Some things go well together: Peanut butter and jelly, DeLoreans and time machines, and twin stick shooters and the Vita.
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved feels right at home on the Vita and is one of the most addictive games in its genre. It’s a great port of the console version, which is surprising considering some developers skip out on features when porting to the Vita – it barely has load times and runs at a smooth framerate of 60 frames per second.
Dimensionsfeatures a multitude of modes for players, anywhere from Adventure to Ultimate to Hardcore game modes. There is something for everyone in the game, and new players can easily find something they will like. Each mode has a series of levels – some with bosses, which I’ll get to later – and each level implements a different style of play, from only having one life to a time limit.
However, the structure of the modes is worrisome. For example, adventure mode is setup where there are five levels followed by a boss fight, repeating until the 50th level. Logically, you would think that the levels would increase in difficulty as you progressed, but the way Geometry Wars actually does it seems random and inconsistent. Many times I would play a level that was incredibly easy – and this occurred throughout, including at the end of the game – and would be followed by a level whose rules were impossible and took hours to beat. It’s a good thing the twin stick shooter is so addictive, otherwise I would have dropped it before completion.
There is also a ton of customization in Geometry Wars 3. Before each level, you choose which drone and super ability you want to use. Different drones and supers unlock after earning a certain amount of stars are achieved by hitting high scores on levels. They can also be upgraded with your multiplier shards that you get from destroying enemies in levels. The drones and supers really make you think about what is the best method to achieve the high score necessary to pass. Sometimes having the “attack drone” isn’t the best option, and you’ll need the “collect drone” so you can build up your multiplier faster.
The gameplay is truly where Geometry Wars 3 shines. The movement and shooting feel fluid, like they are a natural extension of your body. It’s very addicting and will keep you attempting to beat it again and again no matter how frustrating it is. However, my favorite parts were the six bosses in Adventure Mode. Each makes you really think, study and devise a plan to overcome them. Unlike the other levels that could be frustratingly difficult, the boss levels feel like they merit their difficulty, culminating in a ridiculous final boss. And get used to the music you hear in these difficult levels because you’ll be hearing it a lot. Thankfully, the game has a stellar soundtrack and really suits the amazing color palette and great gameplay.
Sadly, the game’s roughly combined three single player modes only last for about 15 to 20 hours. The only encouragement to replay the levels afterward is to collect all the stars in the level and maximize your high score. Many players won’t be up for this, and their only options to continue playing Geometry Wars is through one of the endless modes or the multiplayer/coop. The endless modes would be fine if you could choose what geometric shape the world you’re playing on is, but it is already predetermined and always the same. Some variety would be nice. Multiplayer would be nice, but my time attempting to find players to play with proves to be worthless since I could never find many other players online.
Overall, Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved is a magnificent experience. Even though a natural difficulty curve is absent, you’ll want to keep playing until you beat the last boss. With barely any load times, you won’t have to wait long between failures and when you finally do achieve victory, it will feel very well-deserved.