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Tetris Online

Game Info
Tetris: Axis

3DS | Nintendo / Tetris Online / Hudson Soft | 1-8 Players (local multiplayer) / 2-8 Players (online versus) | AR Support | SpotPass Support | Out Now

23rd August 2011; By Patrick

One title that may have slipped under the radar for many on the 3DS is the new Tetris title. Announced before E3, this title combines classic Tetris fun with new modes and features only possible on the Nintendo 3DS. I was lucky enough to be able to ask one of the producers, Tony Tran, some questions, and below you can see his responses.

Wiiloveit: First of all, the name “Tetris” -- is this going to be the final title for this game, or is this merely the tentative title?

Tony Tran: We’ve been going back and forth with this, so I suppose you can say it’s merely tentative for now. 

In main modes such as Classic Marathon, does the 3D do anything such as changing viewpoint, or does it simply push the Tetriminos further into the background?

The stereoscopic 3D effects in Marathon become more apparent when you perform Line Clears. The separate Minos fly in various directions, which is pretty cool. The backgrounds throughout the game also take full advantage of special effects. 

Are there any game modes that are designed to take specific advantage of the Stereoscopic 3D offered by the 3DS, and if so, are they equally fun with the 3D turned completely off?

All of the modes take advantage of the stereoscopic 3D effects. Some modes may leverage it better than others, such as the AR modes. Regardless, using the 3D effect definitely adds to each mode, but we think the modes are also completely playable if the 3D effect is turned off. It’s probably a matter of personal preference at the end of the day, but we’ve grown quite fond of the 3D effects.

Could you please detail the Augmented Reality Game Modes and how they work? Will the player have to hold the 3DS steady aimed at a “?” AR Card, or will it work differently?

The AR Modes will require the use of the “?” AR Card, and you will need to focus on it in order to play the two separate game modes, AR Marathon and AR Climber. Please check out the screen shots of what each mode looks like. One thing that isn’t illustrated in the screens is that you will need to move around to play each mode—especially AR Climber. 

The fact sheet I have lists Hudson Soft as the developer, but that specific studio was acquired by Konami. Are the developers still involved, or did you pick up where they left off?

You’re correct. The Hudson Soft studio is now a part of Konami. Fortunately, the team is still in-tact and is working with us to finalize the software for its global release in October.

Could you please go into detail about a few of the new modes in this specific title?

There are many fun new modes in the game, but if we had to talk about only a few, it would be Fever, Jigsaw, and Fit. 

Fever is getting the most buzz, because it offers a snack-size portion of the world-famous Tetris experience. The Matrix is only six Minos wide, versus the traditional ten. The game is also a minute long, so you don’t need to invest a lot of time to play a quick game or two—hence the snack reference. That said, it’s like a good potato chip—you can’t just eat one! The best part of this mode is the color attack, which is activated when you clear a single line of the same color. This puts you in a mode where you must clear the entire screen with one Tetrimino. It’s amazingly satisfying to do this, and you’re rewarded with big points if you can pull it off each time.  

Jigsaw is a puzzle game that splits a picture up into a bunch of different Tetrimino shapes, and then you get to rebuild the picture with the Tetriminos. There are many pictures within the game, but you can also import your own picture directly into the game and then try to solve it.

Fit is a bit of a mind-bender, because you need to quickly fill the gaps of a wall that is approaching you from below with Tetriminos. The longer you play, the hard it gets. This mode also leverages the stereoscopic 3D effects quite nicely.

Personally, what is your favourite in-game mode and why?

I’ll always be a devoted fan of Marathon, because it’s most familiar to me. And of course, because I have a lot of experience with Marathon, I really enjoy playing World Battle or Friend Battle, because I love going head-to-head with friends and other players around the world. This game won’t disappoint players who are looking for a competitive game, because the local modes and Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection modes are awesome. BUT, if I had to pick a new favorite, it would be Fever—hands down. Fever is incredibly addictive and really satisfying in many ways.

What sets this game apart from previous Tetris games, especially the online?

As you know, Tetris games have appeared on just about every platform out there. The primary goal with each release is to always leverage the device or platform it’s being played on. With Nintendo 3DS, we obviously wanted to take advantage of the stereoscopic 3D effects and other features (touch screen, mic, etc.). As for the gameplay, each new Tetris game release allows us to try new ideas and modes, which we hope translates into a better experience than previous releases, but as long as the core Tetris experience is great, then we’re satisfied. The rest is all gravy.

Online play is a bit of a different beast. For that, we always focus on what it takes to make a compelling competitive gameplay experience worldwide. The online format we’ve used isn’t much different than what we’ve done in the past, but the new in-game items add to the multiplayer madness. 

What new ways are there to communicate online while competing, if there are any?

If you’re familiar with our Tetris Party series for DS (Tetris Party Deluxe) and DSi (Tetris Party Live), we haven’t added any new communication features. You can still use the mic to speak with your friends in the lobby, and there are canned messages that allow you to send comments back and forth during each match.

How important was it for you to include 3DS Download Play in the game?

Trial is always an important part of the handheld system. Nintendo makes this feature very easy to implement, so there’s really no disadvantage in using it.

I noticed that the game had SpotPass support for Fever items. Could you please detail this support and how long it will continue post-launch?

SpotPass allows users to download new Items for the Fever game mode. These items will help users achieve higher scores, but are not required to enjoy the game. From what we understand, SpotPass features will be supported for as long as Nintendo supports it, so we’re assuming it will be for a very long time. Enjoy!

Thank you very much for answering these questions, and I can’t wait to get hands-on with the game!

Tetris: Axis

Tony Tran was talking to Patrick
For more information on this title or the developers, click here.

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