Meteos Wars (XBLA)

By Steven Marsh

Published on Sunday, January 4, 2009

Graphics: 7.00
Sound: 9.00
Gameplay: 8.00
Replays: 10.00
Gamelength: 7.00

Q-Entertainment has finally brought their popular puzzle series to the Xbox Live Arcade in the form of “Meteos Wars”.

Think back on the puzzle genre as a whole. “Tetris”, “Lumines”, “Puyo Pop”, “Pipe Dreams”, “Tetris Attack”; the list goes on. Q-Entertainment is trying to take the genre to the next level with one of the craziest ideas of all-time. “Meteos Wars” is, simply put, a combination of every puzzle game ever made to some extent. It’s mind boggling to an extent and while it’s an easy concept to grasp and quite a fun game to play, it’s frantic and very chaotic. So, if you’re ready for a puzzle-filled galactic journey, hop aboard my space ship and let’s travel to the various planets of “Meteos Wars”.

One thing Q-Entertainment has always stuck to is simple, yet eye-popping visuals. Much like “Lumines”, although not as much so, “Meteos Wars” is very colorful, shiny and easy on the eyes. There’s really not much to the visuals other than some basic flame animations, static wallpaper backdrops of outer space and multi-colored squares, but what’s there gets the job done just fine.

Sound is one thing that stands out and will catch the attention of anyone into electronic music. The sound effects are a bit on the generic side, but the soundtrack is filled with awesome music that seems to be of the Trance genre, for the most part. The music fits the crazy gameplay perfectly and helps to set a groove for all of the intense puzzle action.

“Meteos Wars” is a very simple game with a ridiculous concept, but it doesn’t skimp on the fun at all. There are several fun modes for those willing to delve into everything this game has to offer. The single player selections include Vs. Com, 1-minute Time Attack, 100-Meteo Attack, Challenge Attack and Mission Mode. For multiplayer, there’s only a simple local or xbox live versus mode, which is identical to the single player Vs. Com mode in terms of rules and goals. When you’ve chosen your mode, aside from mission mode, you’re thrust into the character select screen. The characters are actually essentially planets that have different attributes that impact gameplay in their own ways. Once you’ve picked your character, it’s off to blow things up. The controls are extremely simple and really only use 3 buttons. The A button moves blocks down, the X button moves blocks up and the d-pad moves the cursor. The goal of the game is to match 3 or more blocks up together and send them towards the top of the screen, where they’ll be destroyed. Repeat that several times and the game speeds up. Meteos drop faster and faster until eventually it’s almost impossible to keep up, resulting in a lose. It’s a rather hard game to get used to at first, but once you’ve broken yourself into the simple, yet fresh style of “Meteos Wars”, it’s difficult to put down.

Overall, Q-Entertainment has done a great job with this iteration of the “Meteos” series and I look forward to more games in the future.

Pros:
-Very bright, colorful visuals.
-Extremely simple controls.
-5 difficulty levels for all skill levels.
-Addictive and highly replayable.
-Online multiplayer is lag-free and enjoyable.
-Soundtrack is spot-on with the game’s frantic style.
-Priced very properly.

Cons:
-Could use more modes and unlockables.

Bottom Line:
If you’re into crazy puzzle games, there’s no need to question it: Buy this game. If you’re not sure, you can always download the demo through the Xbox Live Marketplace.

Overall Rating: 8.75

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