Back in the days when arcades were still somewhat popular, I remember playing a game called Smash TV. It was based on the premise of being a game show from the future where your character went through a series of rooms killing robots for cash and prizes. What made Smash TV unique was that the controls were two joysticks: one for moving your character, and another for controlling the direction of your aim. While there may have been other earlier games with similar controls, like Vanguard and Robotron, Smash TV really stuck out to me because of the control scheme.
When Geometry Wars came out in Project Gotham Racing 2, it became a huge hit, becoming almost as addictive as the racing game. Geometry Wars really exploded when Retro Evolved was released on Xbox Live. The movement and aiming felt natural with the Xbox 360 controller. Since then, many clones have come out, such as flow and Everyday Shooter. Now Bizarre Creations has come out with Geometry Wars: Galaxies with a new control scheme for the Nintendo Wii.
The graphics for Geometry Wars have never been anything elaborate, but they still have a style all their own. The vector graphics and particle effects are clean and sharp, especially when playing in 480p widescreen. The enemies all have a unique look to them, even if they are mostly made up of straight lines. Part of that is the different colors each enemy has, but their movement also gives them a bit more personality.
The particle effects are a visual masterpiece and what really make the graphics shine compared to other titles. The background makes waves when you have a certain weapon shot, you activate a smart bomb, or when your ship reappears on the screen after being destroyed. It reverberates across the entire screen. Enemy explosions look like fireworks. When a Gravity Well becomes active, multicolored sparks fly all around. When two Gravity Wells get absorbed in each other
The music in Galaxies follows the same pattern as Retro Evolved. The menus have this mysterious sci-fi vibe to it. If you imagine an old 1920
I was a bit concerned about how well the controls would be for Galaxies using the Wii remote and Nunchuk. The Nunchuk stick controls movement, and the Wii remote controls the aim of your gun. A or B shoots, and C or Z activate your smart bomb. It works, but it does take a lot of getting used to. There is a cursor on the screen that indicates where the pointer is aiming at, as well as a line that indicates the direction of your shot.
You can use the Classic Controller in Galaxies as well. The dual analog sticks are used for movement and aiming, and the L and R keys are used for the smart bomb. If you are used to playing Retro Evolved on the Xbox 360, then this might be the way to go. What is disappointing is the fact that the original Gamecube controller isn
When I first heard of Galaxies, I thought that it would be the same game as Retro Evolved, just with a new control scheme. I quickly figured out that wasn
Galaxies includes over 60 planets to visit. It is easy to go to one planet and get addicted to it for a while, but moving on will open up new challenges. It will always be interesting to see what new shape and what kinds of enemies will show up on each planet. Certain planets give you a different number of ships and smart bombs. You can also move to other planets if you get stuck at a specific planet, so Galaxies never feels frustrating. The original Retro Evolved is available as well. The game also retails for $40.