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Thing is, Geometry Wars captures that elusive essence known as fun&and reminds us that exhaustive prerendered cut-scenes, complex mechanics, and multimillion-dollar engines aren't the only roads to that very central goal. It's the Tetris factor -- the minimalist design and the addictive, score-chasing nature keep you mesmerized for what can stretch to hours at a time. It's when you reach hour no. three of a marathon session -- having entered a Zen-like state as you attempt to send your high score into seven-digit territory -- that you realize the simple truth at work here: In a world of interactive stories and photo-realism, Geometry Wars is just a really fun game. That's all we're looking for, isn't it?
Minor control quibbles aside and the general lack of nice if pointless unlockables, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved is a hard game to fault. It's a relentless, addictive yet difficult to master arcade game that epitomises everything that was fun about the classic games it takes its inspiration from - it's easy to pick up yet hard to put down and the perfect game to lose a few spare minutes in. Best of all, it's a mere two quid and with no operating system restrictions in place, there's really no reason for you not to snap it up right now!
Geometry Wars coming to PC was a no brainer, but being a Vista exclusive was an extremely dumb move. If Microsoft wanted to do this they should have released it for free for those with Vista Ultimate. It's a shame that those without 360’s and Vista won't play this game as it is the most fun arcade release to hit the PC in years at an extremely cheap price.
For $3.95, it's a great price. Despite all the things lost in the transition, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved for the PC is still fun. It costs less than a few burgers from McDonald's and can easily kill time if you're bored. If you own a 360, though, stick with that version instead.
Of course, for the current price on Steam of USD 3.95, don't take these criticisms as a reason to shun Geometry Wars. It's still splendid - it's just infuriating that so much of what makes it such a delight has been lost in translation.
With that list of caveats, anyone with the ability to play this game on an Xbox 360 should take that route, instead. MSN is charging $7.95 for the PC version of the game, which is nearly three dollars more than the 360 release, but it has far fewer features than the 2005 console game. Maybe if this one had been held off until after the rollout of Games for Windows Live, it could have had many of the missing features implemented. But as it is, it feels like a rip-off.