Geometry Wars: Galaxies • Page 2

Universal excitement.

There are also new enemies and new types of weapons, though the team is unwilling to unveil too many of them at the moment. There's the generator, though, which alternates between vulnerable and invulnerable states, and the mutator, which is weak enough on its own, but sweeps across the grid powering up other enemies into more powerfully evolved forms. And to help you overcome these new enemies, there's also a major new innovation in the shape of a drone, which accompanies you on your missions - similar to the options in Gradius.

At the start of each battle you can set the drone to a variety of behaviours and configurations, both defensive and offensive, and you can even set him to ignore the enemies and simply pick up Geoms, which are one of the other innovations in Galaxies. These are bursts of energy that are left behind by any destroyed enemies and they function as currency, which you can use to level up and upgrade your drone, or to buy new weapons and unlock new solar systems.

Of course, the other major difference is that you won't be able to use your Xbox 360 controller on the Wii and DS versions of the game. Clearly, the biggest question that any fan of Retro Evolved will have is how the fluid handling of the original will translate to Nintendo's wavy Wiimote and pointy stylus.

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Multiplayer will stretch to two players on one Wii or game-sharing on the DS, across hot seat, co-op, simultaneous and versus modes.

It's not something that can be answered yet, because Carpenter wasn't letting anybody point his Wiimote or stylus, but it certainly looks fluid enough. The way it works is that you point your Wiimote to control your direction of fire, while the analogue stick on the Nunchuk controls your movement. On the DS meanwhile, you control your direction of fire by moving your stylus around an icon on the touchscreen, and control your movement on the d-pad - or you can use the face buttons as a sort of d-pad to control your aim. And for any total idiots who might have problems getting to grips with the Wii controls, there are plans to add as many alternative configurations as is possible.

Apart from the apparently fluid control, though, one of the key facets of the original game's success was down to the sophisticated leaderboards laid on by Xbox Live. Nintendo's online software doesn't offer developers such sophistication, but the chaps at Kuju are definitely working on making sure the leaderboards stack up - even providing elite leaderboards to those gamers who shell out for both versions of the game. "We're pushing the leaderboards harder than they've ever been pushed before, because obviously the XBLA game was all about the leaderboards," says Carpenter. "And Galaxies is quite considerably bigger. So there are more leaderboards."

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Doesn't look bad on the DS either, does it?

There's also more than just leaderboards to reward owners of both versions of the game, and Carpenter is keen to emphasise is the connectivity between the two. "It's on Wii and DS but the idea is that the product is seen as a whole Nintendo family of products. They link up in lots and lots of ways. More so than any other Nintendo product that we know of."

And that, in a nutshell, is Geometry Wars: Galaxies. It's the game that you know and love, but with a bit more to it. And, even at this early stage, it really does look like it's going to be brilliant, again.

Marvel some more in our Geometry Wars: Galaxies Wii and DS screenshot galleries.

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