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> Puyo Puyo Tetris is a Terrible Game and I Hate It
Steelix100
post 2 weeks ago
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Hard Drop Exclusive Introduction!!) Hello folks of Hard Drop, this is Steelix100. If you haven't heard of me, I'm not surprised. Not only am I a nobody, I'm not really a Tetris player, either. I think I'm about mid-level when it comes to Tetris. I specialize in Puyo. I actually joined Hard Drop just to make this post. Since it's highly critical of Tetris, I think I'd be able to find way more interesting dissent by posting here, where Tetris fans gather. I already posted this exact essay on the Puyo Nexus form, but I want you to read it too. This essay is specifically about the game Puyo Puyo Tetris, but it does have an entire section dedicated to Tetris only (Part 2). And without further ado...

Introduction) Hello, Steelix100 here. If you've talked to me before you may already know this, but I think that Puyo Puyo Tetris is a terrible game, and I hate it. In this post I will do my best to translate my thoughts about this game into words, and hopefully after reading all of it (assuming you do), you will understand what I think about this game, at least at a fundamental level.

Prologue) Puyo Puyo Tetris came out in 2014, and so far is the only official Puyo game on HD consoles. This means that it's the most appealing Puyo game for most people. It looks gorgeous in HD, has a highly polished presentation and great sound design. It's nice to look at and feels like a high quality game made by professionals. Except it isn't, and I’m about to explain why. I don't really have the patience to explain every little detail of VS of these two games (although I will go into great depth about many mechanics about both games), so this post will assume you already know the basics of how VS play between both games work. If you don't, just look up a couple of high level matches and that'll be enough (probably).

Part 1: Balance? What's that?) Obviously, the main selling point of this game is the ability to play Puyo and Tetris at the same time. However, it's horribly executed, and is inherently flawed. Puyo and Tetris are fundamentally incompatible games, one is guaranteed to break the other with parameters that are humanly impossible to balance. No game is literally unbalanceable. Only a few are humanly balanceable, and Puyo Puyo Tetris is definitely NOT one of them. Can you imagine trying to play Smash Bros., and your opponent is literally playing Street Fighter? He has a life bar and everything, and he even has a Super meter. You try to combo him, but all your moves have fixed knockback so all the combos you've practiced on other characters don't work. But all his combos work exactly the same as if he was playing Street Fighter, with the added bonus of having easy KO tools with reversals, EX moves, and Super (which carries over between stocks by the way). It's kind of like that. Here's the main inherent balance problems with Puyo vs Tetris: garbage, damage, and speed.

Part 1a: Garbage) In Puyo Puyo, garbage is called nuisance (おじゃま), which really is a fitting term. It actively hinders your board by filling up spaces that reduce your max power (less space = less puyos on board = less puyos in chain = weaker chain), prevents you from reaching your chain, kills you outright, and overall causes mayhem and is a major nuisance to your play. Your objective in Puyo vs Puyo is to do one of two things: nuisance your opponent with enough nuisance that they can no longer chain, then finish them with a chain that they cannot beat, or just kill them with a quick attack that they aren't prepared for. Tetris' VS play is... dramatically different. In Tetris, garbage is just garbage. All it can really do is push up your board enough that you die. It doesn't prevent you from doing ANYTHING, does not change your stack IN ANY WAY, and there are few builds that can be pushed over the top with a quick attack, and most that can are never used. All garbage does is kill you. It is true that if you're high enough, the presence of incoming or present garbage can force you to change your strategy to, say, lower your DPS but prolong your survival for example. But this tiny little detail means nothing. Garbage is so inconsequential in Tetris, most top level players will opt to eat garbage instead of offsetting it so that they can ALSO send garbage to their opponent. In addition, clearing garbage sends damage to the opponent, which is not the case in Puyo. In Puyo, no number of garbage cleared will influence your attack power in any way.

Part 1b: Damage) Puyo is a high damage game where you try to overwhelm your opponent with powerful attacks that they cannot beat. Tetris is quite the opposite. It's a low damage game where it is difficult to kill your opponent even with subsequent attacks. How many attacks does it take to kill the opponent in Puyo? 1. Tetris? 4. Puyo is a game where you take your time, calculating your every move and your opponent's every move, and try to send them a decisive attack that ends the match. In practice, it's actually extremely difficult to keep tabs on both your opponent and your own board, but you will always have an edge if you're attentative to your opponent's mistakes and shortcomings than if you just focused on chaining well. Matches are long because it takes time to build setups to overpower your opponent. Tetris is a game where you go as fast as you possibly to out-DPS your opponent and hopefully kill them before they kill you. Matches are long because it's difficult to make your opponent top out when you have no decisive, game ending attacks and you are both have very close DPS. These are two fundamentally different playstyles that are inherently incompatible. How do you plan against a thoughtless barrage of fast attacks? How do you out-DPS a strategy that eats all your attacks as if they were nothing then one-shots you with a game-ending blow? You don't. That's the answer to those two questions.

Part 1c: Speed) As mentioned before and is also easily observable, Puyo is a very slow game, and Tetris is a very fast game. But just saying that doesn't mean anything. Let's look at some real numbers. The lock delay (delay between pieces) for Puyo is 32 frames. The lock delay for Tetris varies, but for Puyo Puyo Tetris it's 6 frames, but for most games it's 0 frames. 0 frames! Literally instant! The speed ceiling for Tetris is absurdly high at a glance. Adding piece delay to Puyo Puyo Tetris was most likely thought of as a mandatory move by the devs as SEGA, because even they knew that Puyo would not be able to compete at that speed. But lock delay alone isn't enough to make Tetris so much faster. There's also hard drop, a mechanic that is normally disabled in Puyo. Puyo is instead relegated to soft drop, which means it takes an additional 2 frames per cell for each pair to reach the floor. Since the matrix is 12 cells high, that means an additional 24 frames (ha ha.) for puyos at the bottom of the board, and as little as 2-6 frames at the upper cells. So the piece delay in Puyo is now 32-56 frames. At max height, it is effectively an entire second. Hard drop allows you to instantly teleport the current piece to the floor in 0 frames. So that means the piece delay for Tetris is never higher than 6 frames. But I forgot to take into account the delay for moving the pieces left/right across the board. The DAS for Puyo is 8 frames, and for Tetris it's 12 frames. For both games, ARR is 2 frames (In most Tetris games, ARR is 1 frame, but in Puyo Puyo Tetris, it's 2 frames. Once again, I imagine this was a deliberate effort from SEGA to balance the two games.). When you press left/right on the dpad, your piece moves ones, then waits DAS - 1 frames, then moves again, and then continues to move every (number of ARR) frames. This is the one aspect where Puyo, amusingly enough, is faster than Tetris, as it has a faster DAS. But there's also a mechanic called DAS charge, which for Puyo can cut DAS to at lowest 0 frames and for Tetris cut DAS to at lowest 6 frames. Also, every time your piece moves left or right in Puyo, you lose speed because for some reason you aren't allowed to move both horizontally and down at the same time. So this makes piece delay per game 32-59 frames (just shy of 1 full second) for puyo, and 6-20 frames for Tetris. The max piece delay for Tetris is less than the MINIMUM piece delay for Puyo, by almost half. That's why in the updated versions of Puyo Puyo Tetris, they reduced the lock delay for puyo by 5 frames (32 -> 27). There's also additional delay for other actions in Puyo: if you split your pair you get to watch a painfully slow animation that can take up the time of placing 1 or 2, or maybe even 3 additional pairs depending on how far it splits. When you take garbage you get another animation that can take up to more than an entire second. Unfortunately, I don't have framedata for these. Tetris, on the other hand, never takes any addtional lag for any reason. There is no hold delay, split animation, or garbage animation. At a glance, you might think that Tetris needs to be that much faster, since it has a bigger matrix, but does it really? Puyos come in pairs, and Tetrominos are composed of four blocks. The Puyo matrix is 12x6, which contains 72 cells, which will fill up in 36 pairs. The Tetrix matrix is 20x10, which contains 200 cells, which will fill up in 50 Tetrominos. It doesn't take more than twice the amount of pieces to fill up that cell (although it is close). Also, the clear delay for a single link in a Puyo chain is approximately 3 times longer than the line clear delay for a single attack from Tetris, in addition to the fact that Tetris primarily does single attacks and Puyo primarily does multiple attacks (multiple links in a chain).

Part 2: Tetris is a Terrible Game) So far all I've really done is throw down a bunch of meaningless information and numbers. But now let's start by analyzing why Tetris is a bad VS game to begin with. While a lot of problems arise due to the Tetris Guideline, which is forced on developers as far as we know, a lot of problems also arise due to Tetris' base design. Tetris was not originally built to be a VS game (to my knowledge, neither was Puyo, but unlike Tetris the potential was there from the start). It was designed to give players an endless challenge in lieu of other old school arcade games. The original versions of Tetris completely lack depth and aren't very interesting once you get the hang of them. There is nothing to do other than clear lines, as many as you can, preferably in a Tetris, which you can only do with one piece (the I Tetromino). And continue to do that until you die. It's a very simple task that was just dumb enough that almost anyone could do even if just for a little while, yet just difficult enough that it required you to think at all, which is why it has mass appeal.

Part 2a: Tetris is a Terrible VS Game) Later games add six mechanics to spice things up: T-spins, Back to Back, Perfect Clears, Hold, Garbage, and Combos. Now, let's talk about modern VS Tetris, and these mechanics. T-spins, in my opinion, are a great mechanic, and one of the best mechanics in the series. While I don't think a T-spin Double should be worth as much as a Tetris, the fact that they exist forces you to create dramatically more complex builds and stacks to maximize DPS which adds loads of depth to the game. T-spin Doubles being as strong as a Tetris, for the record, is a non-issue. Back to Back, in my opinion, is another great mechanic. It further forces you to optimize in ways that make you think harder about your every piece placement. But now, with Perfect Clears, we are starting to get to the less good aspects of Tetris. A Perfect Clear is a special attack that you get when you clear the entire board of Tetrominos. There isn't much wrong with this, Puyo has its equivalent, the All Clear, and in both games, They send roughly half the opponent's board worth of garbage for achieving it. But there's one huge problem with the Perfect Clear... it's too easy. In Puyo, the odds of getting an All Clear independently from your opponent are rather low (I read somewhere that it's 3%. I can't say if that's a reliable statistic or not.), and getting one is liable to win you the match. In Tetris, the odds of getting a Perfect Clear from the start is 100%. Always. Realistically, since you have only a 5-6 piece preview window, your odds are actually 74%, with the standard Perfect Clear opener. That's still an absurdly high chance for an attack that fills roughly half your opponent's board in one go. Fortunately, the Perfect Clear opener isn't broken, since they can be stuffed by literally any early attack (that doesn’t make it any less silly, however). The individual mechanics of the different Tetris games can also make Perfect Clears more or less powerful. The next mechanic is Hold. Hold is kind of a mixed bag (get it?). It totally ruins the single player experience since it makes the game too easy by giving you a mechanic that allows you to remove pieces you don't like. In VS, it's an appreciable mechanic that allows you optimize your builds in ways otherwise impossible. Now, the garbage mechanics in Tetris... are completely garbage. Completely. I've already explained how it works in Part 1a, but now let me tell you why it's terrible. Garbage is the main way you interact with your opponent in both Puyo and Tetris. And how does it change the way your opponent plays? It doesn't. It doesn't at all. They will keep doing what they are doing, and then when they get to their garbage, they will get rid of it- ALL of it, rather quickly, and it's back to square one. Oh, my bad, square minus one, because as they are clearing garbage, they send it back to you. So you might as well not even attack, since it's all just going to be sent back to you. Well, you can do the same thing to them. And it keeps going until someone tops out due to Hurry Up (a mechanic hilariously not present in Puyo Puyo Tetris), or just bad RNG. Speaking of RNG, since the garbage holes are randomized, luck plays a huge factor when it comes to taking garbage. You can take really lucky garbage that is easy to downstack/gives large damage while downstacking, or both, or you can take really unlucky garbage that is really difficult to downstack and doesn't give much damage while downstacking. There's also no garbage delay in some Tetris games (including Puyo Puyo Tetris), which is also stupid. This means you get no speed advantage for attacking. Clearly, the garbage system in Tetris is inherently broken; it randomly gives advantages to players, and does not reward the attacking player in the slightest. The only benefit to sending garbage is that if you send enough maybe your opponent will top out maybe.

Part 2b: Combos Might Actually Be the Worst Thing Ever) Combos are quite possibly the worst mechanic in Tetris. A combo is an attack that cannot be beaten. There is no answer to a combo. The only way you can avoid taking damage from a combo is to do the exact combo your opponent did at the same exact time. You cannot defend yourself from them with T-spins, Tetrises, Perfect Clears, or even another combo (unless it is the same combo that your opponent is doing, at the same time). This is part of why Center 4-wide is the best strategy in the game (besides ALSO out-DPSing every other strategy except multiple Perfect Clears, which is too RNG-dependant a strategy to use reliably). The main reason why combos are so good is because they send consecutive garbage. Here's a quick rundown of the attacking mechanics of Tetris. When an attack's line clear delay ends, it sends garbage to the opponent. If the game has garbage countering, they can offset it. If they do not offset all of it in one counterattack, they take the remaining garbage. If the game also has garbage blocking (which Puyo Puyo Tetris does not have in VS mode), they can also place another piece before taking recieving garbage on their board (they can also continously offset like so if they have the right pieces for it, just like in Fever mode from Puyo). However, there is no accomodation for combos in this model. If an opponent does an attack, then you place a piece, and does another attack, then you place another piece, you will take garbage twice. Garbage blocking does not stop this unless you do a combo yourself. This property of combos does not exist in Tetris VS Puyo, probably because it would be literally unbeatably broken. However, just because combos are indefensible alone isn’t really enough to make them broken. It’s bad game design, but there is counterplay to it, in theory. What you’re supposed to do is top out the opponent/pressure them with a near top out before they can complete a devastating combo setup. But in practice, this doesn’t really work. Just by being close to the top, you have a giant combo ready to fire at all times (sort of). The structure of your stack determines whether or not it’s comboable, but odds are it is. It also doesn’t matter if that stack is full of garbage or not, you will have a giant combo ready. What this means is combos are not built. Combos are not setups, and they are not built. They are done in the heat of the moment with a huge reward to the player that seizes the opportunity granted to them by RNG. The only comb setups are 2-wide, 3-wide, and 4-wide, but those are incredibly braindead easy to build. 2-wide is especially dumb; which while mostly useless in a high level match, it’s a powerful strategy at low level since it’s often fatal and easy to execute. But the real nail in the coffin for this mechanic is quite simply that it’s too powerful. To my knowledge, combos are weaker in Puyo Puyo Tetris than in earlier Tetris games that included combos, but not by much. The only difference is that short combos are weak, often pointless, but long combos are still devastatingly powerful and sometimes literally unbeatable. At max power, each link in a combo will be sending as much as a back to back T-spin double or back to back Tetris. Individual links in a combo should never be that strong. You'll never catch up with any other strategy. Now, remember how in Part 2a, I mentioned that garbage can be sent back to you? Combos play a huge part of this. If you get the right garbage RNG, you can get a downstack combo that downstacks all or most of your garbage, and sends insane damage back to your opponent. If you get a 10+ combo in a garbage downstack, you are basically guaranteed victory. Let me reframe that: you're guaranteed victory for letting your opponent send more than half the screen's worth of garbage at you. Are you serious? This is an absolutely insane comeback mechanic that's way too strong and way too random. It's totally stupid.

Part 2c: Center 4-wide is Actually the Worst Thing Ever) Now, since combos are the best attack in the game, it's a no brainer that the best strategy in the game is the biggest combo. That's 4-wide. Specifically, Center 4 wide. Side 4 wide is one of those previously mentioned rare strategies that can be spiked with a swift attack off the top. Center 4 wide eliminates that flaw by putting a giant hole in the middle, where the blocks spawn. This means that you can take 18 rows of garbage before it kills you. No other build has that much defense, none whatsoever. So in addition to the most defense of any strategy, you also have the most damage. In addition to the most damage, you send it incrementally in a way that your opponent has no option to defend it with. In addition to both of these, once you have cleared your screen of singles (or even before, depending on how the RNG gods are feeling today), you can extend your combo past the theoretical limit of 22 to send even more crazy high damage by abusing the up to 18 rows of garbage your opponent may or may not have sent you. There's only two ways to beat a Center 4 wide: 1) Multiple Perfect Clear. You will lose most matches if you try to rely on that strategy against a 4-wider, because it’s too reliant on RNG. 2) Your opponent messes up the 4 wide somehow; misdrop, bad RNG, bad placement decision. This is actually kind of likely, but if they don't mess up and you didn't chose to 4 wide also, you are nearly guaranteed to lose. You also have the option to 4-wide your opponent back. This doesn't really count as a third method, since you're still relying on your opponent messing up. A number of very stupid things can happen when both players opt to Center 4-wide. First possibility: someone misdrops. A misdrop can be made up for in a regular Tetris match as long as you can both clear it quickly and prevent your DPS from dropping too much. If you go for 4 wide and misdrop, you automatically lose because you have a build that can't be fixed or converted, and your DPS drops to zero, thus giving your opponent a free win. Second possibility: someone is unable to complete their 4-wide setup due to bad RNG and/or placement decisions. If you are 3 links shorter than your opponent in a 4 wide battle, you are pretty much guaranteed to lose. Any more and you are guaranteed to lose. Any less and you may survive with enough luck. Third possibility: someone dead ends their 4-wide due to bad RNG. No matter how good you are at 4-wide, you are guaranteed to drop a few 4-wides due to RNG if you do it a lot. In this scenario, you automatically lose if your opponent is doing 4-wide also, and you may survive yet if they are playing regular Tetris and you had a decently long combo. Fourth possibility: both players have roughly equally sized combos, but one took a lot more garbage than the other because they started attacking each other at different times. If nobody dies to possibilities 1-3, possibility 4 is extremely likely. Actually, I didn't finish explaining what happens here. What happens here is not just that one player took a lot of garbage, but also downstacked several lines of that garbage at the end of their 4-wide, making their combo much more powerful than the opponent's and guaranteeing victory. You only need to downstack at most 4 lines of garbage (if both players had the same combo length) before you're guaranteed victory. While 4-wide is the best answer to your opponent doing 4-wide, it removes most of the skill factor and mostly preys on dumb luck, as one of these 4 possibilities is almost certain to kill one of the two players. There's actually a hidden fifth possibility, where both players miraculously fail to kill each other as well as fail to extend their combo to fatal lengths. This is the ideal situation, where the game is essentially reset to neutral and both players are forced to play actual Tetris. Before I move on, I should probably mention two specific mechanics (parameters rather than mechanics, actually) that affect Center 4-wide in an incredibly significant way. Line clear delay, and hidden rows. Long line clear delay weakens combos (and thus 4-wide) by making them take longer to execute. It does make weak and medium combos considerably weaker, but doesn't really do that much to weaken 4-wide. The additional delay makes early attacks from T-spins that would hinder 4-wide much less effective, and once a 4w starts going, it doesn't really matter how long it takes to finish since it will still kill the opponent. But all that hinges on the hidden rows. If the game has a lot of hidden rows (Puyo Puyo Tetris has about 20, or enough to never be able to ghost any minos), then Center 4 wide will be insanely strong because it cannot be stopped. If it has a few hidden rows, you can attempt to limit its power by sending enough garbage to send some of rows past the hidden rows, where they will disappear. It should be additionally noted that there is no reason to have a lot of hidden rows in Tetris. It only helps Center 4-wide, which is already the best strategy. No other build can use the hidden rows, as you are probably topping out anyways if you have loads of stuff in the hidden rows that aren't ammo for Center 4-wide.

Part 2d: Guideline Tetris is a Terrible Game) Remember how I said that there's a 74% chance of getting a Perfect Clear at the beginning of a match in Tetris? The reason for that is due to a combination of the mechanics of Guideline Tetris. These mechanics specifically are SRS, 7-bag, and Hold. SRS is the rotation system, and not quite a mechanic so much as quite simply how the game handles each piece. How SRS works isn't really important, what it can do is more relevant. Built into many Tetris rotation systems are a serious of wallkick tests. When a piece is rotated into a position it can't occupy, the rotation system attempts to translate (move) it into one of any number of different positions and fit it there instead. SRS has several strange wallkick tests that are unintuitive, in weird orders, have bizarre prerequisites, and allow you to do many things that you simply should not be able to do. Just look up "tetris I-spin elevator" on Youtube if you want to see some of the dumb things SRS is capable of. SRS does have a handful of useful wallkicks that are good additions to the game, however. 7-bag (sometimes called 1-bag, bag system, and a number of other names that involve the word bag) is the RNG that Guideline Tetris games use. It guarantees that you will have 1 of every Tetromino every 7 pieces. The bag system is funny; it's a concept that sounds great on paper (Wouldn't it, after all, reduce the probability of getting really bad rng that screws you over?), but is terrible in practice. It makes the game incredibly predictable and allows for some devastating setups if you like memorizing a ton of setups. One of those setups is the Perfect Clear opener (which uses the SZ twists from SRS a lot), and most of the rest of them are openers. Openers are incredibly easy setups with very predictable outcomes that maximize piece efficiency. A lot of them have a chance to end in a Perfect Clear, too. The bag system also breaks single player modes, making them boorishly predictable chores that require little to no thinking, if you so choose to abuse the bag system at its most predictable. As for Hold, I mentioned Hold already, but it is necessary for Perfect Clears as well as openers. Since the piece order is still randomized under 7-bag, Hold is necessary to rearrange the pieces to place them in the opener of choice if the order is just a little bit off. I should also mention that all the mechanics mentioned in Part 2a are Guideline mechanics. Many of the problems I just finished explaining only exist due to guideline.

Part 2e: You Do Not Fight Your Opponent In Tetris) I didn't cover this in Part 2a so here is an entire section dedicated to it. I believe I mentioned this before, but in Puyo there's a huge screenwatching element that gives you a lot of information about how you should play. You look for weak points and mistakes in your opponent's build and try to attack them to end the match. In Tetris, there is no screenwatching whatsoever. It's so irrelevant that many Tetris games have high numbers of opponents with tiny, infrequently updated fields (also, there's problems with multiplayer (as in, not 1v1) Tetris games, but I will not delve into them in this post) because it is simply not necessary to watch your opponent. There's 3 main reasons for this. The first reason is that since Tetris is so fast, you will not be able to get useful information from the opponent's playfield since it is highly dynamic. The second reason is also since Tetris is so fast, you will not be able to spare brain power watching your opponent's field; it is much more effective to just look at your own board. The third reason is that there is no useful information to be gathered from your opponent's field anyways. Suppose your opponent misdrops, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to send off a quick attack, breaking away your resources to top them out? Are you going to shift strategy to a powerful attack that they have no answer to? No. You have no better option to kill your opponent had they misdropped or not. You will continue to do exactly what you were doing before because you were already attacking at your max DPS, and have no other options to attack with. Of course, there are edge cases where watching your opponent can give you the upper hand or even win you the match, but, say, 90% of the time there is no need to because attacking the fastest and the mostest is always the best strategy. The only time you ever actively interact with your opponent (sending garbage does not count as actively interacting with your opponent, by the way), is the choice to either receive and send back garbage with a potential counterattack or offset an incoming attack with your potential counterattack. The reason why sending garbage does not count as actively interacting with your opponent is from all the problems with the garbage system already illustrated in Part 2a. Therefore, it can be safely said that you are not fighting your opponent in Tetris VS Tetris. You never lose because your opponent beat you, you lose because your opponent outperformed you. If you don't understand the difference, here's a simple analogy. If you lose in a brawl, it's because your opponent beat you. If you lose in a race, it's because your opponent outperformed you. In a brawl, you are always actively interacting with your opponent; attacking and defending. In a race, all you have to do to beat your opponent is to run faster than they did. Tetris isn’t a brawl, it’s a race.

Part 3: And That’s Why Adding Tetris to Puyo an Equally Terrible Idea) In Part 1, I mostly showed how Puyo and Tetris are dramatically different games. But now I'm going to talk more specifically about why combining them causes total mayhem. As we know from Part 1, Puyo is a slow, high damage game, and Tetris is a fast, low damage game. Not explicitly mentioned in Part 1, but add having very low defense to Puyo and very high defense to Tetris. If you've ever played a fighting game, you should already know that speed is key. Fast characters always dominate slower characters and top tiers are almost always fast characters. This is why slow characters usually have high defense, and fast characters low defense. It helps balance them out (although usually it is futile). But instead, Puyo has low defense, and Tetris has high defense. At a glance, this is a recipe for disaster, and it's quite a miracle that Puyo is able to compete with Tetris at all. But the main reason why Puyo and Tetris are fundamentally incompatible reasons is the garbage system. Puyo's garbage comes from the top, and impedes you in every step of the process. Tetris' garbage comes from the bottom, and does nothing. Absolutely nothing. It doesn't even have a slow animation that gives Puyo some reward (a speed advantage) for hitting the opponent. Attacking Puyo only rewards Tetris and attacking Tetris also only rewards Tetris. Again, like in Tetris vs Tetris, if your garbage isn't killing the opponent, it isn't doing anything. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that Tetris loves to spam attacks in quick succession, which forces Puyo to go through a very slow garbage animation quite a lot. There's also the speed factor. Tetris has a dramatically high APM (especially when compared to Puyo). Due to the large amount of hitstun (garbage animation) this induces to Puyo, Puyo is always fighting an uphill battle. Another problem that's sometimes overlooked in the matchup is the RNG. The Puyo RNG is literally designed to screw you over by constantly giving you floods and droughts of certain colors. The Tetris RNG is the opposite, designed to make sure you always get a fair number of each piece. Thus, you are subject to die to bad luck a lot in the matchup.

Part 3a: Tetris Beats Puyo In Every Single Game Mode) I'll go over each mode separately.

Part 3a-i: VS Mode) Most of the balance problems mentioned throughout this post refer specifically to VS Mode already, but I'm going to go into a bit more depth as to why Tetris will always win. First let me define a couple of mechanics that are unique to the Puyo vs Tetris matchup. First of all, the lock delay for Puyo is actually lower than in most Puyo games. This persists across all modes of the Switch and PS4 versions of the game (including Puyo only modes), but it's most relevant here. It's 27 frames instead of 32 frames. I've heard reports that the August 43 balance patch has lowered it even more (or increased the drop speed), and while I haven't tested it, I don't feel it and think it's placebo, so we are going to proceed as if it is. Next, Puyo's garbage animation is faster. It persists in other modes in the lock delay decrease, but I don't have the framedata tables for that. Third, there is a very long delay after Tetris' attack trail animation before garbage can fall onto Puyo. In Puyo, you can only put down 1 piece (your current piece) after it ends if you time it just perfectly, but in Puyo vs Tetris, depending on how high you are, you can put as many as 3-4 pieces down. Fourth, Tetris has a meter not present in Tetris VS Tetris that keeps track of how much damage it has stored in a combo. The reason why this meter exists is because Tetris cannot send damage immediately to Puyo, or else the matchup would be 10-0 no matter what. Each bar on the meter is worth differently; higher bars are worth more. For example, the second and third bars are worth one nuisance, and the fourth is worth two. When Tetris drops a Tetromino that doesn't clear a line and has some of the meter filled, it sends all of the stored power to Puyo with an attack trail animation. There is one very silly problem with this combo meter that has never been fixed which is that it turns your incoming garbage into a complete guessing game. Queued garbage is not displayed until the attack trail animation, so when your opponent does a combo you're quite unsure what level of garbage to expect until suddenly BOOM 3 ROCKS. You can memorize the damage basic attacks like Tetrises do, but you can't really memorize a combo because it's too dynamic. There's a Warning sign that shows up when queued garbage exceeds 1 rock which such a band-aid solution that barely solves anything. Moving along, fifth is not really a mechanic, but T-spins are weaker in Tetris vs Puyo than in Tetris vs Tetris. A T-spin double is worth 1 less line, and a T-spin triple is worth 2 less lines (thus making it as strong as a Tetris). The sixth unique mechanic is that Puyo has a massive power multiplier on power chains, and a small power multiplier (as in less than 1.0x) on long chains. This makes it more effective to spam massive power chains than rely on trying to get a KO chain on your opponent as Puyo. How large is that multiplier? Well, a napalm sends 5 lines to Puyo at max strength. To Tetris, it sends 9 lines. That's not the best example, but it's a start. The seventh unique mechanic is the infamous offsetting bug.

Part 3a-i X: VS Mode [Part 2 / The Infamous Offsetting Bug]) The offsetting bug is the disgusting result of 3 years of neglect from SEGA. Despite having been in the game for 3 years, SEGA has made no effort to remove it, and instead made it even more convoluted (by accident, obviously). The general rule of the offsetting bug is that if you attack after your opponent does, you do more damage. As Tetris, if you have not sent an attack trail animation yet, it doesn't count as you attacking even if you have power stored in the combo meter. This mechanic inherently puts Puyo at a disadvantage because it forces both players to stall. As Puyo is always at a speed disadvantage, it cannot afford to waste time stalling, yet neither can it afford the power loss in not abusing the bug. In addition, a general rule of VS game design is that you never want to encourage players to stall. That makes games inherently more boring for all people involved and can cause games to go on for unrealistically long periods of time. Stalling is also a nightmare for people who might want to run tournaments of your game. It bores spectators and makes matches take longer and/or have more unpredictable timeframes. Stalling also happens to be one of Tetris' strong suits, as its regular drop speed is approximately half of Puyo's, it has more floorkicks before lock, longer floor time before lock, and also Hold which also doubles the amount of time it can stall. Isn’t it kind of ironic how despite being the fast game, Tetris also has higher stallability? Anyways, Puyo can (almost) never outstall Tetris. On top of this, there are three other factors in the offsetting bug. The first factor is that there is loss of precision in garbage conversion. If the additional power added to a chain by extra puyos isn't enough to add an extra line of damage to Tetris, then that additional power is wholly lost and the extra puyo is completely wasted. The reverse applies for Tetris, but it only happens during margin time since that's the only multiplier to Tetris damage. So this is a huge blow to Puyo, obviously. The next factor is that due to Puyo's massive damage multiplier for power chains (which only is applied when sending garbage to Tetris, and not offsetting), if Puyo does a power chain, it is liable to LOSE power instead of gain power if it tries to use the offsetting bug, making things even more difficult for Puyo. The last factor is Tetris' dreadful combo system. Despite the introduction of the combo meter in Tetris vs Puyo, if any individual attack by Tetris does not wholly offset the incoming garbage, Tetris will still receive the remaining garbage due to no garbage blocking. An important thing to note here is that the power stored in the combo meter is never used to offset incoming garbage until it is released (Tetris places a Tetromino that does not clear a line). This is a highly abusable mechanic that allows Tetris to be OPP, as I like to call it. This can be abused to intercept incoming garbage and then instantly send garbage back. Tetris must not be allowed to do this because if Puyo just exhausted resources attacking Tetris in the first place, it will have no answer to the instant followup. The offsetting bug should not exist, should not be allowed to exist, could not have been overlooked, and absolutely ruins this game. This bug along with Tetris' broken garbage system are two of the biggest flaws with the Tetris vs Puyo matchup in VS mode.

Part 3a-i XX: VS Mode [Part 3 / Playing the Matchup]) Here's how the mechanics form the matchup. Puyo has no option but to open every match with a counter chain. The counter must be as tall as possible and as effective as possible. Unfortunately, with a RNG like Puyo's, it's simply not reliable to expect a full working counter every match. The reason why Puyo must open with a counter every match is because Tetris' first attacks will come out extremely fast and Puyo can neither beat them nor afford to attempt to try. Puyo's objective is to get as close as possible to dying without actually dying, and then unleash its deadliest chain by length or power chains. It must do this by building vertically always and sacrificing everything; power, length, connectability, for survivability. Puyo cannot play optimal (as in, for chain length, power, or efficiency) in any way because it is guaranteed to die if it attempts to so die. It should be mentioned (even though it goes without saying) that it is incredibly difficult to play Puyo like this, which is also a dramatic deviation from the standard Puyo vs Puyo matchup. Tetris' objective is to do nothing different than what it normally would do. That's means Puyo has to make massive compromises to compete with Tetris, which has to make few. It's actually true that Tetris should be played differently when fighting Puyo. It should reverse the relative frequency of T-spins and Tetrises, which is not a very large change, and arguably makes the game easier to play. It should also avoid T-spin triples as much as possible. But while in Tetris vs Tetris T-spin doubles and Tetrises are the main attacks your opponent has to worry about, in Tetris vs Puyo doubles and T-spin singles become much more powerful. The reason for this is due to the damage conversion table. Doubles send 4 blocks of nuisance to Puyo, and T-spin doubles send 1 line of nuisance to Puyo. This means that the damage difference between the two is only two blocks. This combined with the long garbage animation for Puyo makes a constant barrage of doubles extraordinarily deadly, as it has incredibly high APM with tons of hitstun (garbage animation), and effectively sends 1 line of nuisance per drop. For being the weakest attack Tetris can do, doubles send way too much damage to Puyo. Puyo's weakest attack sends only 1 nuisance to Puyo. Why is Tetris's weakest attack four times stronger when Tetris is supposed to be the weaker, faster game? T-spin singles are a similar concept, sending 5 blocks of nuisance, that puts them just 1 block of nuisance under a T-spin double. While they cannot be rapid fired nearly as fast as doubles, they instead enable back to back bonus while still being faster than a T-spin double and not losing much power, which allows the Tetris player to follow up with a back to back Tetris, which effectively sends two lines. Moving on, Perfect Clear openers are also much more viable vs Puyo than vs Tetris. Puyo cannot stuff a Perfect Clear like Tetris can, and Perfect Clears can be followed up with more Perfect Clears which are incredibly difficult to fight against. In Tetris vs Tetris, you can’t really multi-PC since if your opponent didn’t stuff the first one, they’ll definitely stuff the second one. Before the August 43 patch, Perfect Clears sent 4 lines, making 1 almost certain death for Puyo and 2 guaranteed death for Puyo, and any more insult to injury. After the August 43 patch, Perfect Clears now send 2 lines and 1 block. Being half as powerful might seem like a nerf to Perfect Clears that makes them unusable, but the ability to perform them back to back means they maintain deadliness. Simply, you cannot automatically win with a single Perfect Clear anymore. Amusingly, 4-wide, the most broken attack in Tetris vs Tetris, is considerably less useful in this matchup. While it isn't quite unbeatable, it's still quite strong. Remember how Puyo must always open with a counter? For every strategy Tetris can open with, this is true.... except for 4-wide. In that case, Puyo must go for the longest chain it can muster, as if he was playing endless. This gives a crazy mixup to start the match with, as Puyo is highly likely to lose against 4-wide if it doesn't have a long enough chain. In addition, if the Tetris player thinks his opponent isn't ready, he can chose to intentionally drop his 4-wide instead of finish it, and the Puyo player will die if he isn't ready. The garbage drop delay helps Puyo get ready with either a cut or quick finish, but doesn't guarantee anything. On top of that, The Tetris player can opt to start out with an opener, such as DT cannon or Perfect Clear, which forces Puyo to build a counter, and then chose to 4-wide the rest of the match instead of play regular Tetris. The opener terribly cripples Puyo's ability to reach its chaining potential, making it extremely unlikely it will be able to beat out a 4-wide. To recap on how both players must accomodate for the matchup: Puyo must use considerably worse builds to even compete, and Tetris is granted many more tools to defeat the opponent with.

Part 3a-i XXX: VS Mode [Part 4 / Watching Your Opponent]) As mentioned in Part 2e, you cannot watch your opponent in Tetris vs Tetris because it will not give you useful information, but you must watch your opponent in Puyo vs Puyo because it gives you vital information. This carries over to Puyo vs Tetris, where Tetris must always watch Puyo, and Puyo gains little from watching Tetris. However, the extent to which they must is less than in their native games: Puyo must watch Tetris more than Tetris must watch Tetris, and Tetris must watch Puyo less than Puyo must watch Puyo. While Tetris can glean a lot of information about the best times to attack Puyo, many times it's simply better to just rapid fire attacks anyways. Screenwatching is especially useful for Tetris when 4-widing. On the flipside, there's still little benefit to trying to understand Tetris' board as Puyo, there are a few placement decisions that are vital to pay attention to. The first one is double Tetris. A double Tetris sends about 3-5 lines and is guaranteed death if the Puyo player is not prepared for it. Thus, the Puyo player should look for both the potential for a double Tetris and intent for one (an I Tetromino in the hold box) and prepare either a counter or a 4-5 chain in response. The same thing goes for double T-spin double and T-spin Tetris which are weaker variants of the same strategy that take less space. The second one is 4-wide for the reasons already explained in Part 3a-i XX. The third one is Perfect Clear, although less so now that it no longer sends 4 lines each. Additionally, the Puyo player can look to the state of the Tetris player's board to guess what their likely course of action is, although that's not really helpful since it's only a guess.

Part 3a-i XXXX: VS Mode [Part 5 / Margin Time]) If you survive 96 seconds, which is not long, against a Tetris player, congratulations, now you have entered margin time! Margin time is a mechanic that makes attacks from both players stronger the longer the match goes. At early margin time, Tetris is heavily favored. Puyo's power bonus is negligible at best, but Tetris will start to send 2+ lines with Tetrises. 2+ lines are very difficult to dig, and Puyo doesn't get a power boost significant enough to combat this power. As margin times goes on, Tetris will start being able to send Puyo garbage with mere singles. If you thought rapid fire doubles was terrible enough, wait until you see a Tetris player spamming singles to send the same garbage to Puyo. The APM is simply too high to keep up with with as slow as Puyo is. But at max margin time, that's when things start to get interesting. For some reason, Puyo's damage multiplier ends up far exceeding Tetris', and 1 chains alone will be able to beat out entire Tetrises. At this point, Puyo has an advantage for the first time. All he has to do at this point is continue to spam power chains of almost any power and ensure he always has some kind of answer ready for Tetris's inevitable spam. Puyo will be sending loads of garbage to Tetris, and even Tetris, as good as it is at downstacking, will ultimately end up buckling as Puyo will be able to send more garbage than Tetris can downstack. However, just because Puyo is at an advantage, don't think for a second that means it's now easy for Puyo. Sometimes, Puyo vs Tetris matches can go on for over 10 minutes, because even at max margin time Tetris can still downstack garbage fast enough that it won't die, despite what I just said two sentences ago. Also, don't forget that Puyo has to get past the times of extreme disadvantage in early to mid margin time before it benefits from max margin time. Puyo is already losing the war of attrition from the start, making having to go through early to mid margin time an absolute nightmare.

Part 3a-i XXXXX: VS Mode [Part 6 / RNG]) Puyo is already a game that has a huge random factor to it. Tetris is a game that has an even more significant random factor to it. Puyo vs Tetris has an absolutely monstrous RNG element that is more than both Puyo vs Puyo and Tetris vs Tetris combined. The RNG already decides the flow in the respective games, but in Puyo vs Tetris not only does it decide the flow but it will make and break matches all the time. Puyo's RNG is designed to screw you over, but Tetris' RNG is designed to do the opposite. Thus it should come to nobody's surprise that many of the times when a Puyo player is doing well and seems likely to win against Tetris, he dies to bad RNG, usually by not getting the necessary trigger piece in time before being buried under nuisance. It is rare for the opposite to happen to a Tetris player. But RNG also plays a huge role in garbage. In Puyo vs Puyo, garbage RNG is only relevant when the garbage queued is non-fatal. Many matches will have non-fatal garbage from harassments, but most of the time these are concentrated into 1-3 attacks where garbage RNG ultimately doesn't make a large difference. However, in Puyo vs Tetris, many of Tetris' many attacks send just shy of an extra line (ie, 1 line 5 blocks instead of 2 lines), and that one or two blocks of nuisance make a huge difference in the digability of the Puyo player's chain. Tetris' garbage RNG, too, can change the flow of the match a ton. Tetris can downstack garbage very easily and send it back in a combo that does a lot of damage. Since combos were nerfed in the Switch and PS4 versions of the game, this isn't as potent as it was before. However, you can still send a few lines while downstacking significant portions of your garbage. Tetris' garbage RNG influences how fast and how strong a Tetris player can downstack garbage with nothing but mere luck. You can get very clean garbage that can be gotten rid of with a few Tetrises, thus negating literally all of Puyo's efforts until now while also sending garbage back. Alternatively, you can get very messy garbage that isn't as easy to get rid of. In Puyo vs Tetris, Tetris recieves much messier garbage than in Tetris vs Tetris, so it's unlikely that Tetris will get more than one Tetris from garbage. But even if Tetris gets really messy garbage, he can still downstack all the garbage sent by Puyo faster than Puyo can create a followup chain, while also sending garbage back.

Part 3a-i XXXXXX: VS Mode [Part 7 / Why the Matchup Isn't Impossible]) The biggest thing the Puyo player has to rely on in this matchup is luck. Pure luck, nothing more, nothing less. As long as they play the best they possibly can, they can bank on getting lucky and the Tetris player unlucky. While Tetris has a high APM which leaves a lot of hitstun (garbage animation), Puyo can build vertically to tank multiple garbage drops. Additionally, the massive delay before the attack lands gives Puyo a fair amount of time to prepare a counterattack or just stack vertically. And while Tetris has a high APM, it doesn't really do too much damage per attack. Tetris kills Tetris in 4 attacks. It takes at least 6 to kill Puyo. Something that often goes unmentioned is Puyo's power chains. Power chains are deadly in this matchup, almost to the point of making going for long chains a waste of effort. You can send more than 10 lines with mere 3 chains, which can be difficult for a Tetris player to get past if they're past halfway to the top. Also, if the Tetris player doesn't have enough APM to horrendously cripple the Puyo player, which all expert Tetris players have so this is specifically about lower level matches, they are instead the ones at a massive disadvantage. Speed is Tetris' main virtue, so if you take that away Tetris has nothing to threaten Puyo with. Also as mentioned in Part 3a-i XXXX, when max margin time is reached, Puyo is once again at an advantage. While reaching late margin time is rare in the Puyo vs Tetris matchup, such matches between high level players are almost guaranteed in long sets.

Part 3a-ii: Swap Mode) Swap Mode is the most balanced mode in the game. That's why it makes me really sad that Tetris is still incredibly powerful in this mode. A high level swap match usually goes a lot like this: If it's a Puyo start, both players try to build the best chain they possibly can and set it off on swap, then abuse the Swap Combo mechanic to powerup their chain as much as possible and end the opponent with a bigger chain with more Swap Combo bonuses. If it's a Tetris start, both players try play as fast as possible, and then setup a T-spin or Tetris on swap (preferrably a Tetris since it can be delayed while a T-spin cannot), which they try to disrupt the opponent's board with and build a kill chain bigger than the opponent's (with thanks to the Tetris/T-spin on swap, hopefully), and then kill the opponent with that chain once again powered up by Swap Combos from Tetris. At a glance, it seems like Swap Mode favors Puyo since it is the one throwing the OHKO attacks, but if you tip the balance from two equally skilled players in both games to a Puyo specialist and a Tetris specialist, the Tetris player is always at an advantage. All the Tetris player has to do is prevent the Puyo player from setting off a killing chain in Puyo. He doesn't even have to outchain the opponent or prevent them from setting off any chain, just prevent them from getting a 7+ chain on swap. He can spam 1 chains to slow down the opponent with slow garbage animations, do harassment chains that must be answered, or rush with a 3-6 chain forcing the opponent to attack early. Then when the game switches back to Tetris, all he has to do is kill the opponent in Tetris. Even if he takes damage from a strong chain, it's likely he'll be able to survive it. Damage sent from Puyo is decreased by a lot when swapping to Tetris. If you have about 4 rocks queued in Puyo (enough garbage to kill you twice over), when it swaps to Tetris it will turn into about 10 lines, which isn't enough to kill Tetris even once. On top of that, you can offset very large chunks of it very quickly. Those 4 rocks will be completely gone in just 3 T-spins. On top of this, on Tetris starts, the Tetris player can send garbage to Puyo to disrupt his opponent when it swaps to Puyo. You can send garbage to Tetris from Puyo when it swaps to Tetris, but as we already know, garbage in Tetris does not mean anything to a Tetris player. Even better, Tetris' attacks send more garbage to Puyo than in VS mode. In VS, a T-spin triple sends 1 line and 2 blocks (2 lines and 1 block in the 3DS version) and over 3 lines in Swap mode. These attacks on swap can also be powered up by a Swap Combo by initiating any chain, even a 1 chain, before the attack activates (you cannot do this with T-spins, however).

Part 3a-iii: Big Bang Mode) Big Bang is a complete gimmick mode. At first it seems like Puyo has the advantage since its chains are the All Clear variants, Tetris doesn't get Perfect Clears, and you can fever extend in Puyo, but reportedly Tetris is still stronger if the Tetris player is fast enough. Something that often goes unmentioned is that Puyo's chains still take a very long time to resolve (especially the later ones) Ultimately I don't actually have enough data to make a fair and accurate judgement about this mode, so that's that.

Part 3a-iv: Party Mode) Party mode is an absolute joke. While it's obvious that SEGA has no intention of making Party mode a competitively viable game mode, there is no excuse for letting Tetris be prepatch (aka 3DS version). See Part 3b for more on that. So Tetris is completely broken. There's also the possibility to get a 2-line Perfect Clear opener depending on the RNG due to the item system, which puts the Tetris player lucky enough to get one at a massive advantage. Additionally, there's an item in Tetris which replaces the next several pieces with single minos. With a low enough stack, this can also be used to get easy Perfect Clears (yes, plural) that devastate your rivals. Also, it has dropsets, which means there's a tier list for Puyo (Tetris is still SS tier though, so just do yourself a favor and skip Puyo in this mode).

Part 3a-v: Fusion Mode) I admit it, Puyo isn't actually weaker than Tetris in every single mode. Fusion mode is the only mode where you could say that Puyo has the edge. In Fusion mode, you try to get ridiculously high chains by abusing the active chaining mechanic and spamming 1 chains. There's an incredibly slow animation for Tetrominos squishing puyo which ruins this, so "Tetris" is weak in this mode since Tetrominos tend to just get in your way. Fusion mode isn't a Puyo vs Tetris mode, however, so I don't think it's really fair to say either game mode is weak or strong in this game since ultimately, neither game mode is present in Fusion Mode. Since I can't talk about the Puyo VS Tetris balance issues in this mode but I still have strong animosity for it, I'll talk about its other flaws instead. Active chaining is an interesting mechanic for Puyo, but ultimately is inherently broken and should never be used in a true competitive mode. The most obvious issue with active chaining is that active chains can cause games to go on forever since active chains can go on forever, too, and active chains prevent garbage from dropping. The next issue with active chaining is that they take no skill, literally. You just mash together 4 blobs of the same color as fast as you can with quick drop and lock delay. The next issue with Fusion mode is that it is quite difficult to actually play Puyo in it. Since the Tetrominos are constantly coming and dramatically shifting the base the Puyos stand on, building a real chain in this mode is next to impossible. You can play Tetris just fine for the most part though, since they go under the Puyos. Another problem is that Tetrominos clear garbage. This can make it even more stupidly hard for low and mid-level players to kill each other than it is already from what little garbage they send to each other, but in a high level match if your opponent has sent a decisive enough attack this mechanic won't save you. Thus I don't see a reason to have this mechanic. It seems like a waste. I feel like it exists simply to make this mode easier to play because god knows it isn't at all. Which brings me to my next point. This mode is just... such a bloody mess. It's so confusing, is full of strange mechanics that don't mesh well together at all, and is so new and unique that nobody has any idea how to play it. No matter how good you are at Puyo or Tetris, nothing will prepare you for Fusion mode.... except Fusion mode. Also, it has dropsets, which means there's a tier list. Again.

Part 3b: The 3DS Version of Puyo Puyo Tetris is Even More Trash Than Its Successors) Since the 3DS version is obviously obsolete, I'll keep this section relatively short by mainly going over just the balance issues. But I can’t ignore the graphics. The graphics are miraculously terrible. Most likely, it uses the same assets as the HD versions of the game, but just downscales them to fit the 3DS screen. The results are incredibly ugly. There's a lot of quality of life issues like this that were fixed in the HD versions, but the real problem lies in the balance. As everyone knows already, Tetris is incredibly broken in Puyo Puyo Tetris. I like to say the matchup is 8-2 in Tetris' favor. It may even be 7-3. In the 3DS version.... it's 10-0. Yes, 10-0. It is a literally impossible matchup. It is mathematically impossible to win in a high level match of Puyo VS Tetris in this game. First of all, there is no delay before garbage drops on the Puyo field after the attack trail animation. This means the exact frame the Tetris player decides to unleash garbage onto his Puyo opponent, garbage will fall. This alone is enough to make the matchup unwinnable. In Puyo vs Puyo, garbage will not fall until several frames after the attack trail animation finishes. In Puyo Puyo Tsu, the attack trail animation is longer, so it's synced up with the animation there (I don’t believe the delay is different in either game, although I have no evidence). In Tetris vs Puyo, garbage will fall before the animation even finishes; as in exactly when it starts. This makes Tetris' attacks completely indefensible unless you just so happen to have the exact piece with the exact proper counterattack and also can read your opponents mind to know exactly when they will send garbage and with which attack. Another problem is that combos are dramatically stronger. 4 wide combos can send crowns with ease, which are only beatable by 12+ chains, despite being much easier and faster to create and complete. Garbage downstack combos are absolutely devastating, sending multiple lines after just clearing a few. T-spins are also incredibly powerful, being as strong as they are in a Tetris vs Tetris match, allotting Tetris an even more insane DPS against Puyo. Also, Puyo is helplessly weak and does very little damage in return (it is considerably stronger in the updated versions), making topping out a Tetris player an impossible task unless you slap the controller out of their hand or something. Oh yeah, Perfect Clears also send 4 lines (the opener version can send up to a rock if they do it in a combo), which is insanely high DPS that Puyo cannot compete with at all. All the balance problems previously mentioned are also present in the PS3, PS Vita, and Wii U versions of the game as well, but are obviously absent in the PS4 and Switch versions of the game. I have no idea what limbo the Xbone version is or isn't in.
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Steelix100
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Part 3c: As If Tetris Wasn't Bad Enough Already, SEGA Decided to Compound its Problems) Here are some bad design decisions for Tetris vs Tetris in Puyo Puyo Tetris that to my knowledge aren't enforced in Tetris Guidelines. First, no Hurry Up. Hurry Up is actually a guideline mechanic that I didn't mention in Part 2a since it's not really meaningful for this post. Its absence from Puyo Puyo Tetris is nothing short of bizarre. At first one might think it got the boot in favor of SEGA's local margin time mechanic, which serves a similar purpose (to prevent matches from going on too long), but isn't present in Tetris vs Tetris either, which disproves that theory. Second, the absurd amount of hidden rows. As mentioned in Part 2c, there is literally no reason to include so many hidden rows unless the only objective is to make 4-wide, the best strategy in the game, as powerful as possible. That's a weird route to take since the unusually long line clear delay obversely makes 4-wide weaker. Another problem is the garbage system. It's absolute baloney. As we already know from Part 2a, the garbage system in Tetris is inherently flawed since it doesn't disrupt the opponent and can be negatively rewarding if the opponent downstacks it. Well, Puyo Puyo Tetris has impressively trolly garbage RNG that likes to give unfair garbage to both players. Unfair garbage as in one player gets garbage that can be downstacked in just several seconds, especially in a combo or with 1 or more Tetrises, but the other player gets garbage that can't be downstacked nearly as easily. Puyo Puyo Tetris has no consistency in garbage RNG and will give very clean (with very few garbage hole changes, allowing several lines to be downstacked at once) and very messy (with many garbage hole changes, forcing all lines to be downstacked individually, taking much longer especially with the very long line clear delay) garbage randomly with no rhyme or reason. This can cause players of roughly equal skill to drop matches for no good reason. There also seems to be some kind of mechanic where Perfect Clears send cleaner garbage than usual, but I don’t know if that’s true or not. Garbage RNG is not something that should be playing such a huge factor in a VS puzzle game like Tetris. Speaking of RNG, while Puyo and most Tetris games give the same pieces to both players, Puyo Puyo Tetris does not for Tetris vs Tetris. Making sure both players get the same pieces is game design 101 in a VS puzzle game, since you always want to minimize RNG to maximize fairness, even in a game that requires RNG. An easy example of why this is a bad idea in Tetris vs Tetris is the previously mentioned Perfect Clear opener. The different RNG for both players can give one player a Perfect Clear and the other no Perfect Clear when they both go for the Perfect Clear opener, thus putting one player at a massive advantage from the start and the other at a massive disadvantage from the start due to nothing but blind luck. The RNG also could give both players a Perfect Clear, but forces one player to perform extra soft drops or line clears which ends up with their Perfect Clear getting stuffed by the opponent's, which came out first.

Part 3d: The August 43 Balance Patch Was a Complete Joke) In July, the official English Puyo Twitter account tweeted out that a balance patch for the game would be coming in August. Not only did the patch miss the August deadline, but it failed to solve any of the problems with the game highlighted in Parts 2-3. Despite the mountains of problems with this game, it only addressed one issue in Puyo vs Tetris, which was that a single Perfect Clear is almost a guaranteed victory. It doesn't fix the offsetting bug, it doesn't fix the overpowered doubles, it doesn't do anything about Tetris' ability to be OPP, it doesn't fix the combo meter being almost useless in guaging incoming garbage, it doesn't fix 4 wide being overpowered, it doesn't give Tetris a garbage animation, it doesn't do anything about the cruel Puyo RNG or make any attempts to make the matchup more fair in any way. The only other change in the matchup is that Tetris' combos are marginally weaker (they are marginally weaker in Tetris vs Tetris as well). The patch didn't fix Tetris being overpowered in any other mode, and while it does make a number of changes, most of them are just assorted changes to the menus and the like, such as being able to pause replays (which is a nice addition by the way). There have been reports that Puyo is somehow faster after the patch, but there's no evidence (proving or disproving it), and there's no official changelist from SEGA, either (technically, there is one, but it doesn't have any specifics on the balance changes, so there might as well not be any). The patch also fails to do anything about the problems with Tetris vs Tetris. While I understand that TTC forces SEGA to not change Tetris too much, there’s no way SEGA can’t do anything about the problems illustrated in Part 3c. It'd leave a bad taste to neglect to mention it, so I'll list the rest of the balance changes that I'm aware of. In Swap mode, Perfect Clears on swap are also about half as powerful as they were so nerfed in VS mode. In VS mode in Puyo vs Tetris, all clears work a little bit differently. Before the patch, there was a strange property of all clears where they always sent 4 lines to Tetris when offsetting, assuming the first link of the chain offsetted all incoming lines. Now, while it still has a property where it sends more garbage than it has remaining after offsetting, it seems to instead count the offsetted garbage as at half power instead of just ignoring it completely. Also, the damage was increased from 4 lines to 6 lines. Here is an example of this property in action. If the opponent sends double Tetris (worth 9 lines in Tetris garbage), and you offset it, prepatch it would send 4 lines, and postpatch it would send 2 lines. But if the opponent sends a single Tetris (worth 4 lines in Tetris garbage), and you offset it, prepatch it would send 4 lines and postpatch it would also send 4 lines. Also, that's it for the balance changes. Yes, that's it.

Part 3e: Puyo Puyo Tetris Ruins Puyo vs Puyo) Puyo vs Puyo in Puyo Puyo Tetris is different from other Puyo games. The pace is considerably faster, making the game more difficult to play, and also ruins the balance of offense and defense. I haven't done any theorycraft related to this, so I don't really know if it's truly worse, just different, or maybe just slightly worse. But I do know that most Asian players turn their nose up to this game as a result. The reason why the pace is faster, by the way, is the lock delay decrease and garbage animation speed up. Bizarrely, these two changes apply to Puyo vs Puyo as well, despite the fact that Tetris has changes to it that only apply in Tetris vs Puyo. It doesn't make any sense to me.

Part 4: Puyo Isn't Perfect Either, But It's Still Way Better Than Tetris) I think Puyo is a great game full of depth and value. It has a very significant player interaction factor unlike Tetris and is full of strategy unlike Tetris. However, Puyo isn't perfect, so I'll very quickly go over a couple of small flaws in Puyo VS Puyo. Garbage RNG plays a small factor in Puyo vs Puyo. You can be covered with 1 chains, or garbage from a harassment could happen to fall perfectly in a way that makes digging it in time impossible. Puyo Puyo Sun fixes this by having a fixed garbage drop pattern where the first random nuisance always falls in column 1. However, due to purist attitudes from the community and SEGA, this will never become a standard in Puyo battles which use Tsu rules. PuyoVS 2 used to have this pattern coded in for Tsu battles, but it was very recently removed. The next flaw is the RNG for the Puyo pairs. The RNG used in Puyo Puyo Tsu is designed to screw over players. I'm not sure what the intent of designing the RNG like this is, but it can be very frustrating to deal with this RNG, which is bad in case you didn't know. It gives constant floods and droughts of colors, which can lead a player to be deprived of a color they need to complete their chain, and said color could only be implemented in that part of the chain in the first place due to a flood of that color which encourages the player to use that color for multiple links. The RNG also has a small loss of precision. It generates 3 pools of 128 pairs, holding the same number of each color Puyo in each pair. One of these pools has 3 colors, one has 4, and one has 5. However, it swaps out the first two pairs in each pool with the first two pairs of the the 3 color pool, ensuring that the color distribution is always extremely slightly uneven. I can't really say this is a big issue, but it's there. The last issue I have with Puyo is that power chains are too good. Power chains are the best way to attack in a harassment because they are not only very powerful, but very fast. The speed loss from doing a longer counterharassment to beat a giant but short power chain is often fatal even if you beat their harassment. This means you have to do a power chain too. This is additionally problematic since power chains are much more difficult to calculate the approximate power of. A power chain can also be used at the end of a full chain, which makes it much easier to build your entire chain, you don't lose too much power, and your chain resolves much faster giving your opponent less time to beat it with a longer chain. But, despite these problems, Puyo is still much more fun, much more engaging, and a good game.

Part 5: Here's a Bunch of Other Dumb Flaws Not Related to Battling) The battle system doesn't have a point system like Puyo Puyo Tsu, and instead opts for a set system like Street Fighter. Tsu's format is much better for both Puyo and Tetris. Additionally due to that, the replay system doesn't allow you to save individual matches, just entire sets, and you can't skip matches in a set. Also, you can only save 50 replays. Also, replays always play the default battle music for that mode. At least it does for me, but I see everyone uploading replays with different music... In online, you can avoid players in ranked which is dumb for obvious reasons. There's also shared ranking across all modes, including the game modes (VS, swap, etc), and for Puyo and Tetris players. You can, for example, play ranked only on Party Mode as a result. The only thing preventing you from reaching the top of the leaderboards by playing Party mode only is the lack of players. Also when you get a promotion/demotion chance in ranked and try to give a greeting, it will be covered by the promotion/demotion chance banner. Another problem that seems to have decreased since the launch of this game but exists nonetheless is that the game will randomly disconnect both players from battle in online mode. I have never had so many disconnects in any other game. In free play, the inability to name rooms and that the game doesn't remember your room creation settings are both very sad. In local battle modes there is also no restart button. This is annoying because in the event that you messed up a setting or are trying to test something and need to go back to the start of the match or pre-battle menu, you have to go back to the character select screen. Also, you can’t pause in local wireless mode (such as in the 3DS and Switch versions of the game). I also don't like the pre-battle menu, which was introduced in this game. It is the same menu as present in previous modern Puyo games, but now splits all the options into three submenus so that you have to take longer to change settings. It also restarts the music when you leave it for some reason. Also, there's no dual audio (which is actually a blessing, since that means I'm spared from the infernal horrors of Sig's Japanese alt voice by buying the English version), which would have been much appreciated by basically all fans in this game. Speaking of the voices, Feli's regular voice in English is straight trash. There’s probably a bunch of other nitpicks I’m forgetting, too.

Part 6: But at Least Story Mode is Cool...) Not gonna lie. Adventure Mode is a blast and I had a lot of fun breezing through it. The cutscenes are hilarious and the voice acting is good; Sega of America did a great job with this title. Honestly, that alone might be enough to buy the game. I don't like how you can skip levels and would much prefer it if the game had a difficulty setting like older modern Puyo games, but whatever. I don't care anymore. I hate this game and I'm never playing it ever again.
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Danieru
post 2 weeks ago
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Nice tetrisbiography!


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Just an Irish tetris player.
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Kevcel
post 2 weeks ago
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tl;dr


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Day One Member of harddrop.com
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Brent
post 2 weeks ago
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Woah, did you exceed the character limit on the post? That's some serious beef you got there. I personally love PPT but I agree with some of your points. The balance is not and will never be perfect. I tend to fare better against tetris players as I'm relatively slow and defensive/counter-punching and can't overwhelm puyo puyo players around my rank before they flood my screen with garbage and there's nothing I can do about it. Tetris does have the upper hand against puyo puyo at higher skill levels than mine though and all matches involving puyo puyo seem to be over a lot quicker one way or the other. Need to improve my t-spin efficiency to make up for my shitty speed.
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iljain
post A week ago
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i still love tetris Frown.png timing and attack /defense when to stack high and low is fun.
gonna buy switch for ppt these months.

i started a bit puyo because of puyo puyo tetris with 2 times of free play outside , it's fun too, gonna learn it when i buy this game.

some top puyos beat amemiya occasionally, but i guess it's still more effort to beat tetris.

and pls note that in level 8 misamino (a game which you drop one piece, the opponent(A.I.) drops its one piece at the same time.)

or it's ZZZ bot (revised AI for misamino created by ZZZ)

whenever i try center 4 wide , it just beats me with other methods.

though i do succeed in maybe 1/8 games with c4w to beat it.
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caffeine
post A week ago
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QUOTE(Kevcel @ Oct 8 2017, 04:23 PM) *

tl;dr

I ran Steelix100's two posts through SMMRY:

QUOTE
Attacking Puyo only rewards Tetris and attacking Tetris also only rewards Tetris.

Despite the introduction of the combo meter in Tetris vs Puyo, if any individual attack by Tetris does not wholly offset the incoming garbage, Tetris will still receive the remaining garbage due to no garbage blocking.

While in Tetris vs Tetris T-spin doubles and Tetrises are the main attacks your opponent has to worry about, in Tetris vs Puyo doubles and T-spin singles become much more powerful.

The extent to which they must is less than in their native games: Puyo must watch Tetris more than Tetris must watch Tetris, and Tetris must watch Puyo less than Puyo must watch Puyo.

Puyo will be sending loads of garbage to Tetris, and even Tetris, as good as it is at downstacking, will ultimately end up buckling as Puyo will be able to send more garbage than Tetris can downstack.

Puyo vs Tetris has an absolutely monstrous RNG element that is more than both Puyo vs Puyo and Tetris vs Tetris combined.

In Puyo vs Tetris, Tetris recieves much messier garbage than in Tetris vs Tetris, so it's unlikely that Tetris will get more than one Tetris from garbage.

You can send garbage to Tetris from Puyo when it swaps to Tetris, but as we already know, garbage in Tetris does not mean anything to a Tetris player.

Part 3c: As If Tetris Wasn't Bad Enough Already, SEGA Decided to Compound its Problems) Here are some bad design decisions for Tetris vs Tetris in Puyo Puyo Tetris that to my knowledge aren't enforced in Tetris Guidelines.

Speaking of RNG, while Puyo and most Tetris games give the same pieces to both players, Puyo Puyo Tetris does not for Tetris vs Tetris.
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wizard944
post A week ago
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LOL this was a fun post to read I can tell that this is something you've been salty about for a long time Sticking Out Tongue.png. I agree with you on your points on why tetris is heavily favored vs puyo and I think the strongest point for this is the garbage coming from the bottom vs falling from the top idea. However, I disagree with most of your points about tetris being a bad game. Let me try and explain why:

Regarding hold and bags of 7: I understand that this makes the game more predictable and allows for the consistency of certain set ups that you consider to be unfair and overly simplifying. However, you also maintain that the t-spin double mechanic along with back to backs is a positive thing for the game and makes builds much more dynamic and interesting. I would argue that if bags of 7 and hold were not in the game, players would probably opt for combos even more than they currently do since it would be way less reliable to go for a quick TKI 3 opener or something of that sort to stuff the combo set up. You need the reliability of tspin and perfect clear set ups if you want there to be any sort of counterplay to combos. This is a large reason why in cultris, you would only see people going for combos (and I strongly believe that even if tspins were counted in that game, it wouldn't really change anything).

Regarding center 4 wides being broken: I actually agree with you mostly here, but I think there's a pretty easy fix that already exists in a lot of current tetris vs clients. Even though receiving garbage won't kill you if your 4 wide gap is in the center, a lot of games have the mechanic that the side stacks that exceed the top of the screen will disappear and will no longer be available to you when you downstack. This neutralizes the combo and forces the other player to use the garbage to survive instead of the free 4 wide existing above the screen. I wish to see this feature included in all tetris vs games for the reasons you described in your post.

Regarding the lack of interaction in the garbage system: I completely disagree here. There's a version of tetris battle where the garbage doesn't have a hole and they only way to clear it is by sending your own lines. In this version, I would say that your points of 'outperforming' vs 'outplaying' are valid, but you can see how differently people play in this version. If you never need to worry about getting to the bottom of your screen, the strategies that you can use are much different including infinite t-spin triples and ST stacking. The reason that you never see these strategies in games where there's single hold garbage (like PPT) is that you are absolutely required to interact with your garbage in this system.

Regarding the lack of screen watching: I think this section demonstrates a lack of understanding of the decisions that go into timing attacks and choosing attacks in tetris. The decision of whether to send a lot of clean garbage, or a little bit of messy garbage is extremely important. When you say that it's very easy to get through all your garbage as a tetris player, this is only the case when the opponent doesn't think about the attacks that he's sending. I have a youtube channel where I try and talk about my thought process while I'm playing tetris, and if you watch any of those videos (channel name: wawi tetris), you'll find that I'm almost constantly watching my opponent, and based on their field, I make a very deliberate choice on what kind of garbage I'm sending and whether or not I need to worry about getting to the bottom of the field. I think you'll find that the better you get at tetris, the more important this kind of thing becomes because the best players can send an entire field's worth of lines in like 5-10 seconds, so you need to understand when that potential is there and act accordingly.

Thanks for your post. I appreciate hearing different points of view. Let me know what you think of my counter points.
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dragontamer
post A week ago
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QUOTE(wizard944 @ Oct 11 2017, 03:31 PM) *
Regarding the lack of screen watching: I think this section demonstrates a lack of understanding of the decisions that go into timing attacks and choosing attacks in tetris. The decision of whether to send a lot of clean garbage, or a little bit of messy garbage is extremely important. When you say that it's very easy to get through all your garbage as a tetris player, this is only the case when the opponent doesn't think about the attacks that he's sending. I have a youtube channel where I try and talk about my thought process while I'm playing tetris, and if you watch any of those videos (channel name: wawi tetris), you'll find that I'm almost constantly watching my opponent, and based on their field, I make a very deliberate choice on what kind of garbage I'm sending and whether or not I need to worry about getting to the bottom of the field. I think you'll find that the better you get at tetris, the more important this kind of thing becomes because the best players can send an entire field's worth of lines in like 5-10 seconds, so you need to understand when that potential is there and act accordingly.


I'm not the original poster, and I'm also far weaker than most people are here in Tetris. I'm also much weaker than Steelix100 in Puyo, but I probably can beat most of you non-Puyo Players in Puyo 1v1. :-)

I think Steelix100 is exaggerating a bit about the lack of screen watchability in Tetris. I think we all can agree that a player "near the top" needs to use Tetrises and TSpins defensively: that is in reaction to the opponent's Tetrises and TSpins, to maximize survivability. While a player "near the bottom" would rather not trade blows, but rather would "tank" the hit and then counter-hit instead.

But the level of screenwatching in Tetris is way less than in PuyoPuyo. In Puyo, the attack animation is slow on purpose, to give the player time to calculate a response. It can take 5+ seconds for a high-power attack to go off, or maybe 1ish seconds in the case of a really quick Hellfire. There are plenty of examples where one player has say a 12+ Puyo chain prepared, but is then instantly-KO'd by a 2-chain Hellfire or a 1-chain "Thorn".

Its not only important to outchain the opponent in Puyo: you need to out-chain them WHILE keeping tabs on their harassment: and either build counter-chains to absorb the damage, or build counter-harassments of your own. Because of how much space a 12+ chain takes up in Puyo, you have a huge amount of risk and can instantly be KO'd by even the smallest hits when you go that big.

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In many ways, Puyo is as interactive as a fighting game, chess, or sports like Basketball. A huge part of the game is watching the opponent and reacting, and the Puyo community proves this with the rich vocabulary of screenwatching terms that are thrown around.

* Main Chain: The big 6+ Chain from the opponent. The main chain can be as big as 14 from expert players, but during a "footsies" match with both players feeling each other out, players typically only have a ~6 Chain prepared as their main-chain at any given time.

* Provoke: When you manage to psych out the opponent and they commit to setting off their main chain. Because the main-chain can take 5 to 10 seconds to resolve, the "provoked" player has a disadvantage (their controls are completely locked out while the attack is resolving). The "provoking" player uses these additional 5 to 10 seconds to build a larger chain and win.

* Cut: When you pretend you are provoked, but instead of setting off your entire chain, you set it off in a way that it only is a Chain3 or Chain4. Instead of taking the full 5 to 10 seconds to resolve, it only takes 2 seconds or so, giving the opponent way less time to react than they thought they would of had.

* Hellfire: Building for a power chain that resolves quicker than usual, especially a 2-chain. You aren't going to KO the opponent, but you put them in a hard spot where additional harassments may kill them.

* Thorn: Even faster than a Chain2 is a Chain1. Even just 6 to 8 Puyo at the wrong time can "block" the opponent long enough

* Counter: Ambiguous word, but often is used to refer to a tall-trigger which is well protected from Thorns and Hellfires. Chaining long is the correct answer when you see a counter formation.

Without a doubt, there are no equivalent terms or vocabulary in the Tetris community. Because compared to Puyo, there really isn't as much value in Screen Watching. In Puyo, screen watching is life-or-death and incredibly important.

In Puyo, if you hear that "attack animation" starting, you NEED to react correctly. If its the "Main Chain", you need to quickly evaluate the chain-length, build slightly bigger, and then set it off. If its a "Hellfire" or a "Thorn", you really needed to figure that out before the animation started and have a Hellfire or Thorn prepared yourself. Or if you think the opponent's Hellfire took too many resources, you might just accept the provoke and set off your main chain. Literally life or death. That's why the attack animation is so slow in Puyo, to give the players the appropriate amount of time to read and plan the proper reaction.

Tetris attacks are instantaneous in contrast, because that's simply not an aspect of the game that's important.

---------------

That's not a bad thing however. There are plenty of well-respected games which are less interactive. Dominion, Golf, Bowling, Darts, Archery, Target Shooting, Skeet, Ice Skating, Gymnastics and more are all well respected games with little to no interaction. (and I'd argue that Tetris has more interaction than all of these games).

The primary skill in Tetris is to get more Attack per second + Garbage clears per second than the opponent. The moment that (Your Attacks - Their Garbage Clears) == 22 or so, you win because the opponent topped out. That's just the nature of Tetris. That doesn't make it a bad game however, unless you'd consider Golf / Bowling / Darts / Arrchery / Skeet / Ice Skating / Gymnastics / Dominion (Card Game) to all be bad games.
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DarkWolfLP2014
post A week ago
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I can understand the frustrations of Puyo Vs. Tetris. It isn't the best idea in the world. I got topped out to Puyo players because they send so much garbage in a simple 4 chain that if you're a less skilled player, you'll top out immediately.

If you're a more skilled player, much like Blink is, you can at least eliminate the garbage before it completely tops you out. But even skilled players know that they'll get topped out easily if they stack too high, which is why skilled Tetris players focus on T-Spin Doubles when they go up against a Puyo player as stacking too high for Back to Back Tetris combo's will only ensure an instant top out.

Even a T-Spin triple is dangerous to build if you're not fast enough. I also wouldn't recommend doing a 4 wide combo because Puyo has that garbage attacking power that is unbelievable and I seen it first hand.

So I can agree with most of your points (and I couldn't read the whole thing because staring and reading text off a white website hurts the eyes after awhile). It's an insane combination at best but its what we have as an HD Puyo & Tetris game on our current gen systems.

Wether you like or dislike Tetris is really up to you. I like Puyo as it is a rather fun game but in my own personal opinion, I like Tetris a tad bit more. No disrespect of course to other Puyo players. I like weird games like Myst where you click to go where you want and solve puzzles. It's really about matter of what you like or dislike and everybody has their own tastes. I can 100% respect that.
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Steelix100
post A week ago
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@Kevcel: Why even bother posting. Seriously.

@Brent: Not sure. When I clicked the check post length button it said it was OK but then when I posted it, it was truncated, so I just made a second post with the rest of it just in case.

@iljain: I'd like to see some of those matches. I'm curious to see why that is.

@caffeine: That program you crunched it through really butchered my post...

@wizard944:
Hold/7-bag: Hold and 7-bag are mainly a problem in 1p mode imo. The predictability makes solo Tetris rather boring and easy. I give Hold a pass in 2p, since it's just another tool at your disposal. In 2p your objective isn't survival/scoring, but efficiency and effectiveness, so Hold works. However, I don't think 7-bag is healthy for the Tetris VS meta. Openers such as TKI require almost no thinking once you've memorized them. Perfect Clear openers are bad because it's low risk/high reward based on mostly RNG. I don't know anything about Cultris, so I can't argue about it, but apparently it doesn't even have T-spins, so it's no surprise Combos are king. Also, 7-bag doesn't just create openers and enable Perfect Clears. It's possible to build center 4 wide with such consistency and efficiency because of 7-bag as well. Depending on the RNG, center 4-wide could be a highly unviable strategy, so no, removing 7-bag wouldn't so easily crown combos.

Hidden rows and 4-wide: I already addressed this at the end of Part 2c in my post. I don't specifically mention having 0 hidden rows, but I do mention how the number of them affects center 4-wide.

Making 4-wide not broken: Just delete combos. As I've demonstrated in Part 2b, it's a broken mechanic.

Interaction from garbage: I worded how I talked about the garbage system how I worded it specifically because of this. If it wasn't for the downstacking aspect, I would have simply compared to 1p mode, where ST stacks and such are optimal strategies. I know that you still have to downstack garbage, which requires effort. But this too is outperforming vs battling. Downstacking is just another area in which you have to outperform your opponent in. You must downstack your garbage more efficiently than your opponent can. In addition, the presence of garbage changes your play only very little. Since garbage does not alter your stack, all you have to do is clear your stack, and then clear the garbage. Compare this to in Puyo. In Puyo, you can send any number of cells' worth of garbage up to 5 complete lines in a single attack, and your opponent can change their field while your harassment is being set up or set off to deal with it by preparing either: a) a counterharassment, b) a counter build, c) a chain cut, or d) a rush. In Tetris, your only options are a) a counterattack (same as counterharassment) or b) downstack/flatstack (deal with garbage). Usually, players will chose option c) ignore it and send their own garbage.

No screen watching: At this point it's clear to me that we're definitely talking about two different garbage systems here. Coming from Puyo Puyo Tetris, I'm definitely thinking about its garbage system, which is straight terrible. In Puyo Puyo Tetris, attacks don't send messy or clean garbage by nature (although Perfect Clear seems to be cursed with unusually clean garbage, we don't have any proof), and there isn't even change by attack. It has a pure random garbage change rate, and that's it. Thus in Puyo Puyo Tetris, the choosing your attacks element is completely gone. There's only one kind of attack: the strongest you can put out. And since the choosing your attacks element is gone, timing your attacks also has less significance.

I'm not sure how the garbage system works in your Tetris game, but my guess is that BTB-able send clean garbage, and anything else sends messy garbage. With the ability to send messier garbage with non-BTB attacks, the metagame is certainly deeper as you now have more options: strong attack or weak attack. The weak attack's purpose is to keep your opponent occupied with downstacking (since the garbage is messy) while you prepare strong attacks to end the match. I believe that's what you were saying. However, I don't think the difference is significant enough. Why send one line when you can send four or five with the same resources? Sure, your opponent can just send it back rather easily if the tradeoff is that it's clean, but it still is much more pressure. If the line clear delay is small or nonexistent, then you might as well not even send a weak attack, because your opponent will have almost no speed penalty for clearing it. In addition, it appears to me that most of the time when any Tetris player chooses to attack with a double or triple it's simply because it's the cleanest way to deal with their current stack (including when downstacking). My point is the same: you aren't gaining much in most situations from watching your opponent. The keyword is most. Although, perhaps I rated screenwatching too low in my OP. I said 90% of the time it's useless, but perhaps the rate is closer to 80% or 70%, or even 50%. I already granted that the decision to take or offset garbage is important, but I definitely forgot or overlooked the decision to either downstack or go full aggro.

dragontamer explained a lot in detail about the difference of screenwatching in Puyo vs Tetris rather well, so if my post didn't clarify it well, read his. His comparison of Tetris to other competition-based sports (as opposed to vs-based sports) is also accurate, and I would agree that Tetris has more player interaction than most, if not all, of those.

Thank you for your post as well. I hope we can keep this conversation going.

@DarkWolf: For Tetris vs Puyo, speed is your only asset, so if you're not fast, you're gonna have a bad time. T-spin triples aren't very useful in TvP since they are only as strong as a Tetris. 4-wide is high risk/high reward in Tetris vs Puyo. But if you do it right, you'll win almost every time. DT cannon or Perfect Clear into 4-wide is especially devastating. I respect your tastes in games too. No matter how much I dislike Tetris on a fundamental level, I hope you all continue to enjoy this game you've played for so long, and I don't think less of you for it. The reason why I made this post wasn't to say it's wrong to like Tetris, what I call a bad game, but simply to illustrate the inherent problems that I think I see in Tetris (why I call it a bad game), and to get the conversation going.

Well, that and also to tell you all that I think Puyo Puyo Tetris is a terrible game, and I hate it.
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Kevcel
post 6 days ago
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QUOTE(Steelix100 @ Oct 16 2017, 03:36 AM) *

@Kevcel: Why even bother posting. Seriously.



Feedback.
and a little bit of trolling

But mostly feedback.

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wizard944
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QUOTE(Steelix100 @ Oct 16 2017, 01:36 AM) *

@wizard944:
Hold/7-bag: Hold and 7-bag are mainly a problem in 1p mode imo. The predictability makes solo Tetris rather boring and easy. I give Hold a pass in 2p, since it's just another tool at your disposal. In 2p your objective isn't survival/scoring, but efficiency and effectiveness, so Hold works. However, I don't think 7-bag is healthy for the Tetris VS meta. Openers such as TKI require almost no thinking once you've memorized them. Perfect Clear openers are bad because it's low risk/high reward based on mostly RNG. I don't know anything about Cultris, so I can't argue about it, but apparently it doesn't even have T-spins, so it's no surprise Combos are king. Also, 7-bag doesn't just create openers and enable Perfect Clears. It's possible to build center 4 wide with such consistency and efficiency because of 7-bag as well. Depending on the RNG, center 4-wide could be a highly unviable strategy, so no, removing 7-bag wouldn't so easily crown combos.

Hidden rows and 4-wide: I already addressed this at the end of Part 2c in my post. I don't specifically mention having 0 hidden rows, but I do mention how the number of them affects center 4-wide.

Making 4-wide not broken: Just delete combos. As I've demonstrated in Part 2b, it's a broken mechanic.

Interaction from garbage: I worded how I talked about the garbage system how I worded it specifically because of this. If it wasn't for the downstacking aspect, I would have simply compared to 1p mode, where ST stacks and such are optimal strategies. I know that you still have to downstack garbage, which requires effort. But this too is outperforming vs battling. Downstacking is just another area in which you have to outperform your opponent in. You must downstack your garbage more efficiently than your opponent can. In addition, the presence of garbage changes your play only very little. Since garbage does not alter your stack, all you have to do is clear your stack, and then clear the garbage. Compare this to in Puyo. In Puyo, you can send any number of cells' worth of garbage up to 5 complete lines in a single attack, and your opponent can change their field while your harassment is being set up or set off to deal with it by preparing either: a) a counterharassment, b) a counter build, c) a chain cut, or d) a rush. In Tetris, your only options are a) a counterattack (same as counterharassment) or b) downstack/flatstack (deal with garbage). Usually, players will chose option c) ignore it and send their own garbage.

No screen watching: At this point it's clear to me that we're definitely talking about two different garbage systems here. Coming from Puyo Puyo Tetris, I'm definitely thinking about its garbage system, which is straight terrible. In Puyo Puyo Tetris, attacks don't send messy or clean garbage by nature (although Perfect Clear seems to be cursed with unusually clean garbage, we don't have any proof), and there isn't even change by attack. It has a pure random garbage change rate, and that's it. Thus in Puyo Puyo Tetris, the choosing your attacks element is completely gone. There's only one kind of attack: the strongest you can put out. And since the choosing your attacks element is gone, timing your attacks also has less significance.

I'm not sure how the garbage system works in your Tetris game, but my guess is that BTB-able send clean garbage, and anything else sends messy garbage. With the ability to send messier garbage with non-BTB attacks, the metagame is certainly deeper as you now have more options: strong attack or weak attack. The weak attack's purpose is to keep your opponent occupied with downstacking (since the garbage is messy) while you prepare strong attacks to end the match. I believe that's what you were saying. However, I don't think the difference is significant enough. Why send one line when you can send four or five with the same resources? Sure, your opponent can just send it back rather easily if the tradeoff is that it's clean, but it still is much more pressure. If the line clear delay is small or nonexistent, then you might as well not even send a weak attack, because your opponent will have almost no speed penalty for clearing it. In addition, it appears to me that most of the time when any Tetris player chooses to attack with a double or triple it's simply because it's the cleanest way to deal with their current stack (including when downstacking). My point is the same: you aren't gaining much in most situations from watching your opponent. The keyword is most. Although, perhaps I rated screenwatching too low in my OP. I said 90% of the time it's useless, but perhaps the rate is closer to 80% or 70%, or even 50%. I already granted that the decision to take or offset garbage is important, but I definitely forgot or overlooked the decision to either downstack or go full aggro.

dragontamer explained a lot in detail about the difference of screenwatching in Puyo vs Tetris rather well, so if my post didn't clarify it well, read his. His comparison of Tetris to other competition-based sports (as opposed to vs-based sports) is also accurate, and I would agree that Tetris has more player interaction than most, if not all, of those.

Thank you for your post as well. I hope we can keep this conversation going.



I disagree still on the bag system making openers too easy. Openings like the TKI have so many different variations which change not only based on which bags you get, but also based on what your opponent is doing and whether you have time to set up the more destructive variations. Saying that you can just memorize every possible scenario here is like claiming that a chess player can just memorize every possible line of the sicilian defense. Sure, I guess it's possible, but it's a practical impossibility which is why I can challenge you to link me to any video where someone completes a TKI 3 settup to completion in 2 or more games in a row and be reasonably confident that you can't find any. Sure, maybe you'll find an example if you look long enough, but if it's truly as easy as you say, we should see it happen all the time, which we clearly don't.

For hidden rows, I agree with you that center 4 wide is broken with 20 hidden rows lol. I personally feel that there should be 0 or 1 hidden rows for a high quality 2p tetris game, but maybe that's just me.

You can't just get rid of combos. It makes it so that there's no counterplay to messy garbage. Being able to turn your downstack into a combo is a required defensive tool. Also, if you have a tspin set up near the top and your oppenent starts sending garbage before your t-piece arrives, comboing is also a necessary way to potentially bail out if you can get creative enough.

I confess that I have a pretty poor understanding of how garbage works in PPT since I've only played a handful of times. If the choosing your attacks element is nullified, then I agree, it becomes more like 'outperforming' rather than 'outplaying.'
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dragontamer
post 6 days ago
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PPT Garbage is very similar (maybe identical!) to Guidelines Tetris, as far as I can tell. B2B Tetris / TSpins have a high chance of sending 5-lined up garbage, while Doubles almost always (~90% of the time) "switch holes" per garbage sent. The 10-garbage from a Perfect-clears is all lined up, more often than not.

So in the general sense: "messy" garbage from doubles, triples, and low-combos are harder to clear than the "clean" garbage sent by B2B TSpins and Tetrises. At least on a line-per-line basis.

PPT definitely has "Change on Attack". Series of Doubles / Triples / low combos leads to "messier" garbage than big hits from B2B Tetris, Perfect Clears, or TSpins

----------

More often than not, a "Perfect Clear" in PPT leads to 10 lined-up garbage. There's a chance that the stack is "messy" (ie: 2 or 3 hole-changes in the stack), but its more often than not all lined up.
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Steelix100
post 6 days ago
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@wizard944: Albatross, an opener I use often, can be kept on its route for 2 T-spin doubles and a T-spin triple into a perfect clear almost every time you use it (the Perfect Clear is not guaranteed, but the setup is, but the probability of it being stuffed in a high level match is rather high). The only thing that will break its route is I coming before both O and T in the second bag, or garbage (which is not likely if both players are of similar speed), and even then the first two T-spins are guaranteed, and with a bit of labbing, I will most likely be able to discover almost as efficient alternatives to the second T-spin double + Perfect Clear with almost every piece combination in that scenario for up to 3-5 bags. I already know there's a way to get a second T-spin triple if the T in the third bag comes early, and it's even possible to get an early Perfect Clear, although I haven't memorized those setups. A lot of openers like Albatross lead to Perfect Clears one way or another. Mr. T-spin's STD guarantees a T-spin single, a T-spin triple, and another T-spin as long as you get S before J or Z before L and O before I in the first bag. TKI, as far as I can tell, is the most variable opener, so maybe you can't memorize all of it and its variants. I think most people know the most common variants that they use often, though. Openers are all very easy to memorize setups that require almost no thinking to execute, and are the most effective and damaging ways to start a match. The only "downside" to openers is that there's a lot of them, and memorizing all of them takes a long time. But once you do, you have a huge advantage over anyone that doesn't. I can bust out most openers very fast (not nearly as fast as any of the top players, obviously) even though my midgame play is dramatically slower since I don't have to think to do openers. I don't think it's healthy for a game's meta to have a very long list of very intricate but extremely simple and also extremely powerful setups such as this. A fighting game equivalent would be having to memorize a plethora of 20+ attack long combos for your character that can deal 60%+ damage but only work in certain situations each. Also, I'd like to first clarify that the bag system is still way more fair and preferable to a true random RNG such as NES Tetris.

Looks like the only thing we agree on though, is Center 4-wide. Nobody likes 4-wide.

No counterplay to messy garbage without combos? No, easily: Line clear delay. Line clear delay heavily discourages weak attacks, which are your messy garbage. This goes back to my previous argument, why send one line when you can send four? Another possible solution to 4-wide is to cap the combo bonus per line at +2 or +3 instead of the usual +4.

Regarding what dragontamer said about the garbage system in Puyo Puyo Tetris, it looks like I definitely misunderstood it a bit, but after looking over some videos, I came to the conclusion that it works like this, which is very similar to what he said:
-Change on attack rate is not 100% for any attack. It is extremely high, though, like perhaps 90%.
-Garbage change rate is most likely a flat rate for all attacks except perfect clear. -Perfect clear has an extraordinarily low garbage change rate.

The problem I have with this system is that there's a garbage change rate (which I talked about even in OP). This means it's possible to get very lucky/very unlucky garbage. I don't know how exactly the garbage system works in other Tetris games. Choosing your attacks does have value, since even though there isn't 100% change on attack, you can depend on it so being since the rate is so high. I think the ideal garbage for a Tetris game would be something like:
-Change on attack
-One randomly placed hole change for every 4 lines in a garbage drop, to decrease rubberbanding
-Line clear delay. Roughly 50 frames, to encourage efficiency
-Garbage blocking + garbage countering
-Don't release garbage until a Tetromino is placed without clearing a line, to make combos defensible
-Garbage rise animation, to punish a player for taking garbage
-Garbage limit per drop, to give players receiving garbage more opportunity to counterattack
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