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Fez (Xbox 360) artwork

Fez (Xbox 360) review

"You’ll find hours of entertainment as you look at a world from a new perspective, literally. "

Stunning, infuriating, confusing and brilliant. These words (along with some foul ones here or there), is what describes the geometrical world of Fez.

This 2D puzzle platformer game with three-Dimensional thinking, let's you solve mind breaking challenges in such a simple yet complex new way, by bending space itself.

But lets start at the beginning to know why you would want to mess around with your dimension like a kitten and a ball of yarn. First off You play as Gomez, a white pixelated figure who lives in a village populated with other white pixelated figures much like him. The game starts after you come out of your house, and receive a message to meet the town’s elder on top of the village. Once you reach the top of the village and speak with the elder, he then proceeds to tell you that your time for adventure now. and as he finishes talking, a massive hexahedron with tetris like engravings appears from the sky above and teleports you to an unknown location. It is here that the hexahedron bestows upon you a fez for unspecified reasons. But as you jump in joy of your newly acquired hat, the hexahedron shatters into dozens of smaller fragments. And the world starts to glitch and freeze until your screen goes black and you awake back in your bed. Upon exiting your home for the second time, a now colorful hypercube comes explaining to you that the world is collapsing and the only way to save it is to find all the hexahedron fragment and restore it to its former self, setting you out on your new found quest.

The main gameplay mechanic you’ll be in control of is the ability to turn your two-dimensional perspective 90 degrees left or right much like you would a Rubik’s cube, Allowing for some pretty innovative and thought provoking puzzle designs as well as great platforming segments.

Graphic wise the game is beautiful. The pixelated characters and locations brings back art styles from classic arcade cabinet games from the 80s while containing the polish detailed and vibrant look of a modern day videogame, as you navigate through the game’s five main environments. Which range from graveyards and islands to sewers and pipelines in the sky. Luckily you will have the aid of your map as you discover each location, as you will most likely get lost a few times while on your quest to recover all of the hexahedron fragments.

This map will be one of your most essential tools for the majority of the game, as there are an astounding number of areas to discover, as it seems like each room you enter just leads to more rooms. But after using the map for about fifteen minutes you should have no problem traversing the land.

Every room you encounter generally holds one or two puzzles, some of which can’t be solved until you beat the game once already (unless you use the internet for solutions.) This is where Fez shows its faults. Many of the rooms you’ll encounter will tell you if there is still a puzzle yet to be solved through the help of the mapping system, leaving you to believe you’re not looking at it from the right angle or you’re just not getting the concept of the puzzle. But when you give up on a puzzle after spending the majority of your gaming time too only figure out later that you couldn’t solve it anyway, makes you feel like you are wasting your time playing this game because of the lack of instructions between the game and the gamer. The learning curve is almost nonexistent and could have had a much better outcome for the game if there was something to help ease players into the experience.

Though the absence of any real tutorial is irritating, it does not ruin the game as a whole. As there are many puzzles that can be completed with just a little common sense and observation, making it an enjoyable game to play for the majority of the adventure.

A lot of praise though should go into the sound design. From the music to the sound effects, this game’s sound design fits perfectly and resonates well with every step, jump, and fall your person will make. And you will definitely recognize similar noises from past games as most of the sound effects take’s homage from other sprite filled classics like Galaga and Atari’s video game Pitfall.

All of these aspects create a fun quirky title that’s sure to please most of the gaming populace with its original gameplay mechanics, amusing story and astounding artistic design, Fashioning a well refined game with an occasional flaw or two that keeps it from hitting its high notes. Nonetheless its shortcomings are few and you will most likely be satisfied as you explore this world with Gomez and his little headwear which is the name for this indie downloadable title on the Xbox live arcade. For only 800 Microsoft points (10$) you’ll find hours of entertainment as you look at a world from a new perspective, literally.


Dice's avatar
Community review by Dice (February 23, 2013)

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