by Kazigapor, reviewed on
Sharing the Love
In 2003, Bizarre Creations released the racing sim, Project Gotham Racing 2. Playing the game, you could enter the in-game garage and unlock a clever mini-game entitled Geometry Wars. This mini-game was built on a very simple premise; Old-school 2D action with modern-day graphics. Against all odds, it quickly gained cult-like status and two years later Bizarre Creations released the sequel, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. The game went through a major overhaul, with updated graphics, improved interface and new enemies to shoot down with your yellow bolts o’ death.
Another two years have passed and Bizarre Creations decided to share the love and lent the license to the somewhat capable hands of Sierra and Kuju Entertainment. They were cleared to release two games, one on the DS, and the other on the Wii. Does the transition from the 360 to the Wii end in catastrophic failure or does Geometry Wars: Galaxies rise up to the challenge?
The main goal of the Geometry Wars franchise has always been zooming around in a claw-shaped space ship and trying to survive in a square arena. All the while, waves upon waves of oddly shaped foes are constantly being hurled in your direction. To deal with this threat, all sorts of weaponry is at your disposal and –when the going gets tough-bombs can be detonated to obliterate every enemy on the screen with a tap of a button.
All that originated from the original game remains fairly untouched. You now collect ‘Geoms’ that are ‘dropped’ by your foes upon destruction. These oddly shaped items have 2 major attributes; they increase your combat multiplier and act as the currency of the game. Geoms serve to unlock galaxies that hold the planets on which arenas are situated. Each planet varies in difficulty as is reflected by the medal scores. Some are as high as 8 million while others stay down in the 500,000 range. However, super high scores are rather easy to achieve as there is a new ‘150-multiplier’ cap and a new drone system.
Evolving the game
The drone system was a logical step in advancing the series, as you will want some help while you take on massive enemy armadas. The drone is a small square that follows you throughout the game, and performs different actions that you can choose at the beginning of each mission. You can purchase these actions or ‘behaviors’ using Geoms. There are 8 different types of behaviors. One will trail behind you and shoot down near enemies, while another will orbit around you, smashing enemies that get in its way. For some bizarre reason, drones upgrade through an XP system separate from the Geom system, which is absolutely loony. Why not use the Geoms when there is such a surplus? Regardless, it adds depth to the game and it is always a joy to watch as your drone slowly becomes an unstoppable juggernaught of death.
Each planet is designed beautifully and with 64 unique levels, you will find yourself going back to them frequently. Some are designed as mazes, in which you must weave between moving walls, sometimes you will need to dodge asteroids coming from every which angle, and sometimes you will have to survive swirling torrents of immortal black holes. The variety in gameplay is simply amazing.
No Pros and Cons at this time