Wii Fanboy Review: Geometry Wars Galaxies

There's a war going on out there. It's not one fought by men and women aligning themselves to countries or territories, battling over land or future prospects. No, this is a very different war, one which takes place between shapes in a fantastic space environment. The weapons are different, the combatants are different, but the principal has remained the same: survive to see your enemy's demise.

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Geometry Wars: Galaxies is a new take on the Xbox Live Arcade game. In some ways, it's an improvement over the original game, as it provides a variety of different challenges other than having the player try their best to stay alive (although that challenge lingers, as well). You'll traverse different stages (which are arranged into galaxies, natch) and the game certainly has plenty of them to throw at you.


Pew pew pew.
Each galaxy is broken down into planets, where you'll be tossed into the game and fight for you life. There's also an unlockable galaxy (the Lamda galaxy) that is opened when you sync the DS game to the Wii version. This is hardly a reason for one to own both versions of the game, but luckily the prospect of having a portable version of the Geometry Wars experience just might be. As you cross these galaxies and fight your way to freedom, you'll collect medals and geoms for your little buddy, the drone.

The drone is the biggest addition to the Geometry Wars experience. He's kind of like the the Murtaugh to your Riggs, watching your back and helping you get out of sticky situations. You can pump up different abilities by gathering geoms, small pellet-like pieces that are left behind after you dispatch the game's many baddies. The customization here is great, allowing you to create a pretty unique drone.

Without the drone, this game would be almost impossible to play, mainly because the controls aren't very responsive. You'll use your nunchuk to steer your ship about and have to point your Wiimote at the screen, essentially aiming a laser from your ship that will show the course of your projectiles. In order to alter your aim, you have to essentially spin the Wiimote about. Imagine stirring a large pot of soup or tomato sauce, but replace the pot and spoon with your Wiimote and you should get a good idea on how this works. It's not the worst system in the world, but it will make you die fairly often and means your wrist will be hurting come some of the tougher stages.


Houston, we have one hell of a problem
Visually, the game hasn't changed much from its beginning on the Xbox Live Arcade. In Galaxies, you're looking at the screen from a zoomed out perspective and not like the close-cut camera in the first game in some of the stages, but this allows you to see everything coming into the grid at you, making for a better perception regarding the immediate dangers. It helps you prioritize what you need to kill immediately from what you can wait to kill in 5 seconds. But, this isn't always the case, as other stages have you on much larger grids, causing you to panic as you're assaulted on all sides, flying about wildly to escape the danger. And, the colorful flair of downed enemies and swirling black holes remains true.

Geometry Wars: Galaxies is a suitable sequel to the first game. It's fun, has a lot for you to do and doesn't muck up the original appeal the game presented upon its release to the world back in 2005. The only fault we could find with the game were the controls, which isn't a deal breaker at all, but really holds back a good game from being a great game.

Final score: 7.5/10

This article was originally published on Joystiq.