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Meteos Wars (XBLA) Review

Game Review: Meteos Wars
Release: 12th December 2008
Genre: Block-Puzzler
Developer: Q Entertainment Inc.
Available Platforms: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1 Player, 2 Player Local/Online Multiplayer
Price: 800 MS Points
ESRB Rating: E
Website: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/m/meteoswarsxboxlivearcade/

 

 

When you think of Block Puzzle games, we think Tetris, Lumines, and maybe even Puzzle Fighter. Here comes something new from our friends from the land of the setting sun, whether it will sustain the popularity of the above mentioned titles is yet to be seen, but the game has a go at trying to be great and adding something new to the fire. Welcome Metoes Wars for the Xbox Live Arcade, pretty much a remake of Meteos for the Nintendo DS released in 2005. Let’s see what this game can (or can’t) do.

What’s the score?

The general gist of the game is to score more points than the opposition (CPU or Human). To do this, you must match 3 blocks of the same colour/pattern horizontally or vertically, which in turn shoots them into the sky to get rid of them from the screen. You match the blocks by moving a box-shaped cursor over a block, and moving the block either up or down a square (Right-Stick, or A and X). As the game plays, more blocks fall from the sky. If you’re waiting for blocks to fall, you can speed time up a little by pressing one of the trigger buttons.

During play you’ll also fill a meter which allows you to do a special attack by pressing Y.

We have a number of game modes, from Story, Challenge, and Attack Mode. Each plays the same, with some differences to the winning requirement, either score more points, or obtain a certain amount of points within a time limit.

Multiplayer, local and online, is there as well, however the online suffered a severe case of Tumbleweed Syndrome… as is the usual with most multiplayer XBLA games.

The good.

Graphics are pretty, with some nice particle effects for shooting blocks upwards. This game is not technically mind blowing, but it’s not meant to be. This is a casual puzzler, however there is a competitive edge here found in similar games. The music score isn’t too bad, with each avatar you choose to play as having their own theme music for a match, and sound effects for shooting up blocks. This variety helps to overcome repetitiveness to a point, but as with all puzzle games the music becomes a little stagnant over time.

Gameplay is pretty solid, nothing bad to mention. It’s fun to play, and a little frustrating at times when you try to aim for a score. The fact that you want to aim, adds a little testament to this game.

Local multiplayer is also fun to play a little.

The bad.

There isn’t a lot of variety in this game to keep me playing. Sadly some features from the DS version have been removed, which adding to the lack of online community, only makes this last for as long as you like games of this type. Once you’ve unlocked everything, and beaten the single player, other than hopeful DLC, this only has a future as an ‘odd 5-minute’ game to play.

Story isn’t even cognitave of a “story”, so we won’t pry any further there. Also the game isn’t as simple as similar games to pick up, but once you learn the controls, and how to play, it’s not a problem.

The verdict.

cup_of_tea

I give this a T for Tea Break. Although you’re not going to spend 40 hours a week on this game, or even overall, it’s a very fun and enjoyable game to play for 15/20 minutes while waiting for a movie to start, or even if you’re just bored. Worth getting if you’re a puzzle game fan.

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