Among the game’s many plea­sures is its abil­ity to take you back through time

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - OPINION - Alex Spencer

When you think ‘PlayS­ta­tion’, what game comes to mind? Maybe it’s Un­charted or God Of War or, depend­ing on your age, Metal Gear Solid. But fir­ing up Tetris Ef­fect trans­ported me right back to the orig­i­nal PlayS­ta­tion.

It’s an in­tensely per­sonal con­nec­tion. For me, the shim­mer­ing visuals of En­hance’s psy­chotropic puz­zler are like a por­tal to the first time I saw a PlayS­ta­tion, round a friend’s house on his birth­day. What I re­mem­ber isn’t the games – maybe he didn’t have any yet – but just watch­ing him pop in a CD, and mar­vel­ling at the mu­sic vi­su­aliser’s pul­sat­ing stabs of light, keep­ing per­fect time with Wild­child’s ‘Rene­gade Mas­ter’. It was a sim­pler time.


Be­yond that, Tetris Ef­fect feels like an evo­lu­tion of the orig­i­nal PlayS­ta­tion’s prom­ise, per­haps best epit­o­mised by WipE­out, that games could be cool and weird, and sit on the cut­ting edge of cul­ture. Be­cause it was the ’90s, that meant bold graphic de­sign from De­sign­ers Repub­lic – all ge­om­e­try, kanji, and fonts that looked like they should printed onto a puffer jacket – and dance tracks from the likes of The Chem­i­cal Brothers and Or­bital.

These were games that could fit along­side a club­bing lifestyle, games with ab­stract 3D visuals like Kula World and Ku­rushi (aka In­tel­li­gent Qube, one of PlayS­ta­tion Clas­sic’s pre­loaded ti­tles), or de­liv­er­ing au­dio­vi­sual feed­back like Vib-Rib­bon, Bust A Groove, and PaRappa The Rap­per. Sony ac­tu­ally in­stalled rooms full of PlayS­ta­tions in night­clubs.

If you squint just right, all of this is vis­i­ble in any given round of Tetris Ef­fect. It’s a game where ev­ery spin of a tetro­mino gives off a sound ef­fect as sat­is­fy­ing as PS1’s startup twin­kle, filled with gor­geous im­agery made up of scat­tered pix­els of light, the whole thing puls­ing in time to a stage’s sound­track.

If PlayS­ta­tion was tar­get­ing 20-some­thing club­bers with its flash­ing lights and bang­ing techno, Tetris Ef­fect feels like the grown-up ver­sion, still mess­ing with the old brain chem­istry but ul­ti­mately just try­ing to have a nice Sun­day. As I ap­proach 30 my­self, that’s exactly what I need.

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