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Geometry Wars Galaxies

Score: 9.0 / 10


geometry-wars-galaxies-3.jpg (108393 bytes)          geometry-wars-galaxies-4.jpg (81871 bytes)


Geometry Wars first appeared in Project Gotham Racing 2 as an extra – a little mini-game that quickly developed a following. Geometry Wars has gone through a couple of iterations but strangely enough it’s the DS version of Geometry Wars Galaxies where everything comes together, both as a handheld game and as a complete arcade action experience.


A quick recap for those unfamiliar with the


concept behind Geometry Wars; your little horseshoe-shaped ship is locked in an arena while waves of triangles, squares, worms, parallelograms, etc. fling themselves at you while you mow them down in an ever-increasing spray of death. (This is war, after all.)





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The directional pad controls your ship while the touchscreen is used to direct your fire, and is probably the best setup for this kind of arcade-like experience. (I say this because I easily eclipsed the best score I earned in the Xbox 360 Arcade version of the Retro Evolved.) When they’re available, the shoulder buttons activate your screen-clearing bombs.



Each of the shapes that attack you have a specific set of behaviors – pink squares split into two the first time they’re shot, green squares will dodge away from your fire, etc. – and during the heat of battle it gives the player the ability to prioritize targets. In Galaxies, once each little shape is “defeated” they leave behind multiplyer icons (that need to be quickly collected before they disappear). The cap on multipliers is 150, but in a game where each shape is worth only a very small handful of points, acquiring the multipliers means a lot since each planet (i.e. arena) has Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards, which mean even more rewards in the form of geoms, the currency of Galaxies.


Geoms are used to unlock other parts of the galaxy, planets, and buddy abilities. It’s that last one that will get most of your attention.


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You have a buddy in Galaxies which can be upgraded to exhibit different behaviors. Most of these behaviors are locked at the beginning of the game but as you progress they can be purchased with geoms. As you play with that behavior set, your buddy gains experience so that Attack, Defense, Snipe, Bait, etc. become more effective. Since only one behavior can be used at a time and the later levels are extremely challenging, there is actually some strategy needed when it comes to leveling-up behaviors. (Planets already “conquered” can be revisited so if you want to spend time “level grinding” to build your stats, that’s also an option.)


Geometry Wars Galaxies is good for long and short play sessions, but it’s the latter of these that make it perfect for times when you don’t really want an extended play session. It only takes about five minutes to get your daily gaming fix! It’s fast arcade fun and it has some depth. For that, it gets a nod as one of the best games – never mind DS games – of 2007.


- Omni

January 23, 2008

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