Giant Bomb Review

20 Comments

Meteos Wars Review

3
  • XBGS

Meteos Wars has all the pieces it needs to be a great puzzle game, but with no online competition, it's all kind of pointless.

Picking your race is more than just an aesthetic choice.
Meteos Wars is the Xbox Live Arcade version of Q Entertainment's DS puzzle game, Meteos. There's nothing extra warlike about this version of the game, though there's something to be said for not just calling it "Meteos Live." In the transition from DS to 360, the game's touch screen controls are, obviously, lost. It controls better with a stylus, so that's sort of a knock against it, but the standard gamepad controls certainly suffice, so it's still a solid, stylish addition to the block-dropping wing of the puzzle genre.

In Meteos, different colored blocks continually drop into your well. You interact with them by sliding them up and down and attempting to match three or more blocks of the same color either vertically or horizontally. When you do this, the matched blocks turn into rocket boosters and blast off towards the top of the screen. How far they get depends on different factors, such as the size of the launch, the number of blocks that are also being lifted off screen, and the gravity of the planet you're playing on. If a launch fails to get blocks off the screen, you can adjust blocks in your slowly descending pile to relaunch them from mid-air. Forming combos like this builds up the force of a launch, making it easier to clear the screen. In most of the modes, you're competing against an opponent of some kind, so launching blocks off the screen sends them to your opponent's pit. You'll pick an alien before beginning, which dictates the distribution of colored blocks and which special attack or defense move you can pull off after filling an on-screen meter. The special attacks include shields to prevent you from receiving enemy blocks, lasers that disrupt your oppoent's screen, and so on.

The DS version of the game let you scrub the blocks up and down via the stylus. As the 360 doesn't, like, have one of those, you'll have to make do with either the two analog sticks or the D pad and a pair of buttons that move your selected block up or down. It works pretty well. The 360 version has the same sort of mission modes that let you compete against a variety of different aliens, and you'll unlock more playable races for your own use as you play. You can, in theory, play the game against human opponents. Locally, that's not an issue. Online, the game is a wasteland and no one seems to be playing it. I managed to get two online games going, both against players in foreign countries, and both of them were so choppy and lagged that it wasn't worth playing. Meteos is a wildly competitive game, and it's a shame that the online is so barren.

Competition is the game's best aspect, but it's impossible to find any online.
In addition to the competitive modes, there are also some attack modes where you play for a minute and see how many points you can earn, or a timed mode that tracks how long it takes you to launch 100 blocks. The game has online leaderboards for these modes. Also, you can unlock little accessories for your aliens, like a heart or a big hunk of meat that you can stick to their forehead. I went with the meat. The game has a strong visual style to it, with cute, simple shapes used to depict the different aliens and lots of different music to keep things pumping.

But it's difficult to overcome the lack of online competition out there. While the mission mode and various attack modes can certainly keep you occupied for a time, Meteos' real legs come from human competition. Unless you're planning on playing with friends and don't care about random encounters in ranked matches, Meteos Wars is pretty tough to recommend.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
20 Comments Refresh
Edited by John

Wait, this has no solid online VS for realz? Jesus people it's almost 2009!

Posted by Zergvasion

Being an avid fan of the DS version back when I owned one, I was VERY disappointed with the 360 version.
The midi sounds that I once thought were charming became very stale and annoying, not only that, but it just does not fit without a stylus.
That's just how I saw it, though. To each their own.

Posted by norton123

Sad. It could've been much better.

Posted by WEGGLES

The game NEEDS the touch screen. I'm very glad I only downloaded the demo.

I'll stick to the original.

Posted by Crono

Played the demo.  Was disappointed.  I find myself disagreeing with Jeff.  Should knock this one down another peg.  Not my review though.  Glad it was short.

Posted by CarolynP

I'm glad to see that, like me, you felt the meat needed mentioning in any meaningful review of this game.

Posted by thebazel

Will we ever see any PSN game reviews..or news..or anything.. so much 360 bias.

Edited by nickystixx

hear hear! thebazel.

Posted by AspiringAndy

Shutup there is no 360 bias at Giantbomb.
There are just really crap games on PSN.
The only game that I might buy off the PSN store is Flower, because it is so different from anything else that has been presented to the public.. EVER.

Posted by thebazel

Considering every review of every multiplatform game is the 360 version, not to mention the abundant XBLA reviews on the site...

No good games on the PSN store.. lol? Don't know if you're a 360 fanboy or just completely ignorant of the PSN library, but there are wonderful titles on PSN. Can you say Pixeljunk? Not to mention Classic releases like this week's Suikoden along with Lumines.. It's just annoying that these no-name games on Live get reviews when things like Eden or Super Stardust or Echchrome get no attention from GiantBomb. I'm assuming that'll change with Fat Princess but that's just because everyone is looking forward to that game. GB would look silly being the only gaming site to ignore it.

Posted by BolognaSoup

AspiringAndy, we all know how overdone games like PixelJunk Eden, Echochrome, and The Last Guy are right? PSN is THE place for fresh, original ideas.

Posted by Mongoose

What I think a lot of people are forgetting is that, these guys (Jeff, Vinny, Ryan & Brad) can be bias if they want (not that I think they are).
There is no corporate agenda here or any agenda.  If it's easier for them to review on the 360, then that's what they'll do simple as.
Plus, they do check out games on both consoles, which is more than I would do in there position.  I'd just play the game on whatever console was nearer.
Remember guys, it's their site/reviews. 

Posted by Kiemoe

Ironic, isn't it? That a game with the subtitle "Wars" is a dud competitively? Sigh... it seems the day has come when the only games being played online are the mindless (yet admittably fun) first person shooters. And it's not too far off until no other games will sell without having the biggest strongest man in the world with the biggest strongest gun in the world on the cover. Oh, and the number 2. Can't be buying new IP's can we?

Posted by MaddProdigy

Good review, I was about to pick this up because i thought anything with wars in it would have epic multiplayer and the premise of the game seemed cool, but now i'm not gonna waste the money. And GB does an excellent job keepin up on latest important games and stuff. I mess around on my ps3 now and then, but in my opinion the psn just isn't that great, nothing at the level of xbla and the games it has to offer.

Posted by Media_Master

game sounds like a dud

Posted by Kenzo287

Wow I feel like I'm the only one that bought it

Posted by Memoriter

I bought the one for ds and I feel like thats the only one I need for 10 years

Posted by Lassegp

I guess its a war when you compete against the AI, but it does seem like a strange addition to the title?

But im gonna download the demo cuz 3/5 is still average. Which cant be all that bad.

Posted by Ouroboros

I'm going to echo the statements its that their site and, in the words of Cartman, they can do "what they want" - If you want to write reviews so bad you're more then welcome, if you believe that Jeff/Brad/Ryan/Vinny/etc voice is more important than anyone elses you're sadly mistaken.  These guys just review whatever they get a chance to play.

Posted by Maxszy

No idea what it was like on the DS, but it still amazes me when games like this on XBL are completely lacking in online play.