Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved XP Review

There’s nothing like a quirky game to kill some time (I’m sure Frank knows all about that.) While these arcade-type games have been part of console nostalgia for years, there’s something about them that was lost through the various transitions to PC.

Geometry Wars was originally a mini-game for Project Gotham Racing 2, and for the XBLA on the Xbox 360, the game’s developer, Bizarre Creations, decided to revamp the game. Out comes Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. It had a lot of success on XBLA and was even released for Windows Vista back in March. Eventually, it was finally released for Windows XP courtesy of Steam, where PC folks can actually play the game without resorting to either picking up a 360 or getting Vista.

In a nutshell, the game is rather quick and easy. You pilot a little tiny ship and you shoot the various shapes that come at you. If a shape touches you, you’re dead. If the going gets tough, you got some bombs that’ll clear the screen of the enemies. Well, that’s about it for gameplay. I did say the game was quick, right?

The visuals are probably the high point. While I don’t know why the game was ported to Vista first, I’m sure it looks the same when played on XP. The game’s colors are really vibrant and when an enemy shape goes boom, you get plenty of colorful sparks flying everywhere. There’s just something about bright and flashy colors that attracts players and make them say, "Ooh, shiny! I must play it!"

Unfortunately, the PC version falls short of its Xbox 360 counterpart. For starters, it’s played entirely offline. The great thing about Xbox Live was that you could shove your score or your earned achievements in your friends’ faces. But for the PC version, that all went poof. There’s no sharing, no gloating, no achievements, no leader score board and ultimately, a lot less fun. Sure, it’s fine for a few minutes, but I don’t see any other incentive to continue on.

I would suggest to also use a controller. The Xbox 360 controller for PC is great and work perfectly fine for the game. But how about support for other controllers? Nope, you’re stuck either using a joystick or keyboard and mouse instead. Keyboard controlling is pretty awkward at first, but you get used to it. You use WASD to move your ship around and the arrow keys to change the position of your fire.

For $3.95, it’s a great price. Despite all the things lost in the transition, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved for the PC is still fun. It costs less than a few burgers from McDonald’s and can easily kill time if you’re bored. If you own a 360, though, stick with that version instead.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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