Exploring Puyo Puyo 2’s prolific past

Sega 3D Classics Collection affords every Nintendo 3DS owner the best opportunity. This is the first time Puyo Puyo 2 has been released overseas. Which is absolutely insane, because for many people, this is the installment that comes to mind when they think of Puyo Puyo. Puyo Puyo 2 established rules that are still in effect today and cast the widest net.

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Puyo Puyo 2’s humble beginnings

Want to know when Puyo Puyo took off? It was when Puyo Puyo 2 hit arcades in 1994. From there, taking into account remixes and Virtual Console releases, it found its way to 15 additional platforms. It headed to the Sega Mega Drive, Game Gear, Sega Saturn, Super Famicom (twice!), PC Engine, PlayStation, Windows PC, Game Boy, Wonderswan, Neo Geo Pocket Color, PlayStation 2, Wii Virtual Console, 3DS Virtual Console and most recently the Nintendo 3DS via Sega 3D Classics Collection. Year after year, Puyo Puyo 2 kept coming back. This made it the most ported-Puyo ever made.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t always coming to North America and Europe. The first localized instance of it was in 1999, when Puyo Puyo 2 was released on the Neo Geo Pocket Color as Puyo Pop. We didn’t get to see it again for almost 10 years, as the Sega Mega Drive version appeared in the North American and European Wii Virtual Console’s import section in 2008. Now, seven years later, it’s appeared again in Sega 3D Classics Collection.

It’s great, because the Nintendo 3DS release is one of the best ports. Sega 3D Classics Collection’s version of Puyo Puyo 2 is nearly identical to the arcade version of the game, sending people into a six-level tower against an array of colorful characters. (You even get to face special opponents if you do or don’t earn enough points to pass floors!) You can save a game or a replay. There are five difficulty levels. Various garbage Puyo rules can be changed. It has 3D support. Most importantly, you can play locally against a friend. Because really, we all know multiplayer Puyo Puyo is a priority.

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Puyo Puyo 2 is a trendsetter

Up until now, we’ve covered how prolific Puyo Puyo 2 was, but we haven’t gone into how important this entry was to the series as a whole. It’s done so many important things for future Puyo Puyo games by introducing rules and control options. Even if this installment isn’t your favorite, you have to give it credit for laying a fantastic foundation.

Puyo Puyo 2 completely revolutionized the garbage ruleset. To start, it introduced Ransa Shibari, known outside Japan as the offset rule. When playing a Puyo Puyo against an opponent, you can send garbage Puyos over to their side after clearing Puyos on your screen. The offset rule requires you chain Puyos to send junk at your opponent. It encourages you to consider combos, rather than immediately clear every item as quickly as possible. If, say, you perform a two-chain, one line of nuisance Puyos will be sent to your opponent.

It’s accompanied by Sousai, which allows you to counter any garbage Puyo sent your way by performing your own chains when the nuisance items are headed your way. This is best known as a counter. Puyo Puyo 2’s All Clears are the most devastating. If you manage to clear every Puyo from your field at once, even garbage, your next chain will send 30 extra nuisance Puyos at the enemy.

People in search of a more difficult experience can tweak Margin Time. Want to make sure someone you’re playing against doesn’t dilly-dally? Increase the Margin Time. At its highest level, it increases the nuisance Puyo penalty. People will be punished with garbage after an opponent makes one chain with more Puyos than usual.

Finally, Puyo Puyo 2 marks the first appearance of double rotation. This allows you to swap the upper and lower Puyos in a pair when it’s trapped in a vertical space. You trigger this by double tapping any button you’d normally use to rotate a pair. It’s such a simple feature, but one that’s critical when playing against a worthy opponent.

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The best versions of Puyo Puyo 2

There are so many ways to play Puyo Puyo 2. All of them are basically awesome, because you’re getting to play Puyo Puyo. A few are a little more interesting than others, though, due to additional modes and features.

  • Puyo Puyo Tsuu (Sega Saturn, 1995): This installment has Practice (with special characters)mode and Expert mode, in addition to the solo Tower and Multiplayer modes.
  • Puyo Puyo Tsuu (Windows, 1995): Super Nazo Quest, a story mode that never made into the Sega Mega Drive version, showed up in this version of the game.
  • Super Puyo Puyo Tsuu Remix (Super Famicom, 1996): Like the Sega Saturn version, it has Practice and Expert modes, though this Practice mode has three courses. Its multiplayer also supports four players.
  • Sega 3D Classics Collection (3DS, 2016): The 3DS version of Puyo Puyo 2 has optional 3D graphics, multiple difficulty levels, the ability to adjust rules and local multiplayer.

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