GOTY #2- Tetris Effect. Tetris is a great game and I never really knew it. Tetris Effect is the first Tetris game I have played, but I have played Tetris-esque games such as Dr. Robotnik’sMean Bean Machine and Virus Buster on Brain Age. None of them appealed to me as much as Tetris Effect, though. With its amazing soundtrack, beautiful visuals, and a variety of different modes and difficulties, Tetris Effect became all I could think about. Regardless of what game I was playing, all I could think about is clearing lines of tetrominoes. Which I do poorly, by the way.
Throughout playing Tetris Effect, I never quite learned how to be great at it. I know to stack flatly and leave a well to the right, but I always mess something up. A Tetris piece suddenly gets in the wrong position and ruins all of my plans. Now I have to clear out a line before completing Tetrises. Then another mistake happens and now every line is full of one or two holes in positions that don’t work out too well. Then I am at the top, and then I lose. That’s how it went at first, and then I played the Purify mode, as well as other modes, and they taught me how to be a sloppy Tetris master.
In the Purify mode, you have to eliminate purple blocks to gain points, and all of them are in incomplete lines of tetrominoes, so you have to work your way down to the bottom by placing pieces precisely and making sure completing lines are not blocking you from completing the next one.
From this mode, I learned to fix the mistakes I made but did not learn how to stop making them. So I used my newly learned correction skills and my overall Tetris ability improved immensely. I completed expert mode, got two million points in endless marathon mode on the highest speed, and then reached M15 on Masters mode. These are feats that I am very proud of, and I am glad I could make it there without perfectly planning every drop of a tetromino. I could do it while still being perfectly flawed.
It is kind of like life. We all make mistakes, some small ones, some large ones, but we have to keep going. We have to keep clearing the obstacles in our path, and sometimes you lose the opportunity to clear them easily, with a drought of an I-piece so you cannot clear the large number of problems you are facing. Sometimes life hands you the wrong pieces, but you are expected to make them work. In the beautiful stages of Tetris Effect, problems can still occur and you will have to fight your way out of the situations you or bad luck have caused. Like in life, when you are going through one of the best moments, and suddenly you are facing an illness, the loss of a friend, or a tragic break up, and you are left wondering where it went wrong and how to fix it.
Other modes, such as Mystery, help out with adapting to problems as well. In this mode, the game gets flipped upside down, bombs make gaps in your Tetris pieces, and parts of the tetrominoes can even disappear, leading to more mishaps and janky piece placements. You must learn how to quickly make the situations less terrible, and see how long you can last as the game constantly tries to make you lose.
This is comparable to a moment of pure bad luck, where you are feeling like the world is trying its best to make you have a bad day, week, month, or even year. You feel everything bringing you down and you have to search for a way to make it better, most likely therapy, or communication with loved ones. They are your guiding light, your precise placement of tetrominoes that will eliminate the problems and make you see clearer.
I am not sure that Tetris Effect wants to be a representation of self-improvement and fixing mistakes, mostly due to the grandmasters making mistakes very infrequently, but this is what it represented to me. It was a game where I could succeed from failing, and it taught me that you can move past your mistakes or troubled times, and still live an amazing life. The past two years have been difficult for me, but 2019 is going to be great. That is what Tetris Effect taught me. I will be able to power through 2019 and continue to have hopes and a smile on my face if life takes a turn for the worse. I can get through this. You can get through this. Nothing can stop us.