Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Review

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Title: Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions
Developer: Lucid Games, Activision (Publisher)
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 72 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes

Among indie games are many genres that have been repeated among the libraries of games.  There are a lot of 2D platformers out there, as well as shooting games.  Among shooting games, one genre that I’ve taken a liking to, as of late, is the Twin-Stick Shooting genre.  Even this genre can vary, but there is a lot to see within it.

The PS Vita has gotten a few TTS games in its time, such as Crimsonland, Dead Nation, and Super Stardust Delta.  The genre is continuing and many franchises have gotten requests for sequels, particularly games like Dead Nation, which are exclusive to PlayStation and have had good reception.  Not even a single week ago, the Vita and PlayStation TV both got a new game in this genre.  A continuation of the Geometry Wars franchise of shooting games, here is my official review of Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions!

Story

Due to this game not having a storyline, this section shall remain blank.

Gameplay

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Much like the previous entries of the series, Geometry Wars 3 is a twin-stick shooter where you control a small ship and much fight off enemies in the forms of various shapes that are thrown at you on a geometrical plane.  There are 3D elements thrown into the mix as well, which I’ll mention in a moment, but all in all, you can classify the game as an arcade-style twin-stick shooter.

When you’re at the Main Menu, you have a few different game modes you can dive into.  There is Adventure Mode, which is the main campaign of the game.  There are also Ultimate, Classic, Hardcore, and Bonus Level modes.  These are extra from the main campaign, though you will need to progress through Adventure Mode to unlock everything there is to do in these extra game modes.

Progressing through each stage has you choosing a ship type and a Super type.  These will automatically unlock as you play through the game, but you’ll eventually have a lot of ships to choose from, with different strengths, from the Attack and Defense drones to the Snipe and Magnetism drones.  You also have a lot of variety in Supers, from launching miniature black holes to laying down a mine field to protect you.

Once you’re inside the stage, you’ll be a ship flying around a 2D plane, where enemies and obstacles will spawn.  Your goal will be to defeat enemies and collect items they drop to increase your score multiplier and reach the target score before time runs out, you run out of lives, or other conditions expire.  There are three goals to each stage and reading the first goal will assure you won’t fail.  The more goals/stars you get, the better, because they’re used to unlock new Supers.  You also gain points from the stages that you can use to upgrade your current drones and Supers.

Each stage has a specific type with specific rules.  Some stages require you to get through the entire stage with only a single life, whereas others have time limits to reach a certain score.  There are also different obstacles in stages, like moving red walls that will kill you instantly on impact.  There are also boss stages, where you will need to be traversing a stage while learning boss patterns as you fight and take down a boss and its minions.  With all of these things in mind, there is a good deal of strategy involved when you play through each stage.

The biggest change that’s been made since the previous game is the inclusion of 3D stages.  There are many stages that are not only geometrical shapes, but 3D shapes, like cubes and spheres.  These can be traversed around and you can fire shots that will go past your field of vision and travel around to where enemies may be that you cannot see.  So, when you’re on a cube, you have to worry about not only the enemies on your side of the cube, but also enemies on the 5 other sides of it.

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With the above details in mind, the game is quite difficult to play through.  As I played through the game, I was already failing missions while still in the tutorial.  In time, you get used to the game’s flow, but there will be many times where the game will challenge your reflexes and you’ll be retrying stages again and again.  This is also part of the difficulty, because some stages don’t spawn the same enemies in the same locations each time you retry.  Enemies that spawn in the top-left corner of the stage may spawn in the bottom-right corner on your next try.  This keeps you on your toes as you go at it.

As far as multiplayer, the game has that as well.  You can do online or local multiplayer (though the game doesn’t currently support multiple controller multiplayer for the PlayStation TV) in VS or Co-Op play.  The Online Multiplayer is very easy to get into and I’ve never had to wait more than about 10 seconds to join a match.

The one thing I will mention is the game connecting to PSN.  Like Tetris Ultimate, this game will interrupt you in the menus almost constantly to keep a constant web connection going.  If you put the Vita in sleep mode and go back to the game, expect the PSN Sign-In Screen to come up a few seconds later to re-connect you to the Web in order to accurately record your scores to the Leaderboards.  The only way to disable this is to put the system in Airplane Mode.

All in all, the game has a fair amount of content to it.  There are 50 stages in Adventure mode.  Combining that with the other game modes, the game easily has over 100 different stages to go through.  With them taking an average of 2-4 minutes to go through, the game should last you a good 4-5 hours.

Controls

Controlling this game is a pretty simple task, and the controls are explained to you very well as you play through the game.  First of all, you don’t need to worry about mandatory touch controls.  There is a button interface for any and every command you can do while you play the game.  Even if you’re not on the PSTV, you can do everything with the buttons.

Controlling your ship is done with the Left Analog Stick and firing off shots is done with the Right Analog Stick.  The L trigger can activate your Super and the R trigger can activate a Smart Bomb.  Other than this, there’s not much to controlling the game.  This is explained to you in good detail, so you shouldn’t ever be clueless as to how to control the game.

Presentation

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As far as the presentation goes, there is mostly good to see here.  The colors are very lively and the game never lags, even in Multiplayer.  It doesn’t look as perfect as the full console versions of the game, but it looks very nice.  It’s hard to point out the Jagged Edges unless you’re going out of your way to look for them.  In the midst of the stages, you won’t even know they’re there.

As I said a moment ago, stability is something the game excels at.  The load times are very short and the game never has any slowdown or lag.  The boss stages take a few seconds more to load than the near-instant loading of the normal stages, but it’s nothing major to note of at all.

Summary

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is a successful and strategic twin-stick shooter.  On the downside, the game will constantly keep trying to sign you into PSN, which can be disruptive to you navigating the menus.  Outside of this is a shooter that plays well and will challenge you from start to finish. 

9/10