Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Top 52- Pokemon Puzzle League (#43)

This week's Top 52 segment features the most intense puzzle game I have ever played: Pokemon Puzzle League. I think the reason my fingers move so fast is because of this game.
---------


Title: Pokemon Puzzle League
Console: Nintendo 64
Release Date: 09/25/00 (US)
Genre: Puzzle
My Ranking: #43

Despite the cutesy Pokemon overtones, this game was made with the hardcore players in mind. Pokemon Puzzle League is pretty much a direct rip of Panel de Pon, which is more widely known in America as Tetris Attack. The goal of the game is to match like pieces together, make big chains and destroy your blocks.

Tetris attack can be enjoyed singularly, where in marathon mode you just try stay alive and don’t let the blocks reach the top of the screen. By matching blocks and subsequently making blocks fall to make a row of three or more, you can make consecutive chains and stop the blocks from appearing on the screen for a brief time. Since there is a brief 1 to 2 second delay when blocks are matching and being destroyed you can move your cursor and place more blocks in place for a chain. Pokemon Puzzle League then becomes a very active puzzle game, where each move leads to another.

The game becomes more dynamic through when playing against a friend or computer bot. Each chain you make sends “garbage blocks” to the opposing player that can only be broken if three matched pieces touch the garbage block. Once broken, the garbage block changes into blocks you can use to make more combos and chains. The bigger the chain you make, the bigger garbage block you send to your opponent.



Garbage blocks are both the key to killing your opponent and creating big chains. With big garbage blocks, you can only destroy them one layer at a time and as long as you keep breaking the block within one chain, your chain can continue on, seemingly forever, which in turn, sends bigger blocks to your opponent. The game then becomes cyclic, which each player trying to out do each other’s chains, while breaking garbage blocks to stay alive.

Tetris attack was always played with a 2D grid which was already good enough. Pokemon Puzzle League added a 3D mode where the board would turn around so that the blocks were placed on the circumference of a circle. This mode was simply broken; so broken in fact that a 3D mode game could go on for forever. With friends at PLAY: The Games Club, we have maxed out the game timer at 99 minutes.

The reason the game goes on forever is because the garbage blocks take so long to fall from when you break them in 3D mode, giving you plenty of time to create a huge chain off the block and then break the next layer off the garbage block. When your chain eventually stops, you send such a huge block to your opponent which only helps them make a bigger block, and so on.


The game also has too many pixels occurring at once in 3D mode when both of you are breaking garbage blocks, which gives you even more time to think about how to create more chains. It’s beautifully broken so that 3D mode matches with good opponents become marathons.

The one-player mode was also ruthless. I’ve only beaten Super Hard mode twice. The one-player mode only works in 2D mode and the AI in Super Hard is just ridiculous. Their cursor moves faster than the human hand and they think so quick that they can use almost all their blocks for the biggest chain possible with what they have. Seriously, check out the video below to see how fast the computer moves on Super Hard (this isn’t even the hardest stage).



To make things even more insane, you have to beat the two final stages back-to-back. The penultimate stage is a rematch with Gary and I’ll easily lose against him 20 times even though I’m god-like in this game. Then you need to face against Mewtwo, who is even faster than Gary. If you lose to him (and you will), you need to beat Gary again. It’s mega hardcore and thankfully the game gives you an infinite amount of continues to compensate. When I finally beat Mewtwo, I jumped and screamed in excitement. The fast-action puzzle just gives you so much adrenaline.

I absolutely adored this game. Pokemon Puzzle League remains the most challenging and rewarding puzzle game I have ever played. It seems as though the developers made the AI with the intention of them not getting beaten. Honestly, I appreciate that. Making chains was very intuitive, required quick thinking and the game’s difficulty pushes your brain to think faster than what you would think is possible.

Seriously, if you want to improve hand-eye coordination and reaction time, play this game. It’s available on the Wii Virtual Console right now if you own a Wii.
------------------------------------------
My Top 52:
#52 --- Star Fox 64 (N64)
#51 --- Kirby's Adventure (NES)
#50 --- Roller Coaster Tycoon (PC)
#49 --- Grand Theft Auto III (PS2)
#48 --- Metroid Prime (GC)
#47 --- Halo 3 (Xbox 360)
#46 --- Bomberman 64 (N64)
#45 --- Guitar Hero II (PS2)
#44 --- Super Street Fighter II Turbo (GEN)
#43 --- Pokemon Puzzle League (N64)
#42 --- Revealed on 09/16

Photo: [1], [2]

19 comments:

ultima301 said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVKbhgQA3OY
lulz at unbeatable AI
I mean, I know this dude is obviously gifted, but still...pretty far from unbeatable.

Also, Tetris attack > pkmn puzzle league. Same gameplay without the pokemon / trainers moaning and groaning every time you make a combo X_X . Also, it came out much, much earlier. PPL is the same game with a broken 3d mode and, moaning pokemon.

Will said...

I agree with Kevin, Tetris Attack > PPL. I'm not great at it, but it's fun times.

Shawn R. said...

Ditto to the above - I love this game, and it definitely is an automatic cure for low blood pressure. I routinely would feel like a just ran 10 miles after playing this game, because I'd stress about getting out of the bind a gigantic three-screen filling gray combo block created every half-second. And I'd like it.

As much as I hated Pokemon, I acquired a new reason to dread the sound of them from this game. Nothing is quite as scary to me, still, as hearing that Wheezing noise seven or eight times in quick succession while playing that game, as the tension builds before the massive grey block of death builds from the combos, eventually to deposit itself unceremoniously on my side of the board, meaning that from then on a split second stands between me ad the end of the game.

I guess what I'm saying is that this game made me want to drink more.

Lima said...

worth it for those fast fingers. ^_^

Shawn R. said...

@ Lima: Ew.

Richard R. said...

@ultima301: The player got incredibly lucky. It is rare that Mewtwo kills himself like that by only having two layers to work with. One of the times I beat Mewtwo he killed himself in ten seconds because he raised up him blocks to the max and a garbage block perfectly fell on top of it. Trust me though, if Mewtwo doesn't make a silly error like that he is a god.

And I love the broken 3D mode. It's nearly impossible to play a set of three rounds with anyone without developing a brain tumor. It unintentionally became a marathon and I loved it.

@Shawn r.: Lolz. Considering I was the one you were playing with, it makes me proud to know I made you one step closer to becoming an alcoholic. On another note, the sounds were incredibly annoying and also scary if keep hearing them over and over again. When I hear pikachu screaming 15 times, I know I'm going to get screwed.

@Lima: ROFL. I knew you'd appreciate the fast-fingers comment but I didn't think you would publicly comment on it. Well done at freaking out Shawn.

Shawn R. said...

@ Lima & Rich: Double ew.

Will said...

...I might have to stop visiting.

Cialis Online said...

looks like the guy that was playing in that moment, have a very difficult battle, I consider myself as a good puzzle games player, you know Tetris is the best trainer in this world.

Anonymous said...

rpbw [url=http://stylomontblancsoldes.fr]mont blanc stylo[/url] kwmrho http://stylomontblancsoldes.fr qide [url=http://montblancstylopascher.fr]stylo mont blanc[/url] vfzfap http://montblancstylopascher.fr rdfq [url=http://montblancpenscheap.co.uk]cheap mont blanc[/url] xmvpsf http://montblancpenscheap.co.uk pbof [url=http://montblancukstores.co.uk]mont blanc[/url] zgnbzc http://montblancukstores.co.uk qgyi [url=http://montblancpensuksale.co.uk]mont blanc pens[/url] hqnhdc http://montblancpensuksale.co.uk otex [url=http://montblancpensuksale.co.uk]mont blanc uk[/url] kvlkym http://montblancpensuksale.co.uk qjqz

Anonymous said...

peadi [url=http://drdrebeatsuksales.co.uk]cheap beats by dre[/url] jviud http://drdrebeatsuksales.co.uk hufdj [url=http://beatsbydreukforsales.co.uk]beats by dre[/url] ibwcu http://beatsbydreukforsales.co.uk dgrvq [url=http://cheapdrebeatsuksale.co.uk]cheap beats by dre[/url] amyaz http://cheapdrebeatsuksale.co.uk vbjqr [url=http://cheapestbeatsheadphones.co.uk]cheap beats by dre[/url] yqwna http://cheapestbeatsheadphones.co.uk lvnxo [url=http://cheapestdrebeats.co.uk]beats by dre[/url] qklye http://cheapestdrebeats.co.uk oedam [url=http://cheapdrebeatssale.co.uk]cheap beats by dre[/url] mtvtj http://cheapdrebeatssale.co.uk xpsi

Anonymous said...

zydmu [url=http://drdrebeatscheapsale.co.uk]dr dre beats[/url] cmkxi http://drdrebeatscheapsale.co.uk zqqrf [url=http://beatsbydrecheapsale.co.uk]beats headphones[/url] lmflm http://beatsbydrecheapsale.co.uk yqche [url=http://cheapdrebeats.ca]cheap beats by dre[/url] ixrnj http://cheapdrebeats.ca vxkwr [url=http://cheapbeatsbydre.ca]cheap beats by dre[/url] qmjmo http://cheapbeatsbydre.ca bdbvc [url=http://beatsheadphonesbydrdre.com]beats by dr dre[/url] cyoii http://beatsheadphonesbydrdre.com slcku [url=http://beatsbydreoutletshops.com]cheap beats by dre[/url] zpxix http://beatsbydreoutletshops.com cwoa

Anonymous said...

mlh [url=http://www.beatsbydrename.com]Dr Dre Beats[/url] bvv http://www.beatsbydrename.com qjx [url=http://www.cheapbeatsbydrelo.com]Dr Dre Beats[/url] xas http://www.cheapbeatsbydrelo.com drk [url=http://www.drdrebeatswe.com]Dr Dre Beats[/url] tas http://www.drdrebeatswe.com hsf [url=http://www.cheapbeatsbydrewe.com]Dr Dre Beats[/url] qdq http://www.cheapbeatsbydrewe.com zpe [url=http://www.beatsbydrewe.com]Dr Dre Beats[/url] eil http://www.beatsbydrewe.com nok [url=http://www.celineluggagetotediscount.com]Celine Bags[/url] vea http://www.celineluggagetotediscount.com ipy [url=http://www.celinehandbagsdiscount.com]Celine Handbags[/url] giy http://www.celinehandbagsdiscount.com lks

Anonymous said...

zbz [url=http://www.celineluggagetotediscount.com]Celine Bag[/url] cts http://www.celineluggagetotediscount.com xnr [url=http://www.celinehandbagsdiscount.com]Celine Handbags[/url] odg http://www.celinehandbagsdiscount.com kuu [url=http://www.celinebagxiao.com]Celine Bags[/url] hdm http://www.celinebagxiao.com stg [url=http://www.celinehandbagswe.com]Celine Handbags[/url] ree http://www.celinehandbagswe.com lbr [url=http://www.drdrebeatsname.com]Cheap Beats By Dre[/url] uxk http://www.drdrebeatsname.com fkj

Smith Bell said...

I really love the game as the game need logic and skills to be completed. Many games here in the list are new for me that I surely give a try. Thank you for sharing.
Games for Kids

oakleyses said...

burberry outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, michael kors outlet, kate spade handbags, coach purses, louis vuitton, louboutin outlet, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet, ray ban sunglasses, nike free, michael kors outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, air max, tory burch outlet, christian louboutin shoes, tiffany and co, coach outlet store online, longchamp handbags, coach factory outlet, louboutin, coach outlet, longchamp handbags, nike shoes, prada handbags, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses cheap, louboutin shoes, kate spade outlet, michael kors outlet, prada outlet, ray ban sunglasses, tiffany and co, air max, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, chanel handbags, jordan shoes, gucci outlet, burberry outlet, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton handbags, louis vuitton outlet stores, longchamp outlet

oakleyses said...

air max, lululemon, michael kors pas cher, vans pas cher, vanessa bruno, louboutin, polo lacoste, ray ban pas cher, true religion outlet, sac louis vuitton, north face, louis vuitton uk, hollister, air max, nike blazer, north face, sac longchamp, nike free, sac guess, true religion jeans, hogan outlet, air max pas cher, timberland, nike roshe run, louis vuitton, hollister, michael kors, michael kors, air force, true religion jeans, ray ban sunglasses, nike air max, converse pas cher, new balance pas cher, sac burberry, nike free pas cher, air jordan, longchamp, sac louis vuitton, sac hermes, oakley pas cher, nike tn, ralph lauren, polo ralph lauren, mulberry

oakleyses said...

nike huarache, ugg, valentino shoes, insanity workout, mac cosmetics, asics running shoes, herve leger, babyliss pro, nike roshe run, uggs outlet, abercrombie and fitch, vans shoes, instyler, jimmy choo outlet, ferragamo shoes, ugg boots, wedding dresses, beats by dre, nfl jerseys, north face jackets, ugg pas cher, celine handbags, abercrombie and fitch, new balance shoes, soccer shoes, nike trainers, longchamp, chi flat iron, hollister, marc jacobs, north face outlet, reebok outlet, nike roshe, barbour, bottega veneta, p90x, giuseppe zanotti, lululemon outlet, birkin bag, mcm handbags, soccer jerseys, rolex watches, mont blanc, ugg australia, ghd

oakleyses said...

wedding dresses, moncler, juicy couture outlet, toms shoes, oakley, canada goose jackets, canada goose uk, converse shoes, moncler outlet, ugg, lancel, air max, converse, moncler, hollister, timberland boots, ugg boots, montre homme, gucci, juicy couture outlet, moncler, air max, baseball bats, louboutin, coach outlet store online, parajumpers, canada goose, ralph lauren, vans, canada goose, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, canada goose, hollister, moncler, karen millen, canada goose, iphone 6 cases, supra shoes, moncler, ray ban, hollister clothing store, rolex watches, moncler, ugg, canada goose