Pew pew pew go the space lasers. Boom boom boom go the enemies. Wobble wobble wobble goes the fluctuating deep space background. Grow grow grow goes the score multiplier. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. XG Blast! is to Geometry Wars what Pepsi is to Coke: one came first and wowed the world with its fizz and vigour; the other followed, basically copied, but gained a fanbase with some subtle differences.
XG Blast! doesn’t have cool neon geometry to win you over, nor does it have the RPG-ish ship upgrades that pad out Kuju’s blaster. But it does have equal intensity, if not more. Enemies target you with aggression, not just numbers (although there are still loads of the blighters). Arenas are constricted, pushing you into closer, sweaty-palmed proximity. And as a result the camera can sit closer in. Gamers who felt distanced from Wars and its attempt to shoehorn TV-sized levels onto the DS will feel more comfortable here.
The real star of the show is the multiplier system. Where Geometry Wars had you scuttling around for pick-ups, XG Blast! simply wants unbroken carnage. Fail to kill or grab leftover energy pellets for a split second and the multiplier is lost. It sounds crude, but it’s brilliantly realised, as you’ll find out yourself when juggling remaining foes while wormholes spit out fresh meat elsewhere. So yes, we’ve heard it before. But so what? Ho ho ho goes the journalist playing XG Blast!
Feb 25, 2009