|2008-01-15||Wii||Arcade||E (Everyone)||Sierra / Kuju Entertainment|
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved was a huge hit when it arrived on Xbox Live Arcade, actually being awarded IGN's 2005 Best XBLA Game of the Year. Now on the Wii, Geometry Wars has you defending galaxies - hence the name - from wave after wave of alien enemies.
Geometry Wars: Galaxies still has the same goal: defeat increasing swarms of enemies, gather score multipliers, pick up power-ups and occasionally use a bomb to clear the screen when things get complicated.
So how does this work on the Wii, without the familiar analog sticks to move and shoot? Well, the Nunchuk's analog controls the movement and you aim in the direction you want to shoot with the Wii-mote. It doesn't work all that well because you need a steady grip on that Wii-mote, something I can't seem to achieve. Fortunately, I have the Classic controller, which makes it all a little better and more satisfying, even if you can't shoot perfectly in circles.
The game offers a single-player campaign with the Galaxies mode where you progress through several solar systems, with each planet representing a level. Each enemy you kill drops Geoms (yellow shards), which are used as the game's currency. Currency is in turn used to unlock more solar systems (thus, more levels) and to purchase skills for your Drone. The Drone is that little thing that follows your ship around, and can do a number of things, from attacking to collecting Geoms or orbiting around your ship to protect it. High scores give your Drone a chance to earn experience and leveling up, making it more effective at whatever skill you have it using.
Each level has three score medals to earn, bronze, silver and gold. The goals vary from level to level, usually requiring you to achieve a certain score under certain conditions, such as having a single life or using no bombs. While some scores in the order of millions may seem highly unlikely to attain, every Geom you pick up raises your score multiplier by one, so they are relatively easy to obtain. The levels also introduce a series of obstacles that help take away from the otherwise repetitive gameplay, be it vortexes that draw you in either spinning too fast or slow you down to a crawl, waves of enemies coming from a certain part of the screen swarming you, or changes in shape, style and power-ups.
Aside from the single-player campaign, Galaxies also offers multiplayer modes in Versus and Co-op flavors. Unfortunately, there is no online multiplayer support.
Also included is Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, but after you have played Galaxies, it just doesn't seem to have enough to draw you in for long periods of time in comparison.
Geometry Wars: Galaxies takes Retro Evolved and expands it with tons of levels, new enemies that attack in swarms and multiplayer options to justify the full retail price. Sure, the graphics aren't as good as on the Xbox 360 and you won't be seeing any next-gen 3D here, but the game is still fun and makes a good addition to the current library of Wii games out there, because it?‚…s that something different in a sea of games that all seem too much alike.
Special thanks to Arne Meyer and Vivendi for providing a copy of this title.