Competitive eSports games are surprisingly big on Nintendo’s Switch, partly thanks to Nintendo themselves hosting their own games, but here comes SEGA with a new challenger in their Western release of Puyo Puyo eSports.
Puyo Puyo has been around for many years but it’s fairly new to most Western players. SEGA have obviously seen how well Puyo Puyo Tetris did on Switch and PS4 and realise there’s a market for more, which is great news for those of us who don’t want to fuss about with importing the games from Japan.
While PPT had a good range of Puyo vs Puyo modes and features, it mixed the rules up a little and those who fancy trying out a more pure form of the game are catered for with this release. It has remixes of Puyo Puyo 1 and 2 as well as unique multiplayer modes and the addition of Fever Mode, which is a bit more of a hardcore game for those who want more of a challenge.
Right from the first menu you know what you’re getting; colourful Japanese characters, loud noises and a wealth of options for gameplay. It can seem a little overwhelming at first but the style is consistent with the previous game, so fans of Puyo Puyo Tetris will know exactly what to expect here. The difference here is in the difficulty level which is ramped up for competitive play. The CPU AI players do take it easier at first but they’re mostly here for training. While Champions can be played as a single player game that’s not really the idea and it only really comes alive in multiplayer, whether locally with up to 4 players, or online.
Tournament layouts are impressive with a great visual map of how each tournament will play out and provides you with a clear idea of the current standings. Everything is geared to eSports and it shows in the robust online play. Fever mode is great for a challenge against other players as it tasks you with having to really keep an eye on your opponent and build up a Fever meter by the ‘junk’ Puyos that your competitor sends when they remove them from a line. The fever power can only be used once it’s full and sets of a specific power that clears the screen and sends all the collected Puyos back to them.
It won’t be for everyone, but SEGA’s latest Puyo Puyo game is a great addition to both the series and eSports games on Switch. It’s a lot of fun when you get to beat another player in a tense match. Those who fancy a more casual approach can happily stick with the equally great Puyo Puyo Tetris.