Geometry Wars: Galaxies Review
Review By Steve Farrelly @ 03:05pm 13/02/08
While the core game is the same, the Wii version has been handled by Nintendo hardware know-it-alls Kuju Entertainment, and despite being of the retro kind, this iteration is actually pretty darn, well… pretty.
There are particle effects, lighting and physics all being handled stunningly well, and while the game is essentially a 2D shooter there are touches of 3D animation and movement trickled throughout.
Titled Galaxies, this instalment in the Geometry Wars catalogue sees you tackling a galaxy of levels. You have an over-world view of the galaxy, and each system within has a number of planets orbiting a star. The planets are levels and naturally increase in difficulty as you progress. You begin with the Alpha system which has three planets (levels), then Beta, which has four, Delta which has five, Epsilon , six and so on. Each planet (level) has a different shape, enemies and rules (ie no bombs, a single life etc) and enemy behaviour is also unique to each level. Some levels sees them bombarding you from every direction within seconds, while other can take a while to grow in number and intensity.
Weapons increase as you collect the game’s currency, Geoms. Within each level, every enemy killed leaves behind a Geom, collecting these will go towards eventually unlocking locked Drone behaviours, planets and systems. They also go towards your in-game score multiplier, which is the real aim of Geometry Wars as you can eventually collect enough Geoms in succession (without dying or using a bomb) so that each enemy killed is dishing out thousands upon thousands of points. For each level there are Bronze, Silver and Gold goals which are all point-based.
There’s an in-game leaderboard and you can also jump online and save your high score to the online leaderboard (the highest I’ve ranked is 110th). Multiplayer comes in the form of co-op and co-op challenge and you can choose whether to share your score or play in verses mode to try and out-score each other. Unfortunately there’s no online multiplayer, which is a real shame because a game of this nature would be a perfect example of online play being a viable platform for the Wii and Wii owners.
Galaxies is also available on DS and owning both will allow you to have the respective games and systems interact. You can connect your DS to the Wii remotely and download the game mode Geometry Wars: Evolved straight to your DS (however, the game will only remain on the DS as long as it’s on, switch it off and you lose it). If you gain a higher score on the DS version of the game, you can also exchange this data so as to have the score on your Wii and then uploaded to the online leaderboards (if you’re a score whore like me).
Given the nature of the game is to get the highest scores possible, it’s another example of how smart Microsoft were with their Achievements. This would have been the perfect game to unlock a load of Achievements, but alas, both Nintendo and Sony just don’t care enough about us to implement them. There is an Xbox Live Arcade version of Geometry Wars, but in my opinion, the version Kuju have made for us is by far the best, and the Wii is a great home for this game I’m just sore there’re no Achievements (or online multiplayer). That aside, however, this is a good purchase for Wii owners, it’s a stunning example of simplicity and substance over flash, but for its simple nature, Geometry Wars: Galaxies looks amazing as well. If you’re a fan of the arcade shooters of old, pick this up at your next videogame store visit.