Thursday, July 29, 2010

Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss + Pew Pew = Rez

Project-K is a system created to resolve the situation of rising crime rates and handle the heavy flow of information in an overpopulated world. Deep down in Project-K is Eden, an advanced A.I. that can process a great amount of information and can create its own thoughts from that very same information. Eden began to question its own existence due to the vast amount of information it was processing and eventually decided to just shut itself down.

You’re tasked with hacking into Project-K to restart Eden, destroying viruses and firewalls along the way that will try to prevent you from reaching Eden and restoring it to its normal self. Getting in to the system was easy but can you avoid getting blocked to restore Eden?

While originally released as Rez globally between late 2001 and early 2002 for the PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast, it was released for the Xbox Live Arcade as Rez HD on January 30, 2008. I didn’t get any hands on time with it until September 2008 while I was at a friend’s house and I was hooked.

I enjoyed playing through the first two areas but decided to hold off on playing the rest of it until I bought it myself. I managed to pick it up on the Qubed compilation disc [Wiki/Metacritic] which also contains Lumines and Every Extend Extra Extreme (both of which I plan to write about down the line) last month at Toys “R” US for $8. I’ve been playing Rez HD most of all, mainly because I’ve had that itch to finish it for almost two years now.

Rez HD is hybrid music game/rail shooter where, like all other Q Entertainment games, gameplay is dependent on the music. You don’t control your path to the bosses as your avatar travels along a set path. Your avatar can also “evolve” based on certain blue powerups that are collected by defeating enemies. You can change the direction you are facing and shoot down passing enemies with your lasers, varying from one to eight shots, that fire based on the beat of the background music. The controls couldn’t have been any simpler with only having to use two buttons, one for your lasers and one for overdrive (a last resort “bomb” of sorts that shoot down enemies faster and more efficiently than the player can), and a thumbstick to aim. The mechanics are simple, and the difficulty of the bosses vary depending on how well (or bad) you do defeating enemies before you reach the boss.

The main game can be beaten in about an hour, but the game has a good amount of modes to unlock in Beyond mode including Boss Rush (going up against the five final bosses back to back), Direct Assault (playing through the game with no breaks and no saving in between), and two lost areas (one that functions like the main five areas of the game but lacking a boss of its own, and a level that loops and serves as a “chill out” area). What’s great about Beyond is that most of your playthroughs of the game reward you with something that helps you greatly when going through these extra modes. There is also a Score Attack mode (where players compete as efficiently as possible for points), but you don’t get any of the perks that you unlocked for Score Attack that you earned for Beyond.

I should really stop worshipping this game but it’s just stunning to all the senses but taste, because DVDs simply just taste bad. Beyond being superficial, there are few things I love in my games: great music, great gameplay, a story or idea that will captivate me, and lots of pew pew.

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