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From Below
  opened by paleface at 01:29:21 02/22/23  
  paleface [sys=NES; cat=Puzzle; loc=NA]
Played the homebrew NES game "From Below," in Mesen 2.0.
The game is available as an NES ROM, downloadable for free from .

So this is what Gears of War programmers do in their spare time. ^ _^ Designer/coder Matt Hughson ( ; here's that podcast episode of 2 Dudes and a NES where he talks about making the game: ) and team have made a remarkably smooth NES Tetris game. The changing colors on the blocks aren't always my cup of tea, but the game plays like absolute butter in Mesen 2.0, and the music is way better than it has any right to be; the whole thing has that absolute "can't stop playing this right now" addictive quality of classic Tetris.
In the default game mode, a pulsing kraken tentacle pushes up random columns of blocks to stymie your Tetrising--complete a row of blocks around it to scare it off; it sometimes completes them to stymie itself! There's a mode where the tentacle moves based on your block drops rather than simply on time passing, and then there's Classic mode where the tentacle is gone and you can just play something that feels a lot like classic Tetris, only with modern amenities such as pushing off from the side walls to allow blocks to spin freely, and the option to have pushing up on the controller drop the block instantly ("H.Drop," ie "Hard Drop"; although I couldn't figure out what the difference between "Hold" and "Tap" are for that--they aren't covered in the downloadable pdf manual, and tapping up seems to drop the block instantly with both of them; also it was more confusing because "Hold" sounded like holding a piece in reserve like you can do in some modern Tetris game, but it didn't seem to be that at all).
And I very much appreciate that aside from perhaps the sudden switch of color across the entire screen at level-up sometimes being a little jarring, and a two-or-so-stage white screen at game over, the author has largely avoided inflicting flashing/flickering/shaking VFX on my eyeballs. : DD For instance, completing a Tetris just clears the four lines of blocks with a cool sound, rather than strobing them at you like Nintendo's 1989 NES Tetris does.
Also pretty much every time I meant to start a mode I hit uh one of the face buttons that took me back to the title instead of starting the mode; you gotta hit Start for that. Oops. : P There really doesn't seem to be any reason to go back to the title though, it just pans right back down to the menu.

2023 Game impressions are the individual contributors. All rights reserved.