Nintendo's been releasing a steady stream of crossover themes for Tetris 99, and as neat as they are, I don't know if you could argue any of them capture the spirit of the game in question. From a first look at next week's new Pokemon Sword and Shield theme, though, I think they may have nailed it.
There's a new preview video of the theme on Nintendo's dedicated competitive gaming Twitter, and it really has me confused: does it make me want to play some Pokemon, or some Tetris 99? There's only so much you can do with the presentation of Tetris 99's crowded battle royale UI, but the theme goes all the way in: it has Pokemon's earworm battle themes for music, every sound but the K.O. announcement has been replaced (wow, the critical hit noise when you crush an opponent with garbage lines), and all 98 other players are shown as Pokemon you're trying to "catch."
Before you set off on your grand adventure in the Galar region, play in this special #PokemonSwordShield themed #Tetris99 MAXIMUS CUP! Earn at least 100 event points to get this custom theme. @Tetris_officialhttps://t.co/jrWEmtmcey pic.twitter.com/vsupyEejoF— Nintendo Versus (@NintendoVS) November 1, 2019
The theme will be available in Tetris 99's ninth Maximus Cup event, running from Thursday, November 7 at 11 p.m. PT through Monday, November 11 at 10:59 p.m. PT. As per usual, you'll probably only need to play a few matches during the weekend to collect the 100 points required for unlocking the theme:
- 1st Place: 100 points
- 2nd Place: 50 points
- 3rd Place: 30 points
- 4th - 10th Place: 20 points
- 11th - 30th Place: 15 points
- 31st - 50th Place: 10 points
- 51st - 90th Place: 5 points
- 91st - 99th Place: 1 point
It's almost unfair to judge Pokemon's Tetris 99 theme against the others have Nintendo has released through the various Maximus Cups. Yes, it's neat in a Tetris DS kind of way to see Luigi's Mansion or Kirby elements applied to Tetris 99, but most people have probably sunk far more time into the Pokemon series over the last 20 years. Game Freak's iconic sights and sounds have certainly burrowed into my brain, so it's an odd delight seeing them mixed in with the equally indelible gameplay of Tetris.