March Break

Today, I will be talking about my March break. Generally, I usually spend my March break at home doing nothing. However this year, I have been a lot more productive with my time. I like to split my March break up into three general categories. The volunteering days, my rest days, and the Tai’s 100 day dinner. 

For my volunteering days, I did exactly what the topic said I did, I volunteered. Over the past two years, I have managed to accumulate around 34 hours, so this would the last round of mandatory hours. Like how I gained most of my hours, I volunteered at the Hope centre. However, unlike previous times, the work I did was much different. For the last five times I’ve been there, I’ve always watched after young kids. This time, I had look over kids my age. Needless to say, the fist day felt very awkward. I primarily spent most of my time helping one of the kids write out their things. Overall, my experience at the Hope centre was different, but I enjoyed it.

As for what I did during my rest days is pretty simple, I watched TV. I didn’t do anything to elaborate during my last four days of March break. I watched TV, slept in my bed, and played on my PC. However, I primarily spent most of my time in my bed watching Tv/anime. The most notable thing I did was luckily finishing an anime series. 

Finally, there is Tai’s 100 day dinner. Before leaving to the dinner, daddy explicitly told us no electronics and talk to people. When he said this, I decided to bring a pack of cards. Needless to say I did use it… The actual diner was also quite good for the most part. It wasn’t amazing but it wasn’t bad. Our first dish was a hard boiled egg dyed red. Next we had a soup, then a verity of veggies and seafood. There were fish, shrimp, scallops, and a whole lot more.

In the end, I really enjoyed my March break. I got my hours, had fun, and had a nice dinner with family. Next week, I will likely go more in-depth about the diner. But overall, this week has been really fun.

Reamining​ Tetris gamemodes ​

For the past few weeks, I have been going over the Tetris game modes that appeared over the years. So far, I have covered, marathon, 2P, Sprint, Tetris 99, and classic Tetris. Today, I’ll be covering the remaining game modes, N-Block, party mode, and one I forgot about earlier, ultra.

As I have stated in my last blog, this game mode is my least favourite. Unlike other classic or modern Tetris game modes, this one falls some where in the middle. The game mode has features like holding and hard drop, features present in modern versions of Tetris. However, lacks other features such as ghost blocks. The game mode even holds characteristics of classic Tetris, being its sluggish feel and Tetraminos to stick together like glue. All of these quirks make Tetris feel weird to play, for me anyways. Most of the time, I go into a game of N-Block with the mind set of classic Tetris. If your don’t have a good feel for the board or your build, you can easily make a mistake with the hard drop. Most of the time, I resort to holding down the soft drop instead. 

On the other hand, there is party mode, which is a staple in any modern multiplayer Tetris game. I find this game mode very chaotic but fun. Most of the time, party mode plays very similarly to 2P. However, the changes made to party mode feel very different. Usually, there are more than one opponent. Like 2P your objective is to be the last one standing while sending garbage to top others out. What makes party mode feel so different are the power ups. During the game, you can collect power us which can positively affect you, or negatively affect other players. The power ups very from game to game, but the general concepts of certain powers are wide spread. For example in every Tetris game that’s has a party mode, there is always a blinding power up in some shape or from. In Tetris friends, the blinding power up results in a completely black screen for a few seconds. While in Puyo Puyo Tetris you can still see a portion of the screen every few seconds, but this effect lasts longer than its Tetris friends counterpart. Unfortunately, sometimes the power ups feel to broken or don’t do anything. In Tetris friends, there is a power up which can clear up a messy build in an instant making it very powerful. However, there is also a power up that increases fall speed of the pieces for opponents and that is it. For any advance Tetris player, this effect might not as well exist. For me, this game mode can be very varied between games. All of these traits make the game just alright. 

Finally, there is ultra mode. I like to think this game mode is the counterpart to sprint. In sprint, you try to clear 40 lines as fast you can, while in ultra you gain as many points as you can in a certain amount of time. If you are clearing for lines in sprint, then you clear of points in ultra. All of this leads player to try building a tall build and use back to back Tetris to collect the most points. However, when comparing sprint and ultra together, I honestly prefer sprint. Sprint is more widespread than ultra and it skill are transferable across game modes. I think ultra can be a fun addition game mode but isn’t necessary.

Out of these three, I believe ultra is my favourite. I find enjoyment in all Tetris games I play, but unfortunately, I find not all Tetris game modes are made equal. Overall, I have had a lot of fun talking about the Teris game modes over the past four weeks.

Classic ​Tetris

For the next few weeks, I will be talking about the remaining Tetris game mode I forgot about in my last blog. Some notable game modes that I forgot about were classic Tetris, N-Block Tetris, and Party mode. I decided to only focus on classic Tetris this week instead of multiple game mode, because of how much there is to cover. From how classic Tetris differs from future iterations to DAS and hyper tapping, there is a lot to talk about. 

Classic Tetris has such a long history, it goes by many names. I like to call it classic Tetris while others call it Tetris 1989, the year it was introduced. Generally, this game mode refers to one of the first versions in Tetris. At first glance, it may seem like this game mode is just like marathon but they are very different. Unlike certain versions of marathon, classic Tetris has a definitive end. After reaching a certain number of points the game can’t add anymore, practically making it pointless to play any further. Most people in the community call this a Max Out. Alternatively, if you don’t get a Max Out in a certain amount of lines, you’ll reach the kill screen. Basically, when you advance a level, the fall speed of tetraminos increase. The kill screen is just the level were the pieces fall so fast anyone who Isn’t a hyper tapper will top out.

In Tetris, there are two different ways people move their pieces in the game. The first group, the most common, are the players who use DAS. DAS or delay auto shift is when you hold down left or right and the pieces moves in that direction. The inherent problem with DAS is the delay part in its name. When you initially hold down the left or right button, the effects aren’t immediate. There is a small window of time where the piece just won’t move at all. DAS players circumvent this by holding down a button before the pieces appears on screen. Anyone who wants to play at the competitive level needs to master this timing of button pressing. On the other hand, there are the hyper tappers. Hyper tapping is an innate ability that can’t really be learned. Compared to using DAS, you do the complete opposite. Instead of holding down the button, you rapidly press it. Using this method effectively removes that window of time where a piece doesn’t move in DAS. Honestly, if you just compare the two play styles, hyper tapping is just better. However, this does not mean DAS players are bad by any means. In fact, the world champion of Tetris for seven years before got dethroned in 2018 was a DAS player. 

Classic Tetris also is unique in its piece generation. In modern Tetris, all versions rotate through a cycle of pieces insuring you get a long bar in a certain period of time. Classic Tetris on the other hand doesn’t have this, and pieces are generated completely at random. With this system in place, a player can go a hundred lines without being able to get a Tetris. As a direct result of this, players end up needing to clear lines that aren’t Tetris to keep them from topping out and wells open. When a person clears lines to keep their wells open, people generally call this burning. The name came around because you are essentially burning line you could use to get a Tetris. The whole situation also Isn’t helped by the fact you can’t hold. In most versions of modern Tetris, you can save a piece for later use. Unfortunately, this feature is seemingly absent from all versions of classic Tetris. Another missing feature depending on the version, is the list of what tetraminos you will get. At best you’ll get to see you next four pieces and at worst one. The icing on the cake that is classic Tetris, is that pieces instantly connects. All of these things make classic Tetris a cruel game mode to anyone who is used to modern Tetris. 

Overall, classic Teris is a game mode I don’t often play because of its difficulty. However, classic Tetris is surprisingly not my least favourite game mode. Despite all of the perks that disappear when you jump from modern Tetris to classic Tetris, it’s still fun. Compared to modern Tetris, classic Tetris moves at a much slower pace. If I want slow game or if I feel like it, a round of classic Tetris is always nice. Instead, the honour of least favourite game mode goes to N-Block Tetris, which will be the next game mode I cover.