Pokémon Garbage Block Combo Extravaganza (Puzzle League Discussion)

Panel de Pon
Tetris Attack
Pokemon Puzzle League

"I'm gonna win!"- Ash Ketchum (repeat 99 times)

I don't know about you, but as a kid, I always was jealous of the Japanese getting all the cool Pokemon stuff first. It's okay though, because we got... Pokemon Puzzle League... great.

Actually this game is freaking amazing, even though it's just Tetris Attack with a Pokemon skin thrown on top of it.

Each player starts with a screen filled with square blocks. Each player has a horizontal cursor that can switch the position of two blocks. Lining up three blocks causes the blocks to disappear. Lining up more than three (comboing) or causing a rapid succession of matchups (chaining) results in the formation of a "garbage block" which gets dropped on your opponents screen. The garbage block takes up space until it is broken up by making contact with a block that is part of a matchup of some sort. The game ends when one player makes contact with the top of the screen for a brief period of time. The one who reaches the top of the screen is the loser.

In an already ridiculous world that sends children out at the age of 10 to fend themselves against feral monsters, Ash Ketchum takes a break to participate in a puzzle contest. Best story since Mass Effect.


I always thought this game was super fun. Having played Tetris Attack before this, I was pretty quick to learn this game, so I was pretty unbeatable amongst the Pokenerds on the block. Despite it being a puzzle game, you're probably rewarded more for quick fingers than a quick mind. In addition, the ridiculousness of garbage chains basically makes it so that an 8x chain you sent at your opponent could very well come back at you at a 10x or worse. I never beat Super Hard as a child, but I recently acquired a copy of this game and beat it completely. Oddly enough, I didn't lose to Mewtwo at all, which saved me some headaches (losing to Mewtwo sends you back two levels)

So here are some questions for you:
1. What are your fondest memories of this game?
2. Be honest, how many continues did you use going through Very/Super Hard?
3. Which Pokemon should be OU in this game?

My answers:
1. My fondest memory would have to be the time I was ten-ish and pulled what I believe to be an 15x chain, causing my friend to rage quit something fierce. The other not so fond memory I have is my friend yelling "GLOOM GLOOM!" all the damn time.

2. Very Hard was probably about 10 for me because Team Rocket kept screwing me for some reason. Super Hard took me about 60 continues as of last fall, which I'm ashamed of.

3. Basically Erika's Pokemon should be OU. Gloom is annoying. Tangela should be sent to Ubers for having an annoying cry. Honorable mention goes to Sabrina's vomiting Abra, who should probably be upper UU or even BL.

Discuss away. If any of you guys are going to Nationals in Indy, I will have this game in tow, so you better be ready to throw down.

I love this game. Like you, I played Tetris Attack as a kid and loved it, so when I found out this game existed, I had to get it on Virtual Console. I haven't played it in a while since I don't have anyone to play against, but it's still a great game.

I won't be attending Nationals, but if I were, I would definitely be willing to throw down.

1. My fondest memory would probably be the one time I beat Super Hard without continuing (emphasis on one time). I remember trying to get the maximum score in Endless Mode, but it's considerably harder since PPL's score goes to 999,999 and Tetris Attack's only goes to 99,999. My current score is something like 370,000, I dunno. Been a while since I played.

2. As I said before, I've made it through Super Hard without continuing, but I can usually make it in 10 or less.

3. I pretty much agree with your suggestions here, and glad I'm not the only one who thinks Sabrina's Abra sounds like it's throwing up :P

I am usually permanently in lurk mode, but seeing this thread made me wanna post. I don't know how many other players of this game you'll find, but if nothing else, know that someone out there loves it :]


used substitute
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Ok, this game is awesome. It might have 0 to do with Pokemon other than the overlying skin, but it is still one of my favorite Pokemon games to date. Now, I don't have any particularly notable memories of it, but I still pick it up and play every once and a while.

Also, I am just going to refuse to believe that anyone is saying they best super hard. Or at least I'll pretend my copy was harder. 99 continues and still chugging along. One of these days......

I'm not so sure about tiers though. Its hard to judge the difference between all those OU, UU and uber mons when you are just facing off against them with a bunch of NFEs. Its just not fair.

Anyways, I really wish I could makes it to the nationals (for many reasons, including to play this with people), but alas, that is most likely not going to happen. Well, this has now given me a desire to go play some puzzle league. So I best get to that now.
Most of the time, beating Super Hard without continuing (much) boils down to surviving the CPU's garbage block shenanigans.

It's fine to send a wave of thick blocks at your opponent, but if you run yourself to the bottom, you won't have anything left to counter the giant block that's getting sent your way.

I find it best to leave three or four rows at the bottom so you can combat the initial block. Have a way to chain their block back at them, but keep in mind that while you're whittling their block down, they're sending another one right back at you - sometimes I've felt pretty accomplished after dwindling down a huge x11 brick only to have another one slammed on me with only a single row of blocks on the screen, resulting in loss.

I've also witnessed the CPU essentially suicide when it had a single stack of panels stacked up like 8 rows high with a giant block on top of it. I'm not sure what made it think that there was nothing it could do, but I've won matches in under 20 seconds like that.


used substitute
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a CAP Contributoris a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus
Yeah, the only real way to get wins for me on the harder levels is to simply let them throw some blocks my way, and then take advantage of the delay upon breaking them to set up some chains. In fact, the bigger the blocks they give me, the easier I find it to fight back (well up to an extent. I've had a block so big thrown at me that there was literally nothing I could do). Even so though, I'm just often not quick enough. Though my controller isn't helping. I need to start playing it on my Wii so I can get better control.

As fun as that is though, I was always just as much of a fan of the Puzzle University part. Not quite as fast paced, and wont really give a rush like the competitive modes can, but it was still a huge challenge.

Oh, and I got a question. What does everyone think of 3D mode? I always found it really interesting, but almost too difficult to keep track of. Though I never really played it too much.
3D mode is actually pretty fun, although I find it harder to get bigger combos. It's definitely something you do only if you have a friend who's decent at the game.
My brother and I rediscovered this game last year, and became rapidly obsessed. We beat Super Hard twice with much perspiration. Unfortunately now we're at roughly the same skill level, meaning individual Pokemon last an average of 13 minutes and I just can't play more than one match a sitting!

Nidoking's third roar sounds like a tiger, btw.