During the Playstation 2's lifecycle a certain interesting and quirky game was released on the system that didn't get the audience it deserved, despite
getting critical acclaim. It came from SEGA and not only was it one of the most enjoyable PS2 games made, it showed that games do not need 'guns and girls'
to be enjoyable. This game was Rez, and it's now back in the spotlight on the Xbox Live Arcade. Improved graphics headline the changes for the 360 version,
and while this is about all that has changed, we wouldn't have it any other way.
Rez' storyline is really hard to put into
words without having it seem lax and boring. There isn't much to it - you are a computer program trying to hack into a system to gain control and to do this
you have to destroy some enemies ("programs") to gain access to the mainframe and take it down. To be honest Rez probably could have lived without a
storyline as it's clearly not the most impressive aspect of the game.
The impressive aspects come from the gameplay which at the core looks like a very repetitive third person shooter. It's once you realize that as you shoot
you are affecting the game's trance soundtrack that Rez becomes less of a third person shooter and more a music rhythm game. This gives the game a high level
of replay value because you can shoot the enemies in different ways each time, and effect the music differently.
The game is rather short so don't be surprised if you finish what's on offer in one session over a few hours, but on XBLA this is not a
significant problem. It can be a rather difficult game, but once you finish a level you unlock the traveling mode where you don't take damage, allowing you
to really experiment with the music changes available by shooting enemies.
Visually the game has been improved for the XBLA release, but you can also play in PS2 style graphics for the original experience. The game has not improved
or lessened in impact due to the HD changes but what has improved is the sound. You can now get 5.1 surround through the Xbox 360 audio, and if you have an
additional controller and sync it to the X360, the controller will begin to vibrate in tune with the music.
Rez is still as impressive as it was on its PS2 debut. The fact it is now a download on the 360 allows many more people to become enamored by its charm and
extends the audience beyond the Playstation 2 which is sure to make a sequel all the more likely to happen. 360 gamers simply must play this.