Loving A Surprise Battle Royale Game

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We are now officially one month into 2019 and are about to get our first huge surge of Triple-A games. Well wait, I should stay it’s already started with Kingdom Hearts III last week. And this will surprise many of you, but even I, a well-known Square Enix RPG “hater” is getting into it and enjoying it quite a bit. Maybe I’m not enjoying it as much as I did Final Fantasy XV, who knows? But even with Kingdom Hearts III on my current Xbox One X playlist, there are three other titles that I’m looking forward to.

By the time of this writing I will be deep into Metro Exodus, a game I have been waiting years for as a fan of the previous two games. I always wondered how the Metro franchise would work in an open world environment, and soon I’ll have my chance. In addition, I’ll be checking out another post-apocalyptic world in Far Cry: New Dawn, which I hope to get on PC to follow up my recent playthrough of Far Cry 5 on my brand new gaming laptop (an HP Omen 15 with a GTX 1060 card.) Then there is the 3D anime brawler Jump Force. Though it’s not as high up on my want list as DragonBall FighterZ last year, I still am curious to how it plays.

And then next week, there is Anthem, which I hope does follow up on all the hype as a potential Destiny killer. Bioware can be capable of making it as such, but then again, EA is also behind it, so I have concerns.

But I have to admit something came out today out of nowhere that really shocked me, especially considering how GOOD the final product is. However before we get to that, I am sure you all know how I feel about Battle Royale style games and how tired I am of them acting like the new “flavor of the week.” Sure it was fine when it was just PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but then Fortnite jumped on the bandwagon and rode it to success. Then both Call of Duty and Battlefield jumped on with their own Royale modes. And most recently, Respawn and EA drops Apex Legends upon us, basically throwing any hopes for a Titanfall 3 out the window. To me it’s just getting out of hand.

And then Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct happened!

While the Nintendo Direct had some huge announcements, the biggest possibly being a remaster of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening for the Switch, there was also the announcement of what is called “Tetris 99.” Sure it sounds like a basic Tetris style game, but you are battling against 98 other opponents at the same time, taking the standard Tetris Battle mode to a new level of extreme. You would think that since it is part of the Battle Royale craze, that I would hate it. Add to the fact that it’s a free-to-play title, that I would hate it even more.

But on the contrary, I am LOVING this game. A lot!

I have always enjoyed playing competitive Tetris. Even with going back to Tengen Tetris on the NES (which in my opinion, is the definitive NES version before it had to be removed from store shelves) I loved going head to head with others. I even took part in many a Tetris tournament over the years, even going as far as me winning an actual Tetris arcade cocktail table at E3 2006. However, because of a move two years ago I had to sell that cocktail table, but thankfully it went to someone who has taken good care of it.

I really miss that table.

Photo by Tim Whitaker
Photo by Tim Whitaker

But yeah, competitive Tetris is so much fun, and thankfully unlike these other Royale games, I can at least stand a chance against other players. Since the Nintendo Direct announcement, I have been playing it non-stop and the highest I got in a round is eight place. It’s safe to say that for a title that came out of nowhere, Tetris 99 is looking like a real winner, and for anyone who owns a Nintendo Switch and an online account, download this game now!

Maybe someday I’ll win the whole thing, but it’s going to be a while before that happens.

Currently Playing: Tetris 99 (Switch,) Far Cry 5 (PC,) Metro Exodus (Xbox One X)

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