majormitch's Rez HD (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

If techno were a game

Rez HD isn't the first of its kind for me. That is, a game that I simply don't understand. I hear all the good things people are saying about the game, but upon downloading and playing the game for myself, I have to admit that I am stumped. Because to me, Rez HD is a repetitive, no frills, and unwieldy shooter that failed to get me excited in any way, shape, or form.

That includes the game's techno-centric atmosphere that I heard so many good things about. All the audio in the game is a slew of techno beats- the catch is that it beats in time with your attacks, which is kind of neat at first. The problem is that it's techno, meaning there is absolutely no variety. After about two minutes you will have heard all the audio the game has to offer, and that incessant beat will start to grate on your nerves. The visuals are equally bland, as the wire-frame objects are not easy on the eyes- it makes many objects hard to tell apart from one another (I died more than once for thinking a missile was, in fact, not a missile, and therefore not a threat). The main feeling I get from Rez HD's visual and audio components is that it's going for some sort of style. If that's true, then it was completely lost on me (as was the story- if there even was one), and I instead found these components to be more of a hindrance and/or annoyance than seemed necessary.

Even if I could ignore these issues, I would still have to come to terms with the general gameplay. For the most part, Rez HD fills the role of a rail shooter. This means that it automatically moves you through its five short levels on a preset path, and you kind of spin around shooting whatever comes at you. Which is fine, except that there isn't much interesting to shoot at. The enemies are uninspired, and straight-forward in their attack pattern (for the ones that actually attack). There is little variety to be found among the game's foes, and in general, spinning your targeting reticule around the screen while mashing A is enough to take down almost every enemy in the game. The exceptions are the bosses, which are slightly more interesting. Other than rarely being able to visually pick out the bosses' weak spots (curse those wire-frames!), these bosses do provide some interesting scenarios that require you to figure something out, rather than mash A all day. In the end, the boss encounters are Rez HD's saving grace, and if more of the game had been of such quality, I surely would have enjoyed my time with it that much more.

These may sound like harsh words to lay down on a small downloadable game such as this. But that was my honest experience with Rez HD. Aside from its boss encounters, Rez HD simply failed to entertain me in any capacity. If you're looking for a fun arcade shooter, my recommendation is to steer clear of Rez HD- I've played many better ones than this, and you can too.
For additional information on my review style and scoring system, click here.

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