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  • Tetris has been released so many times over the years, you start to wonder...maybe that’s

  • part of the plan. Maybe this is some scheme to reach out to other life forms. It’s not

  • like anyone on this planet hasn’t played Tetris, so maybe the repackaging of this game

  • is like the precursor to some kind of new Voyager program.

  • Only this time, instead of gold records, were sending Tetris: Axis.

  • Of course, that wouldn’t be a very nice gesture on our part. I don’t know very much

  • about interstellar diplomacy, but I think sending a weaker Tetris might be step one

  • in starting a cross-galaxy war.

  • Just to be safe, maybe we can send Tetris DS instead.

  • It’s not that Tetris: Axis is a bad game. It’s pretty hard to screw up the greatest

  • puzzle game of all-time, so any game built around Alexey Pajitnov’s elegant masterpiece

  • is an inherently good game at heart. The thing is, when it’s been rereleased as many times

  • as Tetris, the quality of the release really hinges on the quality of the package.

  • And in that respect, Tetris: Axiswhile decentis also a bit of a letdown.

  • The first thing you notice with Tetris: Axis is that the game seems to have more modes

  • and content than it knows what to do with. There are more than 20 different ways to play

  • Tetris in Axis, scattered across a menu system that is anything but intuitive. You feel like

  • you have to dig for a lot of them, navigating submenus until you find more modes you probably

  • won’t play more than once before going back to the original.

  • Among the several new ones are modes like a thinner Tetris grid, a Tetris game with

  • bombs in the blocks and even a falling-block race of sorts. The game also supports the

  • 3DS AR cards for some augmented reality Tetris, which is cool...but for the most part, a good

  • deal of the modes feel half-heartedly tacked on.

  • Speaking of half-hearted, perhaps the most disappointing aspect of Tetris: Axis is the

  • game’s presentation. Two of the best recent Tetris games for Nintendo consoles were Tetris

  • DS and Tetris Party for WiiWare, each of which packaged cool gameplay with equally well-conceived

  • aesthetics and designs.

  • Tetris: Axis has neither.

  • In fact, the game almost looks thrown if there’s no coherent idea here beyond,

  • Hey, we need a Tetris game on the 3DS.” Even the Mii support, which is an excellent

  • addition at first, feels empty. He just...stands there. And dances. That’s the kind of thought

  • that went into Tetris: Axis. Let’s just stand there and be Tetris.

  • Fortunately, there are a lot of multiplayer options. You can play up to eight players

  • locally and online, and best of all, Tetris: Axis also supports download play. Your pals

  • don’t even need their own cartridge to play a little Tetris: Axis wirelessly, which is

  • an excellent addition in any 3DS game.

  • It sounds like nitpicking, but at the same time, there has to be a basis of comparison

  • somewhere. Games like Tetris DS and Tetris Party paired awesome presentation with cool

  • new ways to play. Tetris: Axis lacks the former, and although it packs a punch in terms of

  • content, a lot of it just feels thrown together. In fact, many of the options actually existed

  • in other games first.

  • I can’t tell if this is a new Tetris or a greatest hits collection.

  • The only problem with that is that Tetris: Axis isn’t even the greatest hits. It’s

  • like a Metallica show in which they only play stuff from Load. It’s still Metallica, but

  • it was better before.

Tetris has been released so many times over the years, you start to wonder...maybe that’s

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