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Geometry Wars Galaxies

Whoever decided to release a game with the subtitle Galaxies a week after Super Mario Galaxy came out probably wasn’t the brightest crayon in the box when it came to marketing decisions. With that being said, Geometry Wars Galaxies is a fantastic pseudo-sequel to an Xbox 360 Arcade classic. What’s it doing on the Wii? Who knows, but whoever made that decision is a marketing genius.

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“40$ USD for a port? Honestly, all Geometry Wars did was take classic Robotron and Asteroids gameplay and mix in a copius amount of LSD.Let’s start with a little story. When I received Geometry Wars: Galaxies in the mail, I was intrigued. I had forgotten that the game was being ported to the Wii, and was pleasantly surprised by its arrival. However, after reading the information enclosed with the game, I was worried. 40$ USD for a port? Honestly, all Geometry Wars did was take classic Robotron and Asteroids gameplay and mix in a copius amount of LSD. Nevertheless, I started up the game with an open mind.

To my surprise, some three odd hours later, that price seemed fair. More than fair, actually. Galaxies features a campaign of sorts, in which the Geometry Wars formula is applied to different shaped levels, each with a different set of goals to reach. The simple gameplay is still there, but the addition of this absolutely massive amount of different levels is outstanding. There’s even a small RPG element: points earned in levels are converted into EXP, leveling up a small, AI controlled ship called the Drone. The Drone can provide different kinds of help, offensive or defensive, depending on how you level it up. The Galaxies campaign is lengthy, and thankfully, consistently fun. Geometry Wars is a throwback to quarter-munchers of yesteryear, and it’s fun to see that the ancient genre still has what it takes to be entertaining. The original Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved mode is included in this Wii package as well. Co-op and Vs. modes are present, too, making this an extremely robust Wii title.

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On the Xbox 360, Geometry Wars was a visual feast. The trippy colors and simple ship designs really made the game stand out, and it looked great on a big HDTV. Obviously, the Wii translation does not run in 720p, but at least 16:9 widescreen and 480p modes are supported. Surprisingly, the lower resolution doesn’t hamper Geometry Wars at all. The colors are just as vibrant on the Wii as they were on 360, and all of the cool effects- such as the rippling blue mesh- are visible. Unfortunately, that means that the game is still just as insane as the original.

It’s easy to get lost in a sea of neon explosions, ships, and pointers. The pointer is a new addition to the Wii version, and it helps, for the most part. It’s a laser with a crosshair (aimed with the Wii remote) that shows where your ship is firing, which is usually very helpful. However, it can get lost in the chaos, which could lead to many frustrating deaths. The difficulty curve is probably intentional, seeing that the entire game is a love letter to 1986, but nonetheless, the fact that the game’s graphics sometimes leave you flying blind can be a bit cheap. It’s easier to wrangle the firing control with a Wii Classic Controller, but that defeats the point of playing this game on the Wii. Geometry Wars is a simple concept that gets complicated very, very fast.

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“The floodgates have finally been opened and we are starting to see what the console is good for.”Geometry Wars Galaxies is another strong title for the Nintendo Wii this season. The floodgates have finally been opened and we are starting to see what the console is good for. Hopefully, things will continue this way and soon, the console will have its own Halo on its hands. But I digress; Galaxies is a great game that has a surprising amount of content packed onto the disc, considering that it began as an easter egg in Project Gotham Racing 3. The ridiculously long campaign mode will have arcade jockeys gunning for a long time, and the fact that every mode can be played with a friend only sweetens the deal. You can even send a demo of Geometry Wars for the Nintendo DS to your handheld via Wi-fi. All told, Geometry Wars Galaxies strives for quality and quantity, something that’s often not the case these days. A solid classic shooter for the Wii, and the perfect example of how the old school can still compete with the new school.

8 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in October 2006.

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