Tetris Effect is one of the most interesting twists on a video game classic in recent times. You have the same traditional Tetris gameplay everyone grew up playing but with the dazzling presentation equivalent to a firework festival. It’s astonishing to witness in gameplay videos and even more overwhelming to play in person. I immediately fell in love with the game when it originally released for PlayStation 4 on November 9th, 2018. Since its release, it’s gone on to win plenty of critic awards and most recently released on PC via the Epic Games Store.
The days following up to getting my review copy, I was excited to finally dive into the deep with Tetris Effect. I had been watching the reveal trailer over and over again. The song for the level, The Deep, was stuck in my head as I kept playing the music in eager anticipation to play. That same week though, I had broken up with my long-distance girlfriend and the pain from that lingered on.
I looked to my excitement for Tetris Effect to help cope with those feelings and what a journey it was. Suddenly the song I was listening to over and over again, that brought me so much joy, became more relevant to my pain.
“With every passing day, the winds might blow stronger. Carry us away but we will hold on to joy to light the way to keep the reminder that love does not escape”
Those words hit me like a car ramming into a brick wall. It hurt. I felt those feelings not too long ago and now the thing I was looking forward to for months, this twist on a classic puzzle game, was destroying me.
“I’m yours forever, there is no end in sight for us. Nothing could measure, the kind of strength inside our heart.”
With every new verse in the song, memories of the good times would flash in my mind. When we’d travel across California just to see each other, that even when the world was against us, we’d pull through. Truth be told it devastated me and left a lasting impact on me that shocked me by the end of the game. Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t finished Tetris Effect yet.
Upon completing the Metamorphosis level, you see a beautiful image of the Earth. It’s a zen-like feeling as you hear birds chirping, the particles sync up with the image of the earth and you get the message that the first song had said, “It’s all connected”
What happened next, completely shocked me and changed my perspective on the original first song. As the image of the Earth started to fade, the first level song, I’m Yours Forever, started to play again. This was different though. Now in the end credits of the game, new lyrics emerged in the full version of the track and suddenly it all clicked.
“When you were born, something changed. My heart could not contain the miracle of this world and all that it creates.”
I’m Yours Forever isn’t a song about two lovers, not in the romantic sense at least. Instead, it’s a song about a parent and their child, a completely different type of love that had been hidden away in the shorter version of the song.
In that hour-long campaign, I felt grief, pain, and at the very end, closure.
“Beyond the stones and the seas, the sun and the breeze, the stars and the galaxy. Beyond the time that we take, the days that we make, I’m always gonna be with you.”
I expected Tetris Effect to be one of my favorite games of 2018 when I first saw the reveal trailer. I loved the music, was thrilled by its gameplay, and marveled by its presentation. What I didn’t expect was for it to help me cope, remember, and let go.