Review: Tetris Effect: Connected

Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Monstars
Resonair
Stage Games
Publisher: Enhance
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Releasedate: 08-10-2021

Review - Tetris Effect Connected

During my holiday Bren and I decided to get Tetris Effect: Connected, because it was available at a nice discount. I rarely buy games at full price these days, because I’m not a day one player for most games, with the occasional exception, like Pokémon Brilliant Diamond. Bren also really likes Tetris and this one has multiplayer and after I told her it’s even possible to play together, we decided to give this game a go. I’ve also played the single player content and this game has a lot to offer, so let’s dive in, shall we?

Single Player

Tetris has always been mostly a single player experience for me. Although I did play versus mode every now and then and played Tetris 99 when it first released on the Nintendo Switch I just enjoy the game more by myself, usually. Tetris Effect: Connected offers several single player modes. First and foremost is the Journey mode, which makes you go through all kinds of different stages as you journey through the galaxy to make lines disappear as fast and efficiently as you can. This mode is one big adventure featuring many different themes, with wildly active graphics and interactive music that gets more intense as you finish more lines.

NSwitchDS_TetrisEffectConnected_01

While this mode feels somewhat like a showcase for the game I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by all the graphical “violence” happening on the screen. If you’re prone to epileptic attacks, I’d advise to tone down every graphical option to its bare minimum. And even then, you can’t really stop the game from being flashy and, needlessly graphical at times. Since Bren is also very susceptible to flashing images and strobe effects I found it sad that it’s impossible to just tone the game down to a nice looking Tetris game without all the needless effects.

best_psvr_game_tetris_effect.original

Besides the aforementioned Journey mode there’s also the Effects mode, which feature a ton of different styles to play Tetris. From very zen experiences to extremely stressful pro modes. I thoroughly enjoyed playing the more “zen” modes, because once Tetris gets to level 10+ I usually don’t like the game that much anymore. I love a challenge, but I also love staying sane.

Multiplayer

As with the single player part of the game, Tetris Effect: Connected offers several different multiplayer types. Most of them a take on the versus mode, but the most interesting addition is a cooperative mode that allows you to team up with three players against one player. Of course, the lone player has more power and will constantly be able to prevent the other three players from making lines. However, once the other three players have made a certain amount of lines, their playfields will merge together and all the lines they make in that short time will cause the lone player to bump up his entire field. If one of the three players gets a game over, they can also try to revive themselves by pressing a button at the right time. This takes a lot of time, however, so the chance to get back into the game is small, but not impossible. It is definitely our favourite way to play multiplayer, because we like cooperative games.

NSwitchDS_TetrisEffectConnected_06

Music and atmosphere

Tetris Effect: Connected is one of those games that is designed around “effects”. As such, the game is both a graphical and musical treat, but only if you’re into psychedelic, almost hypnotic experiences. When I was playing the game with its default settings I told Bren that even for me it was sometimes a bit overwhelming with all the lights, strobe effects and other things distracting you from the actual game. I do really like some of the themes, but there are a lot of them who are quite hard to follow and see, even if you put the playing field on the opaque setting.

When it comes to the music, I love how the music is interactive and becomes more and more prominent as you keep clearing lines. Every level starts off slowly and “blooms” as you continue forward. The music is very digitally oriented and being more of a metalhead I definitely didn’t like all the songs and some of them are straight up annoying. Vocals are also part of the soundtrack and, well, I’m not impressed by any of them, to be fair. The lyrics are very mediocre and all about being “connected”.

Conclusion

Tetris Effect: Connected is a very ambitious title and wants to be the ultimate Tetris experience. It’s quite clear when you start the game. While I agree that the game definitely delivers on the gameplay, the graphical effects and music distract way too much from the actual game to offer this ultimate experience for me personally. The game does offer a very zen experience in the Relax mode, and that’s probably where I’ll spend most of my playing time, and the coop multiplayer, because that alone is worth it!

I will definitely be playing this game every now and then, in between playing other games, but I think a more simplistic approach, or at least the option to turn off all the graphical nonsense so you can focus on what’s important, namely the gameplay, would have been nice. Tetris Effect: Connected is definitely worth playing and Tetris games in general are games you usually play for short bursts of entertainment and that is exactly what this game does.

Graphics: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Gameplay: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Soundtrack: 🌟🌟
Originality: 🌟🌟🌟
Story: N/A
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Happy gaming!

~Jeffrey

Monday Musings, Week 2, 2022

Hello there lovely people! That first week of January and last week of my holiday flew by even when we’re still on “lockdown” here! That’s because last week we launched this new blog: The Green Dream and of course I also just relaxed for a bit. I spent some time playing videogames (what a surprise) and finally bought (and finished) The Last Campfire, a lovely little indie title that wasn’t long, but still a very enjoyable, rough, little gem. My review for it will come online later this week on my blog!

Monday Musings (2)

Last week we got the opportunity to do a little bit of thrift shopping too, although it was mostly online! We are frequent visitors to local thrift shops, always in search of little hidden gems, wicker baskets and plant pots. Last Thursday we heard that we could visit the depot of one of these shops to collect some items we ordered through “Click and Collect”. We ordered on Thursday and picked up our items on Friday. We ended up with quite a haul, including a super awesome wooden table. But more on all our great finds later this week when we do a spotlight post for this awesome thrift shop on the Green Dream! 🙂

Wooden Table

Isn’t this table just awesome? The rock plant was already in it too! Of course we gave it a lovely spot in our little urban jungle home!

The Green Dream is off to a great start

Last week we launched this new blog that is going to replace The Book Dragon’s Nook by May of this year. We have already posted a couple of blogs there and even renamed the Instagram for The  Book Dragon’s Nook to the new name. I also sat down to create a logo and it wasn’t hard to create something that both Bren and I thought was just perfect. Bren loves Yggdrasil, the tree of life and it’s a symbol that’s very important in witchcraft too. This is the logo for The Green Dream:

The Green Dream (Logo 2022)

What do you guys think?

Getting back to novel writing soon

If I want to finish the first Kevar novel this year, I’ll soon have to start making preparations to start actually writing again, so my focus this week will be on re-reading what I had already put on paper and then getting to the plotting for the first book. I’m currently thinking that if there’s going to be five novels in total, I’ll have to do some back-and-forth stuff between present and past to flesh out all of the main character’s story, but I’m not sure yet how I’m going to do it. The novels won’t be as big as they were for my trilogy, but the total number of pages for all five should come close to the trilogy. At least, that’s my current estimate. Who knows what will happen once I get started. More on that soon™!

Currently playing and reading

I’ve decided to track my gaming habits again on How Long To Beat. I’m currently playing a couple of games and I feel that Metroid: Samus Returns is nearing the end, so hopefully I’ll be able to complete it this week and write another long review. I’ve also finished the journey mode of Tetris Effect: Connected and a review for that is also due soon.

I’m also over halfway reading Earthshot and it really is an impressive book. One that shows the urgency of handling climate change, while keeping things in perspective and offering a positive outlook. The real message of the book is that we really need to act now if we want to live in a better world. I know we’re doing what we can, but it’s important that everyone starts making little shifts in their lifestyle to make it more sustainable.

So, lot’s of new blogs coming up and plenty of ideas for writing. January is off to a great start, which is good, because January usually feels like a very depressing month for most, but if you just keep yourself busy with fun stuff, it’ll be spring before you know it 😉 Hope you’re all going to have a great week!

Happy Monday!

~Jeffrey

Journaling Our Way Through 2022

Hello everyone! 2021 went by so fast, especially December, it still feels a bit weird that we’re already living in 2022. Last week I (Jeffrey) announced my goals for 2022 and one of them is to practice daily journaling. My main reason for doing this is that journaling is a great way for self reflection and to close the day in a very mindful way. About one hour before I head off to bed, I put everything aside, bring something to drink (herbal tea is perfect for this) to wind down and write down my thoughts on the day on paper.

Journals

This year I have three different journals and although one might have sufficed, I really love writing in multiple and I’ll try to explain why, because they’re very different from one another. Bren has a diary of her own and she will tell all about that in this article too 🙂

My Gratitude Journal (Jeffrey)

This one was a gift from Bren for Yule. I absolutely love it. There are several journals like these on the market and Bren bought one for growth. This one is all about practicing gratitude (or dankbaarheid in Dutch). A skill that many people have not developed properly, I believe. This journal isn’t simply about writing down what you’re grateful for. It starts off with a couple of questions to get you going, after which you can create entries whenever you like to write down things you’re grateful for.

Dankbaarheid

Practicing gratitude has been thoroughly researched and the mental health benefits over time are great. It allows you to better release toxic emotions, because you are grateful for the things you have and for me personally, that is often enough. I have already let go of my need to buy stuff to become happy some time ago and the sooner we all realise we won’t gain true happiness from all the junk we buy, the better. That doesn’t mean I never buy anything, but it does mean I’m happy with what I have as well.

So far, the journal is awesome and I can’t wait to re-read some of my entries at a later point in time! Because that’s always the most fun part of journaling, I believe.

My Growth Diary (Bren)

Over the last years I have allowed myself to be who I really am more and more, but unlike Jeff I think I still have a lot to learn when it comes to growth and that’s why I thought this journal was perfect for me! This diary is all about growth and helping you grow. It’s one of the main themes for me in 2022. Of course, I already started up my shop last year and this year we’re going to work on that even more.  At the same time I also want to continue learning all I can about things that are important to me, like sustainability, being a plant mom and learn new techniques for the stuff I love to make for my shop. I really hope this diary will help me with all of these things and that I’ll continue to grow in 2022! 🙂

Dagboek voor Groei

The daily question journal (Jeffrey)

I got this journal a year ago, also from Bren, and I have filled out every question for 2021. This journal allows you to do this five years in a row and now that I’ve restarted, it’s fun to read my old answers and see if anything has really changed. I try to only read the question first, think of an answer and then re-read my original 2021 entry before writing something down, because I don’t want to become to biased in my new answer for 2022. This journal is also in Dutch an named: ‘Elke dag een vraag‘.

Elke-dag-een-vraag-5-jaar

Some of the questions are really deep, while others aren’t, but it is a fun exercise and I’m really curious what kind of answers will truly evolve over the five year period!

My diary for 2022

Moleskine is one of my favourite notebook brands and I just couldn’t help myself and got a hardcover 2022 agenda as a diary. This one has a full page per day and the idea is to write down what kept me busy during the day, but it also allows for me to make To-Do lists and write down some other things, like three things I’m grateful for (I know, I already got that gratitude journal for it too), or any other random thought. The idea is to write down a summary of the day and what kept me busy.

That’s a whole lot of journals!

Yep, but I love writing and putting my thoughts down on paper really helps me to keep a perspective on things. Sometimes you can make a whole lot more sense about stuff that’s been bothering when you write them down. Of course, Bren and I always talk about these topics, but there’s something magical about writing your thoughts down. It is one of the most mindful practices you can do and for me, it’s almost therapeutical in nature. There are times when I find it hard to speak my mind, but writing down everything and then letting Bren read it, can really help to better make her understand my thoughts. I am a writer after all 😉

I really hope that the growth diary will help Bren in her pursuit of growing to become even more awesome than she already is, but as always, we’ve got each other’s backs.

Happy writing!

~Bren & Jeffrey

Monday Musings, Week 1, 2022

Happy new year everyone! It’s the first Monday of the year and I still have a week off from my office job. Too bad that we’re still on lockdown, which drastically reduces our options to do some of the things we love to do, like thrift shopping and going to museums. But we’re making the best of it and I really needed some time off from work, so I could focus on some of my personal stuff!

Monday Musings are weekly blogs written by me (Jeffrey) and they’re all about what’s keeping me busy (and Bren too, of course). They’re also about my plans for the week and what I’m hoping to write blogs about! These column blogs are posted on both this blog and my personal blog (JeffreyDebris.com). I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I love writing them! 🙂

Monday Musings (01)

Last Saturday Bren and I launched this brand new blog The Green Dream and yesterday we announced that The Book Dragon’s Nook will eventually merge with this new blog later this year. We’re going to try and look for a way to move all of our previous reviews to the new blog as well, so they won’t be lost once The Book Dragon’s Nook will be closed later in May of this year. This new blog is all about our greener living lifestyle and we are going to share lots and lots of articles here about sustainability, vegan recipes, tips for keeping and maintaining plants, low/zero waste living and much, much more! 🙂

I’ll also be working on the logo for this blog and making further changes to the look and feel, because we just started and thought we’d just brush everything up on the go. Sometimes you just got to start and just make things better as you go. 😉

Journaling our way through 2022

This week my focus will be on writing a lot of new blogs. Bren and I have gotten ourselves a bunch of new journals to write in and I think it’s fun to share our journals and journaling habits. I’m a big fan of journaling and writing in my diary. It’s a good way to reflect and practice gratefulness. So, later this week you can expect a blog about journaling with some helpful tips on how to approach this mindful practice!

Currently reading and playing

I started this year finishing my read of Star Wars: The High Republic – A Test of Courage, a children’s book set in the new High Republic era. It was a fun read and my review for it will be online later this week on my own blog and The Book Dragon’s Nook. My next book is Earthshot, which is all about sustainability and the challenges we face this decade in our fight against climate change.

Tetris Connected

Last week Bren and I bought Tetris Effect Connected for the Nintendo Switch (which is the greenest console out there, by the way, more on that later this month!) and it’s a really good Tetris game. We’ve enjoyed playing the game in cooperative mode and I’ve also played some of the Journey and other modes. It really is a game that has a lot to offer. The game is not perfect, though. For instance it’s impossible to turn off all of the visual effects that can be bad for people who can’t handle strobe effects. Overall the entire game is a bit trippy, especially with the visuals set to their defaults. You can expect a full review of the game soon! 

Hope you all had a great new years eve and wishing you all a great week!

Happy Monday!

~Jeffrey

Welcome to our new blog!

Happy new year everyone! Today Bren and I are proud to present to you our new blog:
The Green Dream

We’ve been discussing our blogging habits and what we want to focus on in the future these past few weeks and decided it was time to start a new blog that is about more than just books and all about our personal interests (among which are books, of course). The biggest difference with The Book Dragon’s Nook is also that we’ll be posting our blogs in English, so we can reach more people and hopefully inspire others with all of our articles! 🙂

The Green Dream

So, what is this blog all about?

Sustainability and the environment are very important to us and this blog is meant to better reflect our lifestyle and the things we want to write about. You can expect articles about greener living, plants and plant care, traditional green witchcraft, vegan recipes, book reviews (yes we’ll still be doing those, but only about books we choose to read ourselves), mindfulness practices, writing tips, our cats, and last, but not least geeky stuff! Because that’s just who we are 😉

What happens to your old blogs?

We are quitting The Book Dragon’s Nook when the subscription expires at the end of May 2022. We’ll still finish any reviews that were planned, but after that the domain will be cancelled and we’ll continue posting book reviews here instead. Jeffrey’s blog will still co-exist along this one, but there will probably be some cross-posting, as he loves writing about mindfulness practices, self-help and other subjects that fit this new blog.

It’s a brand new journey!

We hope you’re all as equally excited about our new blog as we are. We are really looking forward to writing and sharing all our new articles with you. One day we’re hoping to live in a tiny house and this blog will function as a journal of sorts of our journey. For now we’re focussing on creating our own “urban jungle” inside of our home and we’ll probably have a lot of stories to share! The blog might look a bit empty right now, but we’re just going to let it grow over this year. The first things on our To-Do list are creating a logo and fleshing out the site’s theme, but we thought it was better to just start blogging and filling out those details later! We’ll also be adding social media accounts soon, which will replace our Book Dragon’s Nook accounts.

Today is the start of a 365 page book

Next week we’ll share some of our new journals with you. We both got ourselves some new ones and there’s just nothing better than starting with a fresh journal at the start of the new year! 🙂

Please stay tuned for more and we hope you’ll enjoy our voyage on this new blog as much as we do creating the content for it! 🙂

Happy New Year! Happy New Blog!

Bren & Jeffrey