Fez | Community XBLA Review

This is the fifth – and sadly final – of our ‘Community XBLA Reviews’ for this week.  Remember, comment on any (or all) of the five ‘Community XBLA Review’ (Sine Mora, Anomaly, Diabolical Pitch, The Splatters and Fez) posts in this week and one randomly drawn participant will win a code for Sine Mora sponsored by Microsoft SA.

This review of Fez is done by our resident Kinect-head Faheem ‘AbzAbrahams – or Zombie Abz as we like to call him.

Developer: Polytron
Publisher: Polytron
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Price: 800MSP
If we had to give it a numerical score: 9.o out of 10

It’s seldom that I’ve come across a non-action open world single-player platformer that I enjoy. I’ve played Fez for hours already and I think it’s safe to say that it’s addictive. Hell everyone I know that’s played it is addicted from the start.

So what is it about an 8 bit arcade title set in a 2 dimensional view or a 3 dimensional world? Aside from its acclaimed status – being featured in the documentary film ‘Indie Game: The Movie’ and its long awaited arrival – it won the ‘Excellence in Visual Art’ award at the independent Games Festival back in 2008 amongst many others.

So what’s the story bro and what’s the point?

Essentially you play Gomez, a funny doodley looking character living in a 2 dimensional world. Then one fine day in your tiny village, something phenomenal happens… you’re exposed to the third dimension and from that point your strange floating and trusty side-kick (who doesn’t know much more than a basic tutorial and admits it – haha) you’re off. Off on a mission to recover and reassemble the shattered bits of a giant cube that has caused this newfound dimension. Anyhoot, the story isn’t exactly the most captivating out there but it’s sweet and playful at the very least. So essentially you’re hopping off from world to world solving puzzles and discovering secrets while finding a ton of artifacts, treasure maps, anti-cubes and even a couple of interesting QR codes to help you get further.

What makes Fez different, as a platformer is the ability to ‘shift your view’? – This is where the magic happens as Fez can’t be played as a straightforward side scrolling platformer (trust me you’ll never finish a level), you have to flip your view of the world, see it from another angle and discover what lies hidden from your perspective… a freaking phenomenal metaphor if any.

All-in-all it’s a great game that will have you puzzled, confused, frustrated and super satisfied every time you complete a task or solve a puzzle… and especially complete some of the awesome achievements.

I suggest you try it out.

What I liked

  • Brilliant concept
  • Switching perspective while jumping is like an awesome bullet-time
  • The 8 bit look and feel

Not so much

  • Not killing stuff
  • The 8 bit look and feel sometimes gave my strained eyes a headache

Remember, comment below – stroke the man’s ego, tell him he’s awesome, tell us if you agree with him, or simply tell him you love him – and you could win a code for Sine Mora.  Competition will close at noon on Monday 30 April.

Check out the previous reviews this week:

The Splatters review by Charl ‘PottyZA’ Potgieter
Diabolical Pitch review by Bryan ‘Sil3nt eck0? Padayachee
Anomaly: Warzone Earth review by Charl ‘PottyZA’ Potgieter

Sine Mora review by Chris ‘SpirosZA’ Hartley

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About Zombie Abz

Yesterday's leftovers mixed with perinnaise and pepperdews, sandwiched between 2 slices of brown and served with a tall glass of OJ in front of an HD screen.