The King of Dual Analog Stick Shooters Has Returned

If you guessed Geometry Wars, you’re absolutely right! This past Wednesday, Xbox 360 gamers were treated to yet another top notch exclusive title on Xbox Live Arcade – Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2. Everything that brought GW success and popularity is fully in-tact, but every aspect of the game has been tweaked to as close to perfection as possible. With the exception of the absence of an online multiplayer mode, GW2 kicks ass on every level and will definitely satisfy fans of the series.

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2

Game Modes Galore

When I first started the game, I was a little taken by the game mode select screen. There’s 6 modes, but all of them but 1 are locked. You have to play through each mode for a certain amount of time before you unlock the next mode – which might sound cheesy since you just paid for the game and only have access to 12.5% of it from the get-go. But you end up unlocking all the modes within 20 minutes or so, and every mode is a hell of a lot of fun to play.

There’s really something for players of all skill levels this time around, instead of a single mode which is over in a matter of a minute or 2 for some. The scoring has been adjusted significantly and the old form of multipliers is out. In its place are “geoms”, which are shards of broken enemies that you collect and add to your ever increasing multiplier. Unlike most multiplier systems, it isn’t reset when you die. Before you know it, you’re scoring x500, which as you can imagine, can lead to some pretty massive scores. The goal of every mode is to achieve the highest score, and the game mode select screen itself sports leaderboards, so you can see which of your friends you need to try and beat. I’m currently owning the Sequence board, but I have a feeling my reign will come to an end soon enough.

Aside from the slue of new game modes, there’s also a handful of new enemies. Those who played Geometry Wars: Waves in Project Gotham Racing 4 got a taste of the orange arrows nearly a year ago. Some of the old enemies have had their smarts adjusted and are noticeably trickier to hit – green squares, I’m looking at you!

“Wait, What’s Happening? Where’s My Ship Thinger?”

I don’t know how many times I’ve said that while playing multiplayer. GW on its own can be hard to follow at times. I can never play just before bed, or right when I wake up. There’s just no way my brain can make sense of the beautiful chaos that is GW unless I’m fully alert. But even then, when playing with 2 or more players, it’s super hard to stay on top of things. For starters, the camera zooms in and out depending on the distance between ships. So if you’re at opposite ends of the grid, it’s zoomed way about 2x the normal view and is quite hard to follow. None the less, it’s still pretty fun playing with or against others. It’s nice to have the option of playing together, as opposed to passing the controller around between rounds.

Glorious Techno

Why do I love the music in Geometry Wars games? What is the deal? There isn’t much in the way of digital music that I can tolerate, but I find myself reaching for the remote between rounds to turn up the volume whenever I play GW. This time around, there are a few different tracks, with Evolved mode sporting the tried and true theme – this time sporting an old school rap beat. Man, I love that shit! But let’s keep this on the down-lo… or whatever.

Best $10 I’ve Ever Spent?

It very well could be! I, without a doubt, recommend Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 to anyone and everyone regardless of their typical gaming habits.

Rating: 5/5

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2

10 Responses to “The King of Dual Analog Stick Shooters Has Returned”

  1. Got this right when it was released and it definitely is one of the best XBLA games out there! Perfects every aspect of Geometry Wars Retro Evolved! Cant think how they could possibly make a sequel to this perfection.

  2. I've played the first Retro Evolved maybe about a week before I got burnt out on it. This new version, though, I've been playing the moment I wake up (unlike you, I play this right when I wake up.)

    It's funny, because I'll go to bed at the top of some leaderboards, wake up to find I'm in 3rd place, play a bunch and get back on top, wake up the next day and I have to get back to the top again.

    All of the game modes really are great. My best is King, while my worst is Pacifism.

    I'm thinking this might be the best $10 I've spent for Xbox Live so far.

  3. I finally had some time to play the other night and before I knew it I had spent three hours playing the demo. The revamp is totally killer and I can see myself playing quite a bit.

    I haven't had a chance to go back and unlock the full game but I definitely plan on doing so as soon as possible — great game!

  4. I really liked the first version of GW and usually played it when I had a few minutes left. But I wasn't very good at it and usually got pissed after a few trials.

    But tried GW2 and really love it. Especially the different game-modes are a blast.

    Really enjoy playing it and can't wait to play it with my volume to the max 😉

  5. Cheers for the write up Matt. Had it not been for this I'd have missed out on a superb game. I've only grabbed the demo for now but my thumbs are itching to give it another go. The best part about is it's not frustrating at all… not to me anyway.

    • I find the only time it gets frustrating is if you're trying to accomplish a certain goal, or if there are distractions in the room. You really need to focus, or you make silly mistakes – which leads to frustration.

      • In hindsight this is so very true Matt. I've played it quite a bit now and trying to get a few of the achievements has proved most frustrating. Smile being the obvious culprit. Once my Elite returns from the repair shop (I too have been a victim of the 3 red light cockup) I shall master it. Then I'll be hitting Deadrising again… never did complete that game.