Joystiq impressions: Geometry Wars Galaxies

Despite what developers Kuju tell us, we don't think fans of previous Geometry Wars games will necessarily enjoy Galaxies for the Wii. Though it may have been more enjoyable with the classic controller, our playtime with the Wii remote and nunchuk proved needlessly hard to use.

Movement is done with then nunchuk's joystick, and the direction of your fire is determined by where you point on screen and is shown via a thin red line shooting out of your ship. Given the sheer necessity to be accurate in more difficult phases, having to deal with Wii remote's imprecise pointing proves detrimental.

Compensating for the control issues is your little drone buddy that will team up with you against the Shapes of Evil. By collecting geoms, the game's currency dropped by the bad guys, you can upgrade your drone. We couldn't get a descriptive answer as to what upgrades will be available, but a representative gave us the example of buying an upgrade that tells the drone to target a specific type of foe.

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You can download a version of Xbox Live's Retro Evolved on the DS. You can use either the D-pad or the buttons on the right (for southpaw gamers) to move and shoot in a specified direction via where your stylus is on the touch screen. Or you can swap that and shoot with the D-pad, move with the stylus -- either way, you're still left with some imprecision because the D-pad will only give you eight directions at a time.

In terms of levels, we're seeing 60 different planets, organized by solar systems and again by galaxies (hence the title). Galaxies' online aspect is its leaderboards, one for each level. Visually, the special effects were well preserved but we were shown the game on an HD screen, which makes most Wii games look like they're presented through a grainy filter. Here, the rep reminded us the game is still in pre-alpha stages.

We couldn't get a finalized price from the representative. The controls of Geometry Wars Galaxies were designed are ideal with two analog sticks, and at this point we can't recommend this game without having the classic controller. And with it, we're still not sure if the level variety will justify paying retail for an extremely low-priced Xbox Live download. Galaxies will be out this fall.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.