But no matter how many obstacles they throw at you, the duel portions of GEON: emotions are a little too easy. On the normal difficulty setting you probably won't lose very often, unfortunately this means that you'll be able to speed through the single-player duel mode in only a couple of hours time. Thankfully you can change the difficulty, but even then you'll probably walk all over your opponent without even blinking an eye.
On top of the standard duel mode, GEON: emotion comes with an interesting time trial option that is both exciting and infuriating all at the exact same time. As you might have already guessed from the name, in time trial you are asked to collect all of the yellow dots and complete the level in the shortest amount of time possible. While you should always strive for the gold medal, this time trial mode also offers silver and bronze medals for slower times. But just because there are three medals does not mean that this mode is easy. The problem with this mode is that there's a second player working against you, which doesn't make a lot of sense seeing as this is not a duel. This means that as you're collecting all of the dots trying to make it in time you're having to contend with the enemy throwing up road blocks that slow you down. All it takes is one poorly timed power-up and you're out of contention for a medal. Worse yet, there's no way for you to restart the level, so you'll constantly be forced to either complete the level (which can take several minutes) or go out to the main menu and come back in. A simple restart option would have made this frustrating mode a little less infuriating.
On top of the time trials and the duel mode, players are presented with a collection of extra levels, or mini games. These mini game levels don't differ much from the standard modes; in fact, the only difference is that you aren't playing against another player. Instead you are trying to collect all of the dots and make it to the end of the level while dealing with strange enemy blocks that shoot out silver bullets. Even though I wasn't battling somebody else, I ended up having a lot of fun playing through these levels. It's in the mini game department where GEON really shines; the level designs here are among the best in the entire game. The fact that the creators decided to model a level after the original Pac-Man board is a great homage to the game that obviously influenced this product. Unfortunately there are only 8 of these levels, so this mode is over just as you're starting to get into it.
Given that much of the game is spent playing against a computer-controlled opponent, it makes a lot of sense that GEON: emotions is also a multiplayer game. Gamers are able to jump online and play through a number of different multiplayer modes, including the standard duel, a team mode, and last man standing. Unfortunately I was never able to find anybody to play against online. Perhaps it's just the timing of the review (I played through it the same week Halo 3 was released), but after multiple attempts I have yet to be able to find even one person to play this with online. Judging by single-player content I can certainly see how this could be an amazing online multiplayer game, but as of this writing I have no experience with that mode.
Like a lot of puzzle games on the Xbox Live Arcade, GEON: emotions is a good looking game with colorful (read: trippy) graphics. Although the actual look of the game is very simple, there is a nice clean visual style here that feels fresh and original. What's more, the colors are never too overwhelming and it's easy enough to move the camera around so that you can see the maze from any point of view. The graphics certainly can't compare to something like Halo 3 or Gears of War, but it definitely looks better than a lot of the puzzle games on the Xbox 360.
The problem with GEON: emotions is that it's over far too quickly. Unless you are trying to get gold in every time trial, chances are you're going to complete the game in a matter of hours. Worse yet, the game has a tendency of getting a little repetitive the more you play it. This is only made worse when you have to put up with push-over computer opponents that give you no challenge whatsoever. The game's limited scope may appeal to some people, but at $10 it just doesn't feel like you get enough for your money. GEON: emotions is an interesting idea with a good execution and a solid graphic style, I just wish there was more to the game. If you're one of those gamers who can't get enough of Pac-Man style games then this may be the game for you, but everybody else may want to check out the demo and see if they can imagine playing this enough to get their money's worth.
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GEON: emotions is a solid stab at the Pac-Man style of puzzle game, but it's brought down by the high price point and limited amount of modes. You'll probably have fun with the game for a few hours, but with nobody to play with online and only 40 levels it's hard to recommend this game to anybody but the most hardcore Pac-Man fanboy.
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