Tetris – Other Classic Games That Deserve the Tetris 99 Treatment
Tetris 99, Super Mario Bros. 35, and Pac-Man 99 have changed the landscape of battle royale games, and plenty other classic games should join them.
Fans were more than puzzled when Nintendo revealed Tetris 99 during a Nintendo Direct presentation back in February of 2019. Tetris has gone down in history as perhaps one of the most iconic video games out there, but putting a modern twist on the game in the form of a battle royale-style formula is something almost no one saw coming. Nonetheless, the free title included with fans’ Nintendo Switch Online memberships went on to receive incredibly high praises.
What possibly surprised fans even more, however, was when the formula was adapted yet again in Super Mario Bros. 35, which saw 35 players compete in an endless game of the timeless NES classic to remain the last Mario standing. And while Super Mario Bros. 35 has disappeared along with the end of Mario‘s 35th anniversary, Nintendo and Arika have now brought fans Pac-Man 99, which also puts a battle royale spin on the retro title. But, what other classic games deserve a Tetris 99-styled revival?
The Legend of Zelda
Off the bat, The Legend of Zelda 35 almost seems like a given, especially considering the rumors that Nintendo plans on celebrating the fan-favorite action-adventure series’ 35th anniversary this year. It’s not hard to imagine the original 1986 NES title working well in the Super Mario Bros. 35 format, where enemies like Octoroks or Moblins defeated by players could be sent to other players’ games as a hinderance, and vice-versa.
It could be interesting to see an item roulette similar to Super Mario Bros. 35‘s, offering players boosts with certain items such as potions or temporary Heart Containers. Of course, should The Legend of Zelda 35 come to fruition, there is always the possibility of it disappearing at the end of Zelda‘s anniversary, though it would certainly be a neat novelty nonetheless.
A unique kind of battle royale shooter in the form of Duck Hunt 99 could breathe new life into the classic light gun NES game. Nintendo has already proven that the Switch Joy-Con controllers (as well as the Pro controller) are more than capable when it comes to gyroscopic aiming, whether with Super Mario Galaxy from Super Mario 3D All-Stars, or perhaps even more telling, the Shooting Gallery game included in Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics.
Players could perhaps send decoy ducks over to their opponents’ games with the help of a certain power-up, or even obtain rare power-ups that help players by clearing their entire screen for them. With 99 players, the game could work either as a progressively difficult endless shooter, or retain the original game’s round-styled gameplay. Unlockable bonuses such as customizing one’s dog or the scenery in which they hunt could also be neat additions.
Given Nintendo and developer Arika’s work on Pac-Man 99, a strong relationship with Bandai Namco could very well give rise to adapting other Namco classics into the Tetris 99 format. The 1981 arcade cabinet shooter Galaga has cemented itself as an iconic video game classic, helping to surge the popularity of arcades and arcade games back in the early 80’s along with others like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.
Typically, Galaga only ever sees the light of day when included as part of the newest installment of NAMCO MUSEUM, like the one on Switch, so taking a much more competitive approach in a new battle royale format could bring some chaotic fun to the age-old title. Galaga 99 could easily implement features of other 99 games, like power-ups increasing things like rate-of-fire, movement speed, and more.
Nintendo and Arika have shown that puzzle games indeed have a place in the battle royale genre with Tetris 99, so why not implement some Nintendo magic with a Dr. Mario 99? The 1990 NES puzzle game recently saw a resurgence with Dr. Mario World on mobile devices in 2019, receiving continuous updates even today with gameplay tweaks, new features, and new characters.
While Dr. Mario World is a free-to-start game much like Nintendo’s early mobile outing Super Mario Run, adapting Dr. Mario to a battle royale format could instantly make the game readily available to millions of Nintendo Switch Online users off the bat. Further, the game already shares many similarities with Tetris, so much so that it was released as a 2-in-1 game Tetris and Dr. Mario on the SNES, so it could likely take much inspiration from Tetris 99 in that respect.
While a classic arcade game, platformer, and puzzle game have all been adapted into a battle royale format now, it could be very interesting to see a retro racing game be adapted to the Tetris 99 formula. Ever since the release of the 1986 SEGA classic Outrun, the game has gone down as one of the most memorable arcade driving games out there, lauded for its advanced graphics and unique soundtrack. Of course, it would likely be too chaotic to shove nearly 100 players onto a single roadway, but having players race separately on their own seems like the way to go here as with the other 99 titles.
Because Outrun centers around avoiding traffic, players could send more traffic to their opponents in attempts to hinder their progress and make their navigation all the more difficult. An OutRun 99 could also implement features from Battle OutRun, like the mobile Tune-Up Parts Shop truck used to upgrade players’ cars.
A battle royale-styled DOOM 99 could play out in a variety of ways. Developers could take the classic battle royale route by making DOOM a fully multiplayer 99-person brawl where players compete against each other on the same map in real time, including weapon upgrades, loot, etc. However, it’s hard to think that the game wouldn’t lose its DOOM charms without the series’ signature demon hacking and slashing, so competing against others in individual playthroughs of the original DOOM game may fit that style a bit better.
Of course, it would come with the Tetris 99 bells and whistles, such as sending more demons to opponents’ games, or giving players the ability to downgrade the weapons of their opponents temporarily. Finally, a DOOM 99 could very well play out as a horde-style game where players compete to fight off endless hordes of demons until only one Doom Slayer remains standing.
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