Review by nensondubois

Reviewed: 09/12/13

People popping pills on the playground

Tetris & Dr. Mario combined into one sharply rushed package. I was expecting a bit more when went to purchase this game on my 5th or 6th birthday heading down to the local Toy's R Us. I remember the exact day verbatim. I was as excited as any kid would be. Hell, years later, I found the debug menu along with the unused options menus, and wrote an article about the functions. Now I write about the game in my experiences which will collide into either ashes or the blunders of failed jazz music.

There are a few minor flaws that keep me feeling that the game is incomplete, rushed, mysterious, and rusty while still retaining the Nintendo charm that the company lost at about 2006...

Nintendo never really made an effort to polish either original games for the NES, so pandering for Pandora's Box can be stricken in the dark. Nintendo even built Dr. Mario off of Tetris. Wouldn't surprise me if the Game Boy version was comprised in under ten minutes. Rubbish. Count your sick level and say your prayers!

Presentation: 9/10
Starting off with a basic copyright screen we expect. Nintendo and their Swing-esque music. The introduction screen shows a very neat title sequence and we must engage with the start button! The game select menu is animated in a collage of title screens from each game.

Tetris: 7/10
A Russian theme? Well, the title as least looks and sounds Russian enough. The music? Well, all aside from MUSIC-C you will want to puncture your eardrums. Mostly tinny sound samples; rubber instruments. The sound chip is capable of amazing sound quality. I do not understand Nintendo logic. Either replace A and B with the Game Boy or NES Back ground music.

Blocks, blocks and more vibrant blocks come crashing into my little world. What should one anticipate? A game of Chess? A brigade of bridge? No, Tetris. Remarkably bland Tetris. The game we all love, with just a little effort this round.

The controls feel as clunky as the original. This is bad. This is a problem when the speed ramps on later levels and your structure is peak ready to give out. Tetris requires steady control response. The presence of a debug menu option allowing you to rectify this issue further exasperates Nintendo's incompetence.

I still give credit for fixing the level system ramping in this version. Still way of kilt but better. Playable.

The high score screen is a nice touch minus the horribly four-frame sparsely decayed animation sequence. Russian dancers would be a nice continual touch.

No real complaints about the Two-player mode nor play against the CPU mode. Intact!

Where are the Mario characters? Instead we are treated with a balding Montana Max from Tiny Toon Adventures. Good grief!

Dr. Mario: 9/10
Pump your fist to this, Mario!

Arguably the best version of Dr. Mario and still cutting a few corners.

The title music picks up as the song progresses into what I describe as ''dogma pop-jazz''. As opposed to beginning with a tone of moany flees crying at a circus after losing their teeth whistling. Maybe this is supposed to be viruses singing?

Next, the configuration screen plays a nice Honkey-tonk ragtime tune featuring pastel rainbow LSD visuals.

The blue jar filled with viruses. Oh yes, how I love enjoying the torturing of those happy deadly viruses! Controls are the same problem! In order to clear the highest order of pills from the top, the D-PAD must be pressed in rapid succession! Testing one oh one, baby! How could Nintendo neglect simple game mechanics?

Where does this take place? Behind an X-Ray machine? Inside an already in progress MRI? *shrugs*

Fever and Chill? I'm not sure whether I hate or love the remixes. The Two-player victory music reminds me of those Baby Bottle pop commercial encores. The original version has a certain 80's, early 90's rock-pop charm down at the beach in mid Summer. That is the best I can describe that version.

Lastly, the congratulations screen is no longer a partridge in a pair tree; it has been replaced with a giant waterfall seen in the remake Super Mario All-Stars Super Mario Bros. 3, only purple this time. This hold a lot of memories.

Mixed-Match: 9/10
Mix and match your fun with a slab of two-player madness!

The title features a pizza neon sign with music that reminds me of ''molten meatballs lava knishes being punished.'' We have a single options screen that reveals a very interesting surprise if you care to look for the well hidden eggs inside this Hen. The developers could barely finish a basic set of options, nevermind an important feature.

This pit against a friend, your brothers or family (or yourself...) works as expected. The option to end the game after maintaining the maximum 30 minutes of play. Sure, scoring works in tamdem with the maximum alotted time limit but it is possible to bypass the highest score in that window rendering the competition moot. I have come close a few times to 89(round of a few figures I can't memorise here). An option to end the game after a set point limit and adding round options of three best games to determine the champion would ideally turn the keys and make this complete.

Lastly, the ''D'oh! D'oh! D'oh! D'oh!'' time up jingle is hilarious. I could just imagine Kazumi Totaka in the studio. Homer Simpson is put to shame!

Final: 8/10 - While there are a few instances of incompleteness, the game is home to many childhood memories, is playable and still very fun. Tetris & Dr. Mario offers a creative take over the bland originals. A worthy addition to your collection regardless of the minor outstanding flaws.

The developers just couldn't quite finish the game, maybe due to time? Why was there two versions of Dr. Mario released in Japan; a BS-X version offering a complete unused game and the other a standalone installment manufactured by Nintendo Power? Why were the option menus cut? The world may never know.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: Tetris & Dr. Mario (US, 12/31/94)

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