Tetris 99

This week, I will be talking about Tetris 99. I’ll be talking about its gameplay and my thoughts of the game. 

Unlike other player vs player Tetris games that contain a bunch of gimmicks, Tetris 99 is pretty straight forward. The main menu is pretty bland with only two options, playing a round or looking at your stats. If you decided to play a game, you will be put into a waiting room with 99 other players. Once 99 players join, the match begins. At the start of the round you can choose four mode that will determine where your lines go, random, medals, knock out, and attacker. Random does what it says and matches you up with random people. Medals is a lot more unique compared to the other three, because it is a Tetris 99 exclusive. Basically if you knock out a player, you gain medals that will boost how much points you earn and if you knock out a player with medals already, you gain their medals. So if you choose medals, you target people with a large amount of medals. Knock out mode makes it you target players on the verge of death, making it easier to knock them out. The final mode is attacker, and this mode makes you target the player in first place. By default, the system has you set to random, but you can change it to suit your play style. Once you know who you’re targeting, the game begins. For the most part, the game is quite lax during the first few lines. However, the difficulty ramps up twice during the game. The first difficulty spike occurs when only 50 players remain and the second when there is 10. Depending on what score you get, you will gain a set certain amount of points for your account. Generally, the higher the level, the more likely you’ll be targeted by other people.

So far, I really love and dislike the game at times. First is the menu, I honestly don’t mind the straight forward approach the developers decided to go with. The reason for this is it makes finding a match a breeze. Forcing everyone to play one game mode makes the waiting less than two minutes most of the time, which is not something I can say for every game. Sometimes I wish there were some added features like room creation or allowing you to play with friends. Another feature I would have liked is a worldwide leaderboard. Right now, all you can do is compare scores with others who have the game. As for the gameplay, I find the actual Tetris experience fine. My problem is with the targeting, I honestly find it very inconsistent. Sometimes, you could have no one sending lines to you while other times, there can be five people trying make get you top out. I also would complain about the controls but this is more of a switch problem, and not a Tetris 99 problem. It’s just the way the buttons are placed and lack of d-pad makes quick pace play hard. So far, I’ve only manage to win one game, get second four times, and third once. I find this quite sad seeing as I’m the best Tetris player out of my group of friends. Although, I may be able to chalk up my lack of skill due to the ergonomics. Perhaps in the future, I will invest in a pro controller or a keyboard adapter. 

In the end, I enjoy the game quite a bit. It also helps that it’s free and only needs Nintendo’s subscription service, which is something most people already have. The different modes are cool, getting Tetris is still fun, and getting top ten always makes me happy. Overall, I like the game a lot and hope to win more games in the future. 

Tetris Modes

This week, I will be talking all the Tetris modes I play and why. Normally when people think of Tetris, they think of a variation of Marathon. Of course I’ll be talking about the most common game mode, but there are plenty more to talk about!

First is the most common game mode and personal favourite, Marathon. A normal game of Tetris, will likely be Marathon to most people. In this game mode, there are no power ups or hidden features by default. The blocks fall, you place them, they get faster as the game progress. The most differences I find in Marathon between different websites or consoles is how the game ends. Normally you lose the game if you top out, but the game can also end after a certain level. One of the reasons I stopped using the website Tetris Friends is because of this level limit. Compared to the current website I play Tetris on, Tetris Friends only goes up to level 15. When I first started, this level seemed like a pipe dream but now it’s kind of casual to me, being able to finish a round one handed. If you also take it to the next level, Tetris Friends rewards a certain type of play style. In Tetris people usually score in two ways, back to back Tetris’s and T-spins. Tetris’s are easier to get but T-spins earn more points. In the end, the top players are the ones who can cram as many triple T-spins they can before hitting level 15. Alternatively, there are the websites that go on endlessly increasing in speed every level until it is physically impossible to play. The current website I use is Tetris.com, which increases the level limit and speed from Tetris Friends. The website also lets you jump levels so you don’t have to play 15 levels just to get to level 16. So far, I’ve only barely been able to get to level 25, which is the highest level you are able to jump to. 

Another common game mode I see is Sprint. However, depending on the website the name could be different. Fortunately the goal of the game is the same, to clear 40 lines as fast as possible. Sprint also doesn’t use a point system. Meaning a single is worth just as much as a Tetris, being zero points. Besides playing against the clock and using no points, it doesn’t have anything else too defining. Back in Tetris Friends, my friends and I would compete to earn the lowest time (This being after hitting our limits in both Marathon and 2P). However, now most of my friends don’t play and I occasionally see if I can top my own record, being around sub 1.30.00. 

Finally, the last game mode I will be talking about is 2P. I call this game mode 2P but it is essentially the game mode that pits you against bots are varying level. Basically, most of the time you build and clear lines to send to your opponent. In order to send lines, you must clear at least two lines at once. On your opponents screen, the sent lines will appear as grey blocks boosting their build several lines, which may or may not cause them to top out. When my friends and I use to play Tetris regularly, this was are favourite game mode. We use to see who could have a highest win ratio. However, we stopped due the the difficulty of the bots become too hard. 

Overall, I have played a lot of Tetris game modes. However after all this time, my favourite remains modern Marathon. There of course many other game modes expanding beyond these three, an example being classic Tetris. Unfortunately, if I were to do a comprehensive list, this blog would be far too long. In the end, I may come back and expand on my explanations of Tetris game modes. 

Second semeste​​r grade 10

This week, I will be talking about the courses I have this semester. Compared to my last semester, this one is a lot more heavy. Last time, I had a lot of electives. However, this time, I have Math, Science, Food and Nutrition, and English. I’ll explain what we have done so far and my opinion of them.

So far in English, we haven’t done that much. It doesn’t help that we had a snow day and a supply in one week. We’ve looked at some literacy devices and plot graphs. Both of these things aren’t new to us and are just review. From what I could gather, I apparently got one of the better English teachers. As to what I’m looking forward to, it would likely be Macbeth. Apparently it a Shakespearian play that revolves around a king and rebellions. I am generally interested in these kinds of things outside of school and invest a bit of time learning about history through the internet.

Compared to English, our Science teacher is trying to move us at a fast pace. However, he has his reasons for this. Apparently, a lot of assemblies occur during the second period and he has a lot of material to cover. I guess this holds some truth considering we already had two assemblies during the second period. So far, we have been looking at cells. Specifically organelles of a cell and cell division. Out of all my courses, I believe my Science teacher gave me the most homework so far. All in all, the course isn’t that bad. I have some friends with me and the teacher seems nice.

After lunch, I have Food and Nutrition. Apparently, this course is supposed to teach us cooking but that hasn’t happened yet. Out of all my courses, this one feels like its moving at snail’s pace. We have barely done anything over the course of the week. We played some get to know you activities for two days, then a snow day occurred, had a supply, and we finally started doing something productive on Friday! Honestly, food and nutrition reminds me of tech class in grade 9. At least, we learned and food safety…

Finally, my last class is Math. So far, the pace we have been moving at is in between English and Science. Unfortunately, I have heard pretty bad things about my teacher. Fortunately, nothing has happened to make me dislike my teacher yet. So far we have just been reviewing topics from grade 9, making everything feel very lax. However, I got the feeling things will be picking up quickly and I need to stay on my toes.

Overall, I have a really heavy semester this time around. I get the feeling Science and Math, are going to be the hardest of the four. Food and Nutrition is a bit too lax in my opinion and I hope we get to do some cooking soon. As for English, I just want to pass the OSSLET. In the end, despite my heavy workload, I hope to have as much fun as I did last semester!