Geometry Wars: Galaxies Wii Review - 30/01/2008

Geometry Wars: Galaxies shows that the twin stick shooter can still hold its head against the big hitters.

Galaxies is an arcade shooter where you and your trusty Drone are constantly fending off multiple hoards of shapes. The basic mechanics from the original, Retro Evolved, are still there. So your main aim is to dodge all of the polygons (which is a lot harder than it sounds) that the game can throw at you, while at the same time destroying them, bullet by bullet. But Bizarre Creations have dropped a few surprises into the mix. Like the inclusion of a helpful ship, your Drone, that helps you out on the battlefields, and an all new campaign mode.

If you're going to consider buying this, you should really think about investing some money on a classic controller. When using the default control system, the Wiimote and Nunchuk, the Nunchuk handles your ship's movement while the IR on the Wiimote guides your projectiles. It sounds easy enough, but it doesn't feel natural. It only took me about 5 minutes before I plugged in the classic controller. From then on I was flying. The classic controller changes the control method to one almost identical to the controls in Retro Evolved on the 360. So, the left stick moves your ship and the right aims your turret. With the shoulder buttons taking control of your new ability to drop bombs.

This time around GW features a fully fledged campaign mode with over 60 planets to try out. There is one enormous 'galaxy' that has many solar systems within. Each of these solar systems has a selection of planets to choose from and each one has to be unlocked by using the universal currency in Galaxies: Geoms. You gain Geoms during battles. Every time a shape is slaughtered it drops one of four of these yellow items. The amount of Geoms that each shape drops varies from 1 to 10. Geoms have a second use, however. While in game, picking up one will increase your multiplier by how many you just collected. Once you reach 150, the maximum, you will start gaining life and weapon bonuses which in turn will help you obliterate the enemies.

Psychedelic explosions are the order of the day here

These multipliers are the key to big scores. Each planet has 3 targets, bronze, silver and gold, and they can only be achieved by matching or beating the score shown for each rung of the ladder. Now comes the tricky part. If your ship comes into contact with an opponent your multipliers are reset, so it gives you even more of an incentive to weave your way through the crowds. Some bronze targets can even reach up to 30 million points, which can take a long time unless you keep that multiplier on 150 at all times.

The amount of enemies the game throws at you is ridiculous, and this makes the game as fun as it is! The first 2 areas are easy, but the third comes as a shock. Don't let this get you down. If you persevere you'll love this game - GW is probably the most chaotic shooter ever, it can even stand up to the likes of Call of Duty 4, our game of the year. There's never a dull moment, it's more likely for you to be frantically trying to wriggle through the cracks in the shapes' defence, while shooting anywhere, than precisely shooting at each individual shape. This is where your new companion, the Drone, comes in.

The Drone has 8 different classes for you to try out, as long as you can provide the correct amount of Geoms for the upgrade. You have a choice of attack, defend, collect, snipe, sweep, ram, turret and bait. All of them do a different job, and so getting a feel for one early will do you good in the long run. My personal favourite is defend. In this mode, it acts as a turret, stuck to your ship's rear end, and it fires in the opposite direction to where your analogue stick is facing. When you find yourself in a tight spot you can shoot whoever you like without having to watch your back, which is something that can't be said with any of the other classes. Attack is the default class, and this one's all about brute force.

Could you get out of this situation alive? Buy the game if you want to find out!

Wherever you point your bullets, the drone does too, so effectively anything in front dies. But if anything creeps up behind you, you're dead. Sweep and ram both can't fire, and rely on melee attacks to destroy the colourful critters, with sweep acting as more of a shield than a weapon. Collect, as obvious as it sounds, does exactly what it says on the tin. It can't fire, it can't bash, and all it can do is collect. Sorry if this is getting strenuous, it's nearly over now. Turret is one of the more creative additions. Your Drone deploys itself as a sentry gun, and can shoot anything within 360 degrees of its range. Finally, bait takes all the attention off of your ship, and makes the Drone act as a diversion as you shoot them in the back.

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