Most importantly: you can play regular old Tetris in this game, and in addition to the nice solid, colorful 2D art, they got one thing right that nearly all other console Tetrises since the original have got wrong: you can play it with Russian-style music (BGM 10).
So I was trying the game out, mostly the Tetris parts. : )
Puyo Puyo Tetris has been out in Japan since 2014 (on previous gen consoles too, even), and in North America in physical form since 2017, but now it's finally here as a downloadable game. In this video of the downloadable English PS4 version, I'm stumbling through various menus and gameplay modes, mostly looking for the various ways to play Tetris, without having to play Puyo Puyo; I just can't seem to like Puyo Puyo. Like, Adventure mode here is surprisingly fun, despite some annoying voices (I found four http://puyo.sega.com/tetris/character/index.html I can stand--Ai, Risukuma, Zed, and to a slightly lesser extent, Suketoudara--and use those characters in the Versus (CPU) mode; there are unlockable voices for the characters, but the ones I've heard so far are mostly riffs on their regular voices), until it starts making you play a bunch of Puyo Puyo. : P
I even played online against a Korean Tetris master @ 1:37:30 --amusingly, he overplayed his hand and died in the second round; so he played slightly more carefully in the third round and crushed me like a bug.
(The game seems to be big in Korea; when I checked Twitch streams just now, there were eight: one in Chinese, and seven in Korean.)
Although I'd like to unlock the stuff I think you can only unlock through Adventure mode, probably--particularly the other characters--I don't know that I'll ever be able to stand playing all that Puyo Puyo; so I'll probably just be sticking to Marathon Tetris mode (under Challenge) or Versus Tetris mode against 3 CPU characters, which is surprisingly fun; it adds a layer of uncertainty, and tactical timing, that isn't there in just regular solitary Tetris (I suppose that's part of why Tetris 99 is so popular?).
(Ah, you can permanently unlock all the Story Mode unlockables immediately by entering a button input code at the Title Screen: "Hold L1 and R1, and press Up, Down, Right, Left, Triangle, Circle, Square, Square" https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/ps4/832014-puyo-puyo-tetris/cheats .)
(Reading about Versus mode CPU difficulty (here for instance https://steamcommunity.com/app/546050/discussions/0/1693797713960600403/ ), aside from another cheat code (hold L1 when selecting them) that turns every character into a turbo-mode master, and the "Handicap" setting that changes the drop speed--supposedly https://www.reddit.com/r/NintendoSwitch/comments/667lqe/can_someone_explain_poyo_poyos_handicap_system_to/ setting Versus CPU opponents to "Spicy," which speeds up their drop rate, will make them act faster and thus more difficult to beat), CPU difficulty is based on the character selected: unlockable characters Feli, Dark Prince, Ex, and Ecolo for instance are said to be among the toughest opponents.)
(Hm now I think I should try Versus "Endurance" mode again, since there you go up against a gamut of CPU characters one-by-one, and theoretically it will arrange them so the difficulty gradually ramps up.) (Update: I tried it--will be in The Tetris episode #4--and eh the opponents seem to be pretty random, so the difficulty is random. : PP)
The game in general follows modern Tetris rules as far as sliding and rotating pieces into place goes, and being able to "Hold" a piece (I tend to ignore this because I don't like it; you can turn in off for the CPU in some modes, like Versus "Battle" mode); there's also a "ghost" piece guide showing where the current piece will land, which you can turn on or off in Options--in other Tetris games I've played, I've found that distracting, also, it seems like if you learned to play that way it would be a significant handicap if you then had to play a Tetris game that didn't have it...but eh I'd probably have to learn to play with it if I wanted to beat the CPU on the L1 turbo difficulty!)
Puyo Puyo Tetris -- I'm playing the downloadable PS4 version that just came out on the North American PSN store -- has a couple interesting cheat codes, which you can see me messing with here.
I found the codes at https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/ps4/832014-puyo-puyo-tetris/cheats
In the last video I bemoaned that I would have to play a lot of Puyo rounds in the Adventure mode to unlock the unlockable characters. Well, apparently Sega knew some folks wouldn't want to have to go through that kind of thing, so they included a code you can enter at the game's title screen that will unlock EVERYTHING that normally unlocks during Adventure mode immediately and permanently. : o : D
At the title screen: "Hold L1 and R1, and press Up, Down, Right, Left, Triangle, Circle, Square, Square." That's what I'm doing at the beginning of this video; you can hear the code success confirmation sound at 0:37. As you can see as I proceed to explore the game after that, all the characters are now (1:43) unlocked! And so are things like the Adventure-unlockable background music tracks, stages, block types (6:38), etc (3:46). Cool beansies! (Block types bought through the Shop are still not unlocked, gotta save up for those!)
(13:26 Monochrome block type is of course the best, after the default. : )
The other cheat code switches selected AI players in Versus mode to a super-duper difficulty level (I've seen people refer to this as "core" difficulty): when selecting the CPU character, hold L1: if you did it right, you'll hear a "shing!" metallic sound (2:35) as the character is chosen--and then when you play against them, they will be playing at an incredibly fast rate (4:44)!
I also go on and play Marathon mode with the unlocked characters.
I learned something from this: since your CPU opponent in Endurance is random, and difficulty is based entirely on the opponent, the difficulty is random, with is kind of rough. : P
Also, at first I thought I would maintain old-school purity and play without the "Ghost Piece" that shows where the current Tetris block will land...but on this occasion I couldn't seem win a single Endurance match without it, so at 10:38 I turned Ghost Piece on...and finally won a battle after a bit. : P
Anyway the random difficulty probably means Endurance is out. So I moved back to Battle, which did go better...once I worked out that the Handicap (40:12) set to "Sweet" makes the CPU play a little slower, since its blocks are falling slower (I didn't at that juncture, but later I realized setting it to Sweet for yourself also makes your play a bit easier); so with that I had some pretty close battles against my preferred (for their less-annoying-than-most voices : P) opponents: Risukuma, Zed, and Suketoudara. So! Glad I got that settled.
The urge to play some old b&w GameBoy - style Tetris in Puyo Puyo Tetris finally reached a breaking point, so I set the music and blocks accordingly, and did a run in Marathon mode using Ai. And I cleared it?!? 8=o Jeepers!
I didn't even know you *could* clear it. : o Now what am I gonna play??
Some of the music gets copyright claims on YouTube. : P