Saturday, August 8, 2009

Planet Puzzle League (DS) Review

I mentioned this game in the overlooked DS games article, so why not scrounge up the classic review of it and share? That's exactly what I did. Here's my review of Planet Puzzle League for the Nintendo DS.

Leagues above other puzzle games.

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Tetris Attack bursts onto the DS with a new name in the form of Planet Puzzle League. For those new to this type of puzzler, the standard playing style is that you hold the DS in book form so the screens are tall and skinny as opposed to short and wide. This is to allow you to move blocks without having your hand in the way while you play. This can be tweaked so you're able to play normally as if you were playing any other DS game. Left-handers are also accounted for as you can select to play left-handed under the options menu.

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Don't have a lot of time to play? Try the Daily Play mode.

The main aim of Planet Puzzle League is to line up three or more blocks of the same color and shape to score points. Meanwhile a line of blocks will continue to stack up from the bottom of the screen. If the blocks reach the top of the screen, it's game over. The catch is that you can only slide blocks left or right with either the stylus (which is much more intuitive and simple to use) or using the traditional button controls. Create chains by setting up the blocks to clear and then have another line blocks fall on top and clear as well. Chains and combos are the greatest means to score big points.

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Multiple skins further enhance the PPL experience.

There's a variety of modes to be played in Planet Puzzle League as well. Single player modes include Endless mode which is an endurance game where you play until you receive a game over, Clear mode which has you clearing all the blocks below the clear line to advance to the next stage, Garage Challenge is where you have to clear adjacent blocks to giant garbage blocks to score points, Vs. COM which is a mode that pits you against a CPU opponent, Time Attack is a mode where you face a clock to score as many points as possible during the time limit, and finally, Puzzle mode will sharpen your brain as you try to clear all the blocks in a puzzle in a set number of moves. Additionally, there's a Daily Play mode perfect for casual gamers to pick up, play a 2 minute game, and try to beat their high scores.

The most notable feature of Planet Puzzle League besides the trance like presentation is the online mode where you can face other players to increase your overall rank, battle against players sharing your birthday, your skill level, or folks on your friends list. When playing friends on your list, you can even use voice chat to speak with them adding even more to the online experience.

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Dump garbage blocks on your unsuspecting opponent!

The main problem with Planet Puzzle League is that it seems to really appeal to casuals-- that is, there isn't anything to unlock. The only satisfaction players will obtain is either by beating their own high scores, clearing the various modes, or playing online with friends. Furthermore, there really isn't any personality to this game. It just seems "bleh". It obviously borrowed the techno-ish presentation from Q Entertainment's Lumines. However, these problems notwithstanding, Planet Puzzle League is still a terrific puzzler, and for fans of the old Tetris Attack and Pokemon Puzzle League games, there's a lot of modes and variety for anyone to easily pick up and play.

[SuperPhillip Says: 8.0/10] - Not a perfect puzzler but still fun in its own right.

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