Moving past the Evolved mode we get something called "Pacifism," which seems to reference one of the most memorable achievements from the first game. In this mode your weapon has been completely taken away from you, which means that you are going to have to weave in and out of the hordes of enemies. Thankfully you are able to defeat the enemies, but only with the aid of a new "gate" character. These characters are nothing more than a solid line with two triangles capping each side, the object is for you to fly through them to make them explode (and take out all of the nearby enemies). While this mode is definitely a challenge, I didn't find it nearly as engaging as a few of the other game types.
Up next we have "Waves" ... which you may have already experienced in Bizarre's recent Project Gotham Racing 4. This game type is all about throwing wave after wave of enemy patterns at you, all while limiting your lives to one (and no bombs). This is an incredibly difficult mode that is for the most experienced Geometry Warrior. I wasn't a huge fan of this mode when I played it in PGR4 and I haven't changed my mind much with this Xbox Live Arcade version.
Last but not least we have a rather odd mode called "Sequence." This mode consists of twenty different stages full of a finite amount of enemies. The object of this mode is to beat each of the stages in less than 30 seconds. Sound simple? Well, it's not, because as the levels progress you'll be forced to go up against faster, harder and trickier enemies. There's a reason that this is the final mode, because it's definitely the most hardcore part of this game.
A dedicated Geometry Wars fan should be able to unlock all of these game modes in under an hour, which ultimately gives you a pretty good selection of different ways to play the game. I'm not a huge fan of every one of the modes, but there's definitely enough here to warrant the ten dollar asking price. What's more, it's extremely easy to get hooked on any one of the modes just to beat your friend's scores. This competitive aspect is made worse by the fact that your buddy's high score is always located at the top of your screen, which certainly pushes you to bettering your score so that everybody else will have to compete.
On top of the cool single-player content, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 also offers a variety of multiplayer modes. The good news is that all six modes are available to be played with two, three and even four players. What's more, you can all work together, team up or go all for one. This is definitely a game that was screaming out for multiplayer support, and Bizarre did not disappoint. Unfortunately you can't play any of these modes online, which is a real bummer. I'm not sure if it was over technical concerns or what, but Retro Evolved 2 would have been even better if you could play with your friends over Xbox Live.
For the most part the graphics and sounds have not changed much from the original. There are a few new enemies and some of the effects have been improved, but for the most part this game looks exactly the same as the original did three years ago. I suppose the improvements they wanted to make was in gameplay and not graphics, and I can certainly understand since I'm not sure I want fancy backgrounds or characters consisting of thousands of polygons. Fans of the original game will definitely feel right at home, even if this is no longer the game that you use to show off the power of the Xbox 360.
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 is certainly a worthy successor to the 2005 original, even if it doesn't really move the technology forward. The new game modes are certainly welcome and I love the multiplayer content. It could have used online play and maybe a dash more originality, but there's no denying how much fun this series is. If you were a fan of the original and are not completely burned out on the overwhelming amount of dual-stick shooters, then you'll definitely want to pick up Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2!
While not as fresh and new as the original game, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 is a phenomenal action game full of unique modes, fun multiplayer and tons of excitement. It's marred only by a lack of online support and very few brand new ideas. But if you were a fan of the original and are not completely burned out on the overwhelming amount of dual-stick shooters, then you'll definitely want to pick up Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2!
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