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Review: Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved

What? No XBLA release today? Lucky for you Xboxic is right here filling up your XBLA thirst with a review of perhaps the greatest game on there to date. The original Geometry Wars: Retro was actually just a mini game that came with Project Gotham Racing 2. Due to its popularity a sequel has been created by Team Bizarre, the same guys who did the first one. This space shooter has very simple gameplay, but it’s the most popular XBLA game… read on to find out why.

Trust me, it is fun, and it can get extremely frustrating. The game is basically Operation Carnage in space, only better. You’ll fly a clawlike spaceship and the goal is to survive by blasting all the oncoming enemies. The game will never end, unless you run out of lives or your Xbox 360 starts giving you red lights. Controlling the ship and firing the weapons can be done using the 2 analog sticks, and a smartbombs can be released by using either the left or the right trigger.

The game starts of very simple, spawning a couple of enemies of the easiest kinds. But after a minute or 2 you’re already overwhelmed by a variety of enemies in different shapes with different behavior. They have no official names, but people gave them names like Pinwheel, Diamond or Snake. In total there are 10 different ones who all have different characteristics. The gravitron is a special one, it acts like a black hole. It sucks all enemies up, and starts vibrating heavily when it’s almost full. You can either shoot it so it’ll explode and get a load of point or wait till it explodes automatically releasing a large number of proton enemies.

The simple nature of the game combined with the appealing graphic sparklefest make this one a must have. You’ll probably get frustrated by it like I said before but you’ll keep coming back for more, trying to get a bigger highscore or perhaps unlocking a couple of the 12 pretty tough achievements. When you’re an advanced player you could play this game forever in theory until you’re bored. You’ll get an extra spaceship at every 75.000 points and an extra smartbomb at every 100.000 points. This way you can make your occasional mistake but still continue the game. Another fun thing to mention is that you start of with a simple gun, until you reach the 10.000 points mark. After that you’ll randomly get another (better) gun and after every following 10.000 points your gun will be randomly picked out of the 2 available ones.

The game features only one game mode, but you can play both the original Geometry Wars: Retro which came with Project Gotham Racing 2 and Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. Both these games feature leaderboards, and it’s pretty fun to compete with your friends trying to get the biggest highscore. Which is actually more realistic than trying for the global leaderboards, with the current highscore being way over 100 million.

Conclusion

This is definitely one of the best XBLA games available, it’s got addictive gameplay, cute graphics and great price point make it well worth the money. I myself can’t play the game for too long due to the fact it gets frustrating after dying a couple times and buying new controllers all the time after smashing one into the ground it is just too expensive. The only downside of the game is that it only has one game mode, but we hear from reputable sources that a sequel is already in the works to correct that. Until that day consider your 400 Microsoft Points well spent on this jewel.

Final Score: 9 out of 10 - Very Good (how do we rank games?)

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17 comments on 'Review: Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved'

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Very nice game but insanly difficult, for me at least.

Comment by trj156 on 2006-08-16 21:42:44 | Reply

I got over a million points and got the achievement, but my internet was out and it did not report the score to the server. when i got back online, it said my high score was 500,000!!!

anyway, i agree with this review. personally, i think its the best xbla to date.

Comment by The_Glovner on 2006-08-17 10:32:06 | Reply

No way Bankshot Billiards is the best to date.

This was the 1st game I bought from Arcade (not including that Hexican 3d game, whatever it is) and it’s just too hard, but it’s good.
I’d say 8/10.

awesome game 8/10 from me … it would be a 10/10 if it had multiplayer coop :)

I think the 360 would explode with all the insanity. It would definitely melt through what ever it’s resting on.

Comment by Nekro on 2006-08-16 22:36:51 | Reply

The first Arcade game I bought and that was it, I had to buy up all the games that caught my interest then.

Comment by schwall22 on 2006-08-16 22:54:14 | Reply

I would like to get Hexic back, I formatted my HDD, and Hexic was not on when I recovered, I think Microsoft should put Hexic up as a downloadable game, for free. Why Not??

Comment by Mark D on 2006-08-17 00:55:51 | Reply

@schwall22

Get in touch with MS, they’ll give you a code that you can use to download it.

Mutant Storm is better…;)

Comment by hurricanepilot on 2006-08-17 09:11:34 | Reply

it’s the thinking man’s geometry wars…

and no nay-saying unless you’re a black belt ;o)

Comment by Jason on 2006-08-17 01:56:13 | Reply

To be Honest im yet to see a XBLA game worth buying. I’ve got a few and I just think ‘what a waste of money for all this shit!’ We should be having games to buy and download that should at least resemble PS1 quality over SNES or Megadrive rubbish!! ÂŁ8.50 for StreetFighter 2 HF is a rip off - BUT BUT my biggest rant to date has to be THE worst rendition of Pac Man ever in the world. No way should that rubbsih cost more than a quid! I aint buying any more arcade games until I see graphical improvements in them!!

Dude, why are you taking a piss at a perfectly ported retro game. It’s a frigging retro game, it’s got the exact original graphics from the 1979 original.

And who’s forcing you to buy shit. Download the trial, and if you don’t like it cost you nothing.

Having said all that, games like Geo Wars, Cloning Clyde and Mutant Storm surpass PS1 quality by miles.

Comment by trj156 on 2006-08-17 03:57:27 | Reply

jeez curry, my shoe after i step in dog shit surpasses ps1 quality.

Curry, while I was in Tennessee I spent quite a few dollars playing Ms. Pac-Man. Then, in the few glorious moments my Xbox was ressurected and was capable of downloading and playing the XBLA Pac-Man, it was slow. Slow to the point where I couldn’t get all four ghosts in a single power pellet. I don’t know if this is Pac-Man vs. Super Ms. Pac-Man, or another case of Galaga (arcade version is much faster) but for some reason Namco does not know how to port their 25+ year old arcade games. (Multiplayer plz?)

However, that being said, the Arcade is hands-down my favorite feature of the 360. (Take a look at my recent games. Pac-Man, Marble Blast, Galaga, Mutant Storm, and SF2 baby.) So even though Namco has their heads up their bums stuff like Cloning Clyde and the upcoming Mad Tracks and Castle Crashers more than makes up for it.

(Also, I like the original Playstation. :()

Comment by Karel_ende on 2006-08-17 13:47:42 | Reply

PS1 quality sucks… I’d rather play a SNES 2D game than a PS1 “3d” game…

Geometry Wars is a game that must be mastered. Retro is very easy once you learn it and once that occurs you can go on forever. Evolved is very challenging but once learned it still is hard but a little easier. Check out my Geometry Wars Guide if you haven’t already. http://www.geometrywars.wordpress.com or just click on my name.
-Best arcade title.
10/10
6.7 million evolved
6.2 retro

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