Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 XBLA Review

On, one hand, I feel that a game as simple as Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 doesn’t warrant a review, but there’s so much to do and it can be so time consuming that it certainly warrants a review. Geometry Wars is a relatively simple twin-stick shooter that began as a mini-game in Project Gotham Racing 2 on the Xbox. Retro Evolved 2 is now available through the XBLA and is easily the arcade game I’ve found most worth it. The basic idea is that you control a small “ship” that can move freely through the rectangular play area, and shoot in any direction, and you have various kinds of enemies that will kill you if you touch them.

Since this is an arcade game, and a simple one, there won’t be too much to go over, but I’ll extract everything I can think of.

There are six different game modes to choose from, and if you feel the need, a multiplayer mode is available in each of them. It seems to me that this game is one for parties, as each game mode playthrough lasts about 3.5 minutes, and that’s if you don’t do something stupid first. The difficulty increase inherent in each playthrough is universal, and is easy to see progress as you start from one or two enemies at the start to an enormous cloud of them converging on you in the end. If you plan to do well at this game, be prepared for plenty of frustration, as even the best players have the bad luck of having enemies spawned on top of them or being overwhelmed early by an illusive foe. Despite this, Geometry Wars requires a lot of skill and is quite a challenge to master. the 6 game modes are very diverse and all fun to play, and you’ll start off being good at a couple and completely failing at others. This can be attributed to the way your ship shoots, which can be quite obnoxious when you spend a good 5 seconds determined to destroy a particularly illusive enemy  before the rest of the gang converges on your position and boxes you in. Overall, the fast-paced gameplay is very diverse, fun, and though it has a bit of a learning curve, it can be entertaining for hours.

The sounds and music in this game are extremely befitting of a modern day arcade game and set the mood very well. It is of course very simple, but is an excellent game enhancer as you will eventually learn which sounds indicate exactly what is heading your way (sometimes even from where) allowing you to plan accordingly. The enemies are also very well done, each one requiring a different method of evasion and destruction as well as being easily distinguished from the other enemies in the game. Though I like the fireworks effect every time I successfully destroy an enemy, it’s far from helpful when it prevents me from seeing the single enemy that has managed to get just a tad too close. Otherwise I have nothing to complain about. Objects are clearly visible and the whole game is very bright and fun.

Geometry Wars has been one of my favorite games for at least 3 years, which is a testament to how long this game can be entertaining for. Though it seems to rely strongly on the leaderboard system of encouragement, the achievements are quite a challenge, though they are very fun to get,  and if you’re competitive you’ll be itching to keep trying to achieve the highest score you possible can. My recommendation to you is that if you can spare the money for 800 Microsoft Points, buy the game. If you can’t, at least get the demo as this game is one that every serious gamer should say they’ve played.

GGC Score: 10 out of 10

About Will

A lifelong gamer, I've always had a passion for the geekier lifestyle. Now, I'm working towards making that a lifetime career. Here's to me

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