Gamecyte Review: Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2

Jesse Henning reports:

''Here are some important facts about Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2. It is developed by Bizarre Creations, the team that created its predecessor in late 2005. It is currently available exclusively on Xbox Live Arcade, taking up just over 40MB of hard drive space and costing 800 Microsoft Points ($10). It is a Robotron-style shoot-em-up, utilizing dual-stick analog controls for movement and shooting in independent directions. It features six gameplay modes, available as both single-player and 4-player offline games. Finally, and most importantly, it is an intensely fun and enjoyable game which you really ought to buy if you have even the slightest affinity for "shmups."

To be fair, it was probably a foregone conclusion that I would enjoy Geometry Wars 2, given how much time I spent with its last XBLA incarnation. It's therefore entirely obvious that fans of the original will enjoy the sequel, given how many elements have been carried over, but this demands a new question of such a review. Geometry Wars 2 is a fantastic game when viewed in a vacuum, for reasons I'll get to in a while, but when measuring a sequel - particularly in a game without any story, or characters, and whose gameplay is largely the same as the last game - one must also measure the added value for owners of the preceding title. Is there enough here to warrant a purchase, or will gamers be shelling out their points/money for the same game twice? The answer is an emphatic "yes" to the former: Geometry Wars 2 may look and play similarly to the original, but once you get into it, the experience is incredibly different from a score-hungry, strategic point of view.''

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