Initial Impressions: Tetris DS
Holy crap - Tetris is still awesome. Granted, if Tetris bores you then you'll probably hate this game. And they've still got the "flaws" from the previous re-incarnation - rotating the piece constantly makes it so you can "float" your piece and not have it actually stick to the field. Which means you can technically play indefinitely. This isn't how the original worked - as soon as the active piece touches another, it should be dead, not hop around until the user is done toying with it. Grah!
Aside from that, I almost cleared the marathon (classic) mode (get to level 20; 200 lines). I got 197. DAMMIT!
In the classic mode the game goes on the bottom screen, and the top screen is used to show a little animation. Every Tetris, back to the original had something like this, but it normally was shown during the cutscene (or for the Original GB Tetris, after you lost; you just had to score shitloads of points - you'd get to see an old Russian rocket take off into space, and if you had enough, get to the moon). Anyway, from levels 1-10 you can watch Mario play along according to the moves you make in the field. I'm not sure how it works (wasn't really paying attention to that), but its pretty cool. After level 10 various other games are shown - Zelda, Metroid, Ice Climbers, etc etc.
There's a couple new modes of play, and they're cool, but I'm getting bored about blocks.
The last awesome feature is the WFC (WiFi Connection) multiplayer mode. YOU CAN PLAY PEOPLE ON TEH INTERNETS!!! Its even got a ranking system - you start at 5000 points and gain/lose points depending on how well you do. I got mine up to 5500 :D
A problem with the WFC is that you sometimes have to wait for 1-2 minutes to be matched with an opponent. A bit annoying, but meh. I was playing in front of the TV so I'd just watch TV until it beeped that an opponent was found. The multiplayer itself is really really intense - I played a bunch of Japanese people that had, quite literally, thousands of wins. Crazy Japanese.
So yeah. I really love Tetris, and really really love the WFC. Playing alone and all is fun, but it lacks the challenge and intensity of the multiplayer mode, which I never get to play because no one I know will play me in Tetris anymore ;_;
Initial Impressions: Sonic Rush
Now, I was originally skeptical about getting this game after seeing the last few Sonic games that were released: they sucked. Thankfully this rendition reaches back to its roots - its entirely a 2D platformer. Mostly. (Some of the boss fights are kind of 3D, but still 2D. Basically, the gameplay is all on a 2D plane (possibly curved), but rendered in a 3D changing perspective. Its really done well though - no worries!)
The dual screens are used in a very... interesting manner. They act like one tall screen, and your character moves about both of them. Time for me to draw a diagram, since I suck at describing it.
I can't really explain it, but at first it was really really disorienting. Compared to the first few Sonic games (which I played last week at a friend's house) its also much faster-paced. You run faster, things happen faster, etc. The name "Sonic Rush" is very fitting.
They did away with part of the old "Start Over Every Time You Play" kind of feel; we've now got a Mario World-style map to navigate through the Zones (used to be Acts) and Stages of each Zone. Which is pretty neat.
Each playable character has their own storyline to follow, and (presumably, I've only played as Sonic so far) completely unique levels. Eventually I think the paths meet up, so you can play on other character's levels.
The Sol Emeralds (hur! The Chaos Emeralds are gone!) are obtained through special stages which are basically the same as those from Sonic 2 (the half-pipe dealie). You control Sonic with the touch pad; it isn't too bad, though I preferred the Sonic 1/3 minigames better. There are also a couple other gameplay mechanics to it - enemies that you have to click, a bumper that sends you flying into the air and you have to click numbered buttons on the screen in order quickly, etc etc. Its pretty fun, though there are like, in-game loadtimes. They're not too bad though.
All in all, its not too bad. Its really really fast-paced though, which I guess is what you'd expect from a Sonic game. The visuals are pretty nice when you're moving slow enough to see them, and the boss stages are (long) and pretty neat. Should be an interesting game to play through :]
Anyway, that was my random ramblings like I promised. And it took me half an hour to type all that up, holy crap. I need to smeep. Soon...