pew pew pew
In November of 2005, the Xbox 360 launched with a number of retail-based games. While the launch games were (arguably) solid, not all will be remembered as classics. But Bizarre Creation's Xbox Live Arcade title, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved will not soon be forgotten.
To this day, the XBLA twin-stick shooter still stands as one of the best values in Microsoft's digital distribution portfolio. Simple and addictive, Geometry Wars got many early adopters through those tough early times between the Xbox 360's launch and well, the release of solid titles.
Now the title has gotten an upgrade, but it's not available on the system that made it famous among the masses. This time, Kuju Entertainment and Bizarre Creations have brought a full-featured version of the game, called Geometry Wars: Galaxies, to the Wii (along with a version for the Nintendo DS). But is this a case of cramming unwanted additions and complications into an already near-perfect title to make a quick buck? Or should Xbox 360 owners be seething with jealousy?
Geometry Wars: Galaxies (Wii)
Another new addition is that of the drone, an autonomous smaller version of your ship which mirrors your movements and helps you blast (or defend against) enemies. Drones come in a number of forms -- attack, defend, collect, snipe, sweep, ram, turret, and bait. Drones can be purchased and upgraded using "Geoms," the intergalactic form of currency used in Galaxies, which you nab off of fallen enemies as you play. You choose your drone prior to entering a planet, and choosing the right drone for each situation is crucial to getting a gold medal or truly breaking high scores.
As if Geometry Wars' hectic pace weren't confusing enough, having two firing ships on the screen could become a nightmare for some. Each player has a unique ship shape and slightly different color, but there's just not enough to distinguish the two from one another, especially with everything that's happening on-screen. Moving your eyes away from the screen or your ship for even a moment can result in some serious frustration, and is a good way to quickly lose a life. The cooperative modes are certainly fun (more so than watching a friend play a single game of Geometry Wars for two hours), but it's a shame they can only be played locally -- the game does support leaderboards via the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection, but there are no online multiplayer options.
Even with slight control hurdles (and me wishing I could play it on the Xbox 360 because of this), Geometry Wars: Galaxies is an amazing enhancement to an already amazing arcade game. The MSRP of $39.99 might turn off some when compared to the $5 Retro Evolved costs on Xbox Live Arcade. The truth is, Galaxies is as addictive as ever, and well worth the extra money for fans of arcade-style shooters looking to sink hours into breaking high scores.
THE VERDICT - Geometry Wars: Galaxies
Reviewed by Nick Chester
|3:30 PM on 04.17.2013|
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