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Tetris DS prognosis: awesome

Tetris DS prognosis: awesome

After several hours of playing with the new Tetris DS (I can still see blocks dropping when I close my eyes), I'm ready to give a preliminary report about the long-awaited DS Tetris game.

It's freaking sweet.

Classic NES game themes, tons of different modes, local multiplayer that allows 10 people to play with one game card, and an online Wi-Fi mode? It really does live up to the hype.

Standard Tetris is, of course, the game's bread and butter. Every few levels, the graphics and music change (between NES Mario games for the first 10 levels, and between other classic NES games such as Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Donkey Kong for the subsequent levels) to give a nice bit of variety that feels more than a little like the different themes of Lumines. If that's not enough nostalgia, the top screen actually displays gameplay from the current theme while you play. Mario jumps through the first few levels of SMB and Mario 3, Link explores the overworld, and Samus spin jumps through Brinstar while you drop the blocks.

The different modes have different themes, as well. Donkey Kong, Link, and even the dude from Balloon Fight watch you while you spin, catch, push, and stylus the blocks around. They're a nice bit of variety in the game, but standard Tetris is still the game's foundation.

Local multiplayer was flawless, and without naming anyone else here, I have to boast that I am the reigning master of Tetris. I haven't had a chance to try the online Wi-Fi play yet.

Tetris DS looks like it might well be yet another AAA title for the Nintendo DS, right up there with Mario Kart DS, Nintendogs, and Advance Wars: Dual Strike. Look for our full review of Tetris DS next week. Tetris DS ships March 20.