Bass Ackwards Compatibility, or:


The obsessive quest for my favorite Tetris flavors!

I am a puzzle enthusiast.  I am the girl who carried a Two Minute Mysteries book in her backpack through most of grade school for when she got bored and needed a challenge.  My fifth grade “thesis” was about mechanical and jigsaw puzzles, and I interviewed Harry Rinker as part of my research.  I sometimes wonder if he remembers an interview with the kid who was too nervous to make it through her all of her questions.

My tote bag of Rubik’s Cubes and other mechanical puzzles went on every field trip where they were fought over by my friends who weren’t pro-active enough to bring something to amuse themselves with. My family stopped playing Rubik’s Race with me because they weren’t fast enough.  (Wish my parents hadn’t gotten rid of this game – I would love to have a copy of it again!)  Aaron and I once shared a disastrous game of Advanced Mastermind which resulted in him vowing to never play it again.

I’ve been a Tetris junkie ever since my step dad brought home an NES when I was in grade school.  Our first games other than the ubiquitous Super Mario Bros and Duck Hunt were Excitebike and Tetris.  We would play Tetris for hours on end, and I would go to sleep at night seeing the tetraminos in my dreams, all falling into place with perfect order.

Remember when Egghead was still a bricks and mortar store?  I bought a little Tetris keychain there, and never went anywhere without it!  I’d lend it to screaming kids in waiting rooms.  They would be so fascinated by it they would be quiet, and my sanity was worth much more than a $5 toy.  Surprisingly, I always got it back.

So yeah, I love puzzles, especially Tetris.

I picked up a copy of Tetris Worlds for our PS2 a few years back.  The game garnered mediocre reviews, especially for the lame “storyline” of Minos and Tetrions.  However, I completely fell in love with the arcade side because of the diverse variations of Tetris game play, especially Cascade, Sticky, and Fusion.

Fast forward to now, where we no longer own a PS2.  We have a copy of Dr. Mario on the Wii, which is fun, but not always adequate.  Once we got the PS3, I picked up another copy of PS2 Tetris Worlds, assuming that it would be backwards compatible.

No dice.  I don’t remember the exact error message, but it was something along the lines of “FOAD.  We’re not supporting this software because you shouldn’t have gotten rid of your PS2, and they still sell pretty well.  Go buy another one!”

I did a little bit of Googling on it, and it looks like only the first PS3’s off the line were backwards compatible using hardware chips, and later boxes (such as the one we own) are not.  Rumor has it that Sony could release a (possibly already programmed) software update that would fix this quirk, but for whatever reason, are choosing not to.  This puts Sony on my shit list.

Stopped by my (conveniently located) second favorite game shop when Aaron was restless and wanting new games.  While he was mesmerized by the countdown clock to the release of Batman: Arkham Asylum, I chatted with the manager and learned that Tetris Worlds was bundled with the original Xbox as part of a compilation disc, and that copies were pretty easy to come by.  Dropped $5 for it, and felt that hours of Tetris hypnosis were within my reach.

Again, no dice.  Per the Xbox site, the bundled version does not play yet on Xbox 360.  My headcount is now two unplayable discs.

I started taking a look at some of the Tetris flavors that were actually programmed for our household’s platforms, and it doesn’t look like any of the current flavors have the game play I am looking for.  I tried the Tetris fishbowl, err, Splash (Xbox 360 arcade) demo, which left me nonplussed.  Tetris Evolution (Xbox 360 disc) only has Cascade, but not Fusion or Sticky.  Playing Tetris with a Wii balance board sounds intriguing, but overall Tetris Party (Wiiware) looks like a Japanimated version for toddlers.  Meh.

Being a stubborn cheapskate about it probably doesn’t help, either.  For whatever reason, I am willing to shell out $5 for a used disc, but reticent to part with $10 to $30 in order to try the newer Tetris flavors.  Apparently Tetris Worlds was also published for GameCube, so I might have better luck tracking down one of those copies because the Wii is overall backwards compatible with GC games.

I am hanging on to the PS2 and Xbox 360 copies in the (hopefully likely) event that software patches are released and my quest will be over.  In the meantime, I have discovered Trash Panic, a fun downloadable game from the PS3 arcade.  Think environmentally conscious cousin of Tetris.  I get to blow up things in a trash can in order to make it all fit, but at the risk of generating a high carbon footprint.

Be seeing you!

Cute microbes on sale

This entry was posted in GEEKATORIAL, PULP, TOYS and tagged , , , , , , , by The Lovely Jenn. Bookmark the permalink.

About The Lovely Jenn

Jenn has been writing about life in Portland, Oregon, since March 2001. By day, she is a less-than-mild-mannered project manager for a local technology company. By night and weekend, she's a crafty geek-extraordinaire, cheap eats connoisseur, travel junkie, vintage chic devotee, collector of bizarre refrigerator magnets, and wicked coffeehouse-crawler. When she's not roving the streets for story ideas, Illusionaire designs whimsical accessories, volunteers for several non-profits, dotes on her greyhound, and spends altogether too much time making technology do her bidding.

2 thoughts on “Bass Ackwards Compatibility, or:

  1. Well, so much for hoping:

    Sony pretty much implied that backward compatibility was dead when they released the PS3 Slim (without PS2 support), but just in case, Sony’s John Koller put a few nails in that coffin during two recent interviews.

    Koller said, “It’s not coming back, so let me put that on the table,” before later adding “won’t be returning” to Ars.

    Then, to Kotaku, Koller flipped the whole table metaphor around (but said the same thing) with the assertion that “backwards compatibility is off the table.”

    Some eyewitnesses claimed that Koller then stood from his chair, squatted to the floor and teabagged the first generation of PS3s that included hardware backward compatibility. Then, with an equal amount of ceremony, he teabagged the second generation of PS3s the included software emulated backward compatibility.

  2. Great rant! I totally agree.

    I got rid of my PS2 years ago but held on to my games assuming I could just plug them into my PS3. What really chaps my ass is how dedicated Sony was to B/C when they launched the PS3 and how they touted the PS3’s ability to play the entire Playstation library (PS2 + PSOne) over the weak ass B/C on the 360. And then 2 years later they completely abandon that and drop the Emotion Engine AND software emulation all together. WTF!?!

    And listening to the latest podcast got me all fired up about it. I have 2 copies of FF7 that I’ll never be able to use again and many other games that I loved. But don’t worry, you can buy these games all over again on the PS3! I hate how they’re repacking God of War 1 & 2 on a PS3 disc just to help wet our palettes before they get around to releasing #3, over 3 years after the damn thing came out!!

    Arg. I haven’t had as much frustration with my 360 since they built the emulation for most of my Xbox games (Halo, Fusion Frenzy, etc).

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