Xbox Game 'Fez' Flawlessly Combines Old and New
Robert Workman, TechNewsDaily Contributor
April 13 2012 04:53 PM ET
For every big-budget developer of high-end video games, there’s an ambitious independent game maker that pumps out equally remarkable products. Take Polytron. Over the last five years, the game creator has been working on a retro-style action/adventure game for Xbox Live Arcade titled "Fez." With setback after setback, it seemed as though the game would never be released. But today, we’re happy to report that it’s finally arrived for download – and the wait has been worth it.
In the game, you take control of young Gomez, who sets out on a journey, tasked to him by an elder, to rebuild his world, which has been torn apart into little cubes. To do it, Gomez has to travel through each fractural world, collecting pieces while finding new areas he missed before.
Platforming games (where you jump on platforms or complete tasks) have already thrived on Xbox Live , between the captivatingly dark "Limbo" and the enjoyable "Braid." In "Fez," however, you control not only Gomez, but also the world in which you’re dwelling. Using trigger buttons on the Xbox 360 control pad, you can rotate the world, revealing new areas that were previously inaccessible. For instance, turning the world halfway around may reveal a new doorway for Gomez to access.
The game consists of old-school questing along the lines of the better Nintendo Entertainment Systems titles, including the "Zelda" series. Sometimes you’ll need to seek out items to move forward, such as keys and treasure maps. Finding everything will take some time – but it’s time well-spent.
Gameplay is tricky, but hardly impossible, and you’ll really feel a sense of accomplishment once you find all the pieces of the current cube and move on to the next world.
The design is splendid, including a classic character style, a stage layout reminiscent of Nintendo's 80s look and flawless 3D rotation of each world. "Fez" combines retro and new styles without the two getting in each other's way. The music is brilliant, composed with electronic love by Disasterpeace.
Very few games provide this level of overwhelming satisfaction these days, which is all the more reason you should appreciate "Fez." Don’t hesitate to download it and feel the love for yourself.