is actually dare I say, a teeny bit fun?
When I say fun, I mean I didn’t reset it within the first 5 minutes and made some rash review in my disgust. It certainly intrigued me to play it to see what it was all about. The weird abomination clicks like a lock and key when it comes to this being an adventure meets puzzle game. Finding the shapes so that you can proceed is really no all that different to finding the weapon upgrades of the original. I must admit though, I do prefer cool weapons to ill shaped blocks. After finding the upgrades, the trick is then getting them in the right slot. Now this is something I struggle with after one too many beers when my lucks in on a Friday night.
What really lets the game down is the rips from the NES. I just don’t like old untouched graphics in my remakes. Okay, this is the mash-up category, it’s not all about the graphics. It’s about the coming together of games. Still, I don’t like it. I never have and never will. I would have preferred rips from the GBA or DS if I really wanted them.
This is an enjoyable experiment for a few shots, but it’s a few sandwiches short of being genius. It’s plainly odd, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s not a fantastic thing either.