3D Block

There are all kinds of gamers out there. Even though I own newer consoles and play new games, I think I’d still have to classify myself as a classic gamer.

I don’t really know why old games facinate me. I’m sure that nostagia has a lot to do with some of them since they’re what I grew up with. However, I am equally (if not more) excited to play old games that I never had or played growing up. Maybe it’s still nostalgia; I’m six years old again and somehow got a new game I’ve never played before.

A lot of the games I played over and over again as a kid was becuase I only owned so many games. There was a small selection of rentable games across the street in the video store that was owned by a guy, his pug, and an iguana. Most of my friends didn’t own game systems and some even had parents who thought that video games were bad for you or the work of the devil. New games came from birthday and Christmas (or money from birthday and Christmas). Even then, it was usually a one game deal.

This was also pre-internet, so the only way to figure out all of the ins and outs of the games was to replay them over and over. In some cases you could find the right magazine. I was never allowed to call the 900 number.

I can’t be six years old again and I can’t give games to my past self, but I can now play any classic game ever made. It’s enjoyable even if I don’t have as much time and it’s a little less exciting. I don’t know how kids today ever leave their room.

The internet might tell us which games are worth playing, but sometimes I get the most satisfaction out of the weirdest, glitchiest, bad games there are. I know I’m not the only one with this facination. If you look up The Angry Video Game Nerd, you’ll find someone else who is a glutton for punishment. Most people probably watch and say, “Wow, I now know not to touch Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde for the Nintendo with a ten foot pole.” Me? Unless The AVGN covers the game completely, title screen to finish, I’m just tempted to check the game out myself.

This post about a game I tried out recently for the Nintendo called 3D Block. From the title I imagined the game is both 3D, or as 3D as NES games can be, and has something to do with blocks. Though they were being pretty literal with the title, I suspected this game didn’t just contain a single block.

If the title was literal, the title screen was… no, not figurative. It was somewhere in left field, or maybe more like Mars. I imagine some guy with a handlebar mustache saying, “3D Block? That won’t sell. You want to know what sells? Sex. That’s what sells.” That’s the only explanation I can come up with for the random shadow of a pin-up model: pointy nipple, high heels, and all.

Oh. There are a few blocks there under her. I guess that makes it relevant.

I don’t know why this guy has a handlebar mustache, but I don’t need a reason. This is my imagination.

You begin by pressing start and then get a selection screen where you can pick the stage and speed you start off with. I left it alone since I didn’t even know what I was playing yet. The game starts and I immediately say, “3D Tetris”, because that’s what it is.

I generally love puzzle games, but I never actually got into any versions of 3D Tetris I played. Puzzle games are fun when you get a smooth rhythm going, but you never do with this game. It’s not that it’s a bad version of 3D Tetris, I feel that way about every 3D Tetris game I’ve played. You’ve got an exponential amount of space, blocks, and block angles to deals with. It’s just too much.

A and B rotate the blocks, one controlling each axis. Start makes the piece drop if you get it in place and want to speed up its decent. The side tells you what’s next as well as what row you’re on.

Surprisingly, I actually can figure out where to put the blocks and get them there. For this reason, I already like it better than the version for the Virtual Boy. Well, okay, that’s probably not surprising.

It constantly feels like there isn’t really enough time even when the blocks ares’t moving that fast. You’re rotating in two directions and have to position up, down, left and right. After the lowest level and lowest speed setting, it all goes downhill fast.

That being said, I’m a bit confused on that point. In Tetris, the blocks move down faster every stage. At first this game does that, but then in goes slower again in the next stage. Then you notice a new kind of block. Then it gets faster again. I guess they were trying to make it more interesting or less hard. I just think that’s confusing that stage 3 is easier than 2.

You can see through the block you’re putting down which helps. The grid is clearly marked. The height of the rows is indicated by what color each square is.

The music is bad. Without playing much, it’s a forgettable cute carnival merry-go-round like tune. After not too long, it’s like one of those really evil children’s toys that makes irritating noises and music.

It takes awhile, but eventually you complete a row. In Tetris you have a single line across the screen, where here you have a whole floor. You can see why game play is a slow crawl compared to Tertris. You fill in the last bit and- the screen goes away. Where did it go? The it’s back and the row is gone. I’m not really sure why the whole screen has to go away for a row to disappear. Maybe that row of blocks is embarrassed to be associated with the skimpy shadow on the title screen and wants to make a quick get away. Maybe that row of blocks is sneaking away to go under that same scantily clad shadow like it depicts in the title screen. “Ohhh yeah! Blocks!” I have no idea.