coyote2snake's zeit² (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

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Time is on your side

Have you ever had the feeling in a game, that you can`t handle the amount of enemies you have to face? You are up against them all by yourself, and can be sure there will be no wingman for your support. In Zeit² the only ally left is time. Remember that old advertising slogan „Time is what you make of it“? Well this shoot ’em up game takes it literally.
At the first look it seems to be an old-fashioned side scrolling space shooter like Gradius or R-Type, but soon you realize what sets Zeit² appart. Your ship is able to travel back in time for a maximum of 4.2 seconds. That doesn`t sound much but it gives you back control over a screen flooded with hostile forces.
It`s like you play co-op with yourself. While you are cleaning up one side of the screen your time-shadow does the work on the other half. 
You can even interact with this shadow and initiate fatal special attacks. Another aspect that sets this game apart from the average shmup is the mechanics of your energy. Your ship is protected by some kind of shield which also displays your health. Shooting consumes a part of your energy.  
Therefore it makes no sense to shoot around like a maniac. There are two ways to regain energy. Kill an enemy or pick up a health symbol, but be sure to kill all your foes. If you let them pass they also drain some of your life.
Although this game is a great chase for another high score it`s not simple. Starting as a nice time travel-abusing shoot-out the gameplay turns out to be highly strategic as the game proceeds. Also the bonus system is so well defined that you can improve your score over and over learning tricks.  
Throughout the game you have to use time travel to pull of special moves and take control over your enemies. You don’t rewind and undo your errors but actually add to your firepower by using time travel.
Besides the arcade mode there are several other modes waiting to be mastered.  
These modes much like in Geometry Wars play all differently and unique. Starting from waves which is all about high scores and super massive amounts of enemies over survival to tactics mode that adds an interesting puzzle element to the game. Time limit seems not that different at first, but it offers room for massive scores, since every enemy you kill gives you a multiplier and you can influence the limit of 2 min with you time travel skills.  
Challenge mode faces you with 70 different challenges that even the best of the best will take days to master. That said, sounds and graphics aren`t that spectacular and a little repetitive, but taking the tense gameplay into account you probably won’t really mind about that. 

If you like shoot ‘em ups, Zeit² is almost a must have title.  The longer you play the more you are sucked in by its clever mechanics. It really revitalizes a worn out genre with its innovative mechanics. Zeit² is at its best with an addictive and eternal fight for a good leaderboard position ;)    

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