Also available on Genesis, Saturn, SNES, PC Engine CD, PlayStation, Game Boy, Wonderswan, Neo Geo Pocket Color, PlayStation 2, Wii via Virtual Console, 3DS via Virtual Console, PC-9801, and Macintosh
Review written by Stephen Deck; originally published 06/19/2021 on Teacher by Day, Gamer by Night
Puyo Puyo 2 (Puyo Puyo Tsu) is a short, simple game, so this is going to be a short, simple review. Normally I don’t put a lot of time into simple puzzle games like this, but as I was playing Yakuza 0, I found myself needing a simple little handheld game to play while I farmed money in the real estate minigame, so I figured why not give my oft-neglected Game Gear some love?
If you’ve ever played a Puyo Puyo game, you know what the core gameplay is like. Actually, if you’ve ever played a Dr. Mario game, you know basically what the core gameplay is like. Pieces drop in pairs from the ceiling, and you can rotate them before they land. Connect four of the same color, and they pop. The more your pop and the better combo you build, the more obstacles you build up on your opponent’s side; eventually, they drop as blocks that impede your opponent. They can do the same to you, though. It’s simple, but like Tetris, while the concept is super easy to pick up, it takes a lot more thought and strategy to master than you might expect at first.
The structure of the game is a lot like a fighting game. You’re trying to battle your way up this tower, and on each floor, you have a different opponent to face off against. Each opponent is, as you would expect, a little tougher than the last. The console ports, if I remember correctly, have a story tied to this tower ascent, and to be fair, the Game Gear version might have had some kind of story framing the game, as well, but I didn’t notice a great deal of text that would indicate any significant story, and I can’t read Japanese anyway, so it would have been a bit of a moot point for me. I got “Fight opponent, move to next tower floor, fight next opponent, repeat,” and that was pretty much all I really needed to know.
Puyo Puyo 2 on Game Gear isn’t a game with a ton of depth, but like Tetris, it doesn’t need to be. It’s a colorful puzzle game that can provide some great fun in short bursts. Taking the subway to work? Perfect time for Puyo Puyo 2. Just finished eating Taco Bell and need something to take your mind off of the agonizing hell your bowels are about to endure? Play Puyo Puyo 2 while you’re pooping. This is not, however, necessarily a great game for an epic weekend gaming marathon. It’s a lot of fun, though, and while it’s not as addicting in my opinion as Tetris or as robust as some of the later console Puyo Puyo games, it’s a solid entry in the Game Gear’s library.