|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Kuju Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sierra||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 20, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by D'Marcus Beatty
The advent of the casual gamers has proven that games don't have to be flashy, graphical masterpieces or have deep, philosophical stories to be considered one of the greats. A lot of gamers prefer a round of Mrs. Pac-Man to some of the higher scored games that require an immense time investment. Geometry Wars is a perfect example of a simple concept that has created one of the most beloved titles of this gaming generation. Geometry Wars began as a simple easter egg hidden in the garage of Project Gotham Racing 2, but it proved so popular that it wound up as a standalone title leading the Xbox Live Arcade charge.
Its simple concept of geometrical shapes battling for the universe was robust enough to make it one of the most popular Xbox Live Arcade titles, and the game's unprecedented and unpredictable popularity has given it to opportunity to make its debut as an actual retail title on the Wii. However, popularity alone doesn't always merit a game's creation. Will Geometry Wars' simple gameplay be enough to fill a disc, or should it have stayed as a downloadable Arcade game? The verdict is in, and Wii owners that enjoyed or missed out on either version of Geometry Wars, whether as a full game or an Easter egg, won't be disappointed at all with their retail version.
Don't look for any story in Geometry Wars. The game is as pure a shooter as any gamer could hope for. No clunky backstory dilutes the experience, attempting to clumsily set the stage for the gameplay. The only thing that you need to know is that you are a 2-dimensional object that is able to fire pellets at invading geometrical shapes. It's a deceptively simple concept that houses incredible gameplay, especially for fans of the old school or gamers that look for the next challenge to their reflexes.
The little additions to the gameplay aren't completely apparent when you begin the Galaxies mode. While the original Geometry Wars placed you in a single stage where you had to survive against waves of enemies, Galaxies actually has different stages with different themes. You notice the changes as you trek from planet to planet combating wire frame enemies, with each stage encasing you in a particular shape. Initially you'll find yourself in a rectangle, beating back the enemies that invade from the edges of the screen, but as you progress, you'll find different challenges, such as moving barriers and maze shaped stages. The variety of stages keeps the gameplay fresh and frenetic, never allowing you to grow complacent in your strategies. Some stages even appear to be tributes to classic titles, with areas reminiscent of Pac-Man, Asteroids, and Space Invaders.
Another addition to the game is the inclusion of a helper drone which can be leveled up. Initially, the drone simply fires nearly ineffectual bullets to aid you in survival, but as you collect Geoms from destroyed enemies, you can level your helper up, making him more effective in battle, ordering it to a position as a turret of sorts, or even as a defensive shield that circles your ship to ward off divebombing foes. Geoms are also used as combo multipliers, a fact that may irritate purists and the gaming elite, since the plentiful Geoms make it a little too easy to rack up incredible scores.
Visually, Geometry Wars maintains the same level of graphical appeal as the Xbox Live Arcade version. While there isn't much to ogle, the game multicolored geometrical enemy swarms and explosive effects are all intact, all while maintaining the same level of speed that veterans are used to. While some of the more eagle eyed gamers may notice a color dulling due to the lack of HD luster, it seems a small tradeoff considering the new content.