The Total Recall


Artist touch: What you see is what you get here. Solid but not speculator 3D artwork that just gets to the point. Cover art rating: 6/10
Month it won: February 2006

(Nintendo, 1989)
Special note: There are actually two games named Tetris for the NES. This is the later one.
Introduction and Story:
In my second Nintendo Entertainment System game of this special 6 Dud part series I'll looking back at the huge million dollar Tetris scandal. If you have a old NES with a few games then it very likely you also have Nintendo's famous Tetris as well. As many PC owners already knew Tetris was a highly addictive puzzle game where you compete for the high score and Nintendo was lucky enough to make their own version. So what does Nintendo do after they scored one of the hottest video game properties at the time, they do what most billion dollar multinational companies would do: they totally halfass it!

The reason there are two Tetris games for the NES in the first place is because once Nintendo learned that Tengen (makers of the other NES Tetris) never really had the true rights to the game. After a big court battle Nintendo was free to make their own version and here it is. This Tetris game would go on to sell millions while Tengen was left in the dust. OK, that's great for Nintendo but the big problem I have with this version is that the whole game feels like a complete rush job.
Controls and Game Play:
The objective is simple here: you move and rotate one of 7 different falling pieces to make horizontal lines so they disappear. If you can drop the pieces faster then you can score more bonus points but if you can score the most if you are able to eliminate 4 lines at once then you can get what they call the 'Tetris'.

This Tetris game has 2 different modes. In the more popular 'A' mode it's pretty much the Endless game where you play a progressively harder game till you fail. In the B mode you must score 25 lines and then the game ends (seriously, that's it!). It's great competing against friends for the high score in each of these modes here but there is no Save option so your scores will be erased when you shut the power off. The two different modes are nice but would it have killed Nintendo to put in a two or even four player game here? It would not only make the game more fun but Nintendo could've probably sold more controllers I bet.
Graphics and Sounds:  

No, I need the other 'L'.
There isn't much to talk about when is comes to the look of the game. The game pieces are bright and easy to see on the screen but the boring black background and dull gray brick surroundings are just as exciting as they sound. Sadly it doesn't get much better for the sound either. Unlike the more memorable stuff found in the Gameboy version and Tengen Tetris, Nintendo's Tetris just offer 3 very generic sounding tracks that can be thankfully turned off. It's pretty clear Nintendo didn't hire the best visual and sound team around, eh?
The Bottomline:
Nintendo's Tetris is still pretty fun to play and that just goes to show you how good the original game was. If you are looking for a solid puzzle game for the old Nintendo and you can find one dirt cheap then getting Tetris is definitely more entertaining then getting kicked in the nuts. However, once you play the far superior Tengen Tetris it really hard to go back to this basic game here. Because of that I have no choice to wave my middle finger in shame and award this title Dud of the Month!
overall rating: 62/100

Find this game on eBay here!

For 1 player only
graphics: 4/10
sound: 5/10
gameplay: 7/10
replay: 7/10

(Ryan Genno) 2006

See other Total Recall duds of the month