Everyone has a game that they would consider their exhibition piece. A game that - should you be forced to defend your valour as an accomplished player - you can always rely on in order to demonstrate your superior dexterity, quick wits and sheer processing of information. Personally, I would always choose Geometry Wars, a game that remains the very definition of gaming in the zone, and a visual cacophony of fanfare and fireworks.
Waves differs from that most high-profile genre success story in a few ways that aren't apparent until you work deeper into it. Kill enough enemies and you'll build up your slow-motion buffer which allows you to temporarily bring time to a crawl as you gingerly pick your way out of the ensuing mayhem. Also, taking out 10 enemies will activate your bombing ability - although it's only available for a few seconds before it expires. Both these additions give Waves a slightly more tactical bent than its peers - althogh it's still a frenized blast.
The game is also something of a near-death journey through gaming's hall of mirrors. There are the auto-tuned progress updates of a GLaDOS on her more sedentary day off, while the influences of games like Mutant Storm and Geometry Wars are everywhere. In one of the wonderfully lively chiptunes that accompany the action, you'll even detect a hint of the ludicrously pompous guitar solo from Dragonforce's Through The Fire and Flames. Waves won't fail to put a smile on your face as it pays its tributes.