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Review: Geometry Wars: Galaxies - Wii, DS

by Steven Williamson on 16 January 2008, 12:23

Tags: Geometry Wars: Galaxies, Vivendi Universal Interactive (NYSE:VIV), DS, Wii, Shoot 'em up

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The levels in Geometry Wars Galaxies, approximately 60 of them in total, take the form of planets which you have to unlock to progress by earning points and medals. You control a claw shaped ship, that has a red line protruding from it which indicates the direction of your missiles. The ship can rotate a full 360 degrees and also has a drone hovering around it, which helps you battle through the levels (more about that shortly).

The gameplay takes part on a grid in which you’re totally confined to a geometrical area. Within this area you have to fight off dozens of shapes by moving around the grid dodging them and the missiles that they fire, whilst attempting to destroy them with your own weapons. Geometry Wars Galaxies is all about movement. There’s often so much happening on screen (shapes exploding into half a dozen smaller shapes, clusters of shapes attacking you from all angles and trails of bullets and missiles filling the entire screen) that you constantly have to weave your way in and out of safe areas, whilst at the same time needing to react quickly by rotating your aiming line to ensure it’s pointing in the direction of the enemy. Like many other shooters of this ilk there are also extra lives to be gained once you gain a certain amount of points, weapons to be unlocked and multipliers to enhance your score.

When you kill enemies they drop GEOMS, the game’s currency, which can then be used to unlock further planets or to upgrade drones. There are eight different drones to unlock in the game, each of which has a unique ability. Before you being each level you need to choose the type of drone you wish to accompany you. Each drone has XP points and once you level up your drone, through earning points in battle, it becomes more powerful in its specific skill and therefore more useful in the game. You begin the game with the attack drone that shoots in the same direction that you face, but as you gain more GEOMS you can purchase further ones such as the Sentry drone, which has the ability to deploy a sentry gun and then attempts to destroy targets within 360 degrees of its vision. In the later levels especially, it’s often a case of experimenting with the drones to determine which one will be the most helpful in that specific level.

The gameplay in Geometry Wars Galaxies flows just like a classic arcade shooter and it also looks great with swirling patterns across the screen and colourful explosions going off left, right and centre. The levels are well designed and the range of first-rate enemies on offer keeps the action fresh and fast-paced.