ALERT: Geometry Wars is hit by Asteroids!
Posted 4 years ago By - Mitch Dyer
Shred Nebula is a little strange. The controls are a little fishy, and will take a ton of getting used to if you’re hard wired for the Geometry Wars’ accelerate/move left-stick movement. But adapting becomes essential to your success as you drift through space and blast away baddies in what is an unadulterated tribute to Asteroids, Geometry Wars and... fighting games?
While the online multiplayer versus completely rocks – even at a lowly three out of a potentially chaotic eight – the single player frustrates. A camera that zooms in and out hectically at its own pace becomes as agitating as the constant text pop-ups that intrude on gameplay every 15 seconds. Drifting through space like a suped-up street racing Honda as you blast a variety of uniquely crafted, uh, spacecrafts (most of which are available in multiplayer) is a blast, as a variety of attacks and a fighting-game combo system changes what you might expect from a free-roaming shooter. Once you figure out the attacks, that is.
Once you get a grip on that, you’ll be trying to use your newly acquired moves to fight your way through some of the most non-descript and confusingly barren environments that are periodically littered with space stations, asteroid fields and clouds of colored death. Trying to figure out where you’re supposed to be at any given moment is also irritating and you’ll find yourself referring to your objectives list more than your mini-map, which is of no help at all.
A variety of weapons, tied to almost every face button and/or the right analog stick mix things up online, though you’ll need to dedicate a hefty chunk of time learning the finer details of each of the half-dozen or so ships’ special skills and combination attacks. Most are relatively easy to figure out, but without being explicitly explained the timing of certain one-two punches, one might never learn some of the truly badass attacks.
But the controls of Shred Nebula will be the dividing factor amongst its player-base, but once you get a grip on accelerating with the triggers and directing with the left stick, the unintuitive mechanics allow for more intricate manoeuvres. Drifting plays a big part of the game and without making the controls somewhat clunky, that aspect would be completely lost – it’s harder to wield than a Geometry Wars title might be, but the deeper abilities given to the player as a result are a fair trade.
Graphics and Sound
Nebula runs at 60 frames-per-second, but the “why” is uncertain. The graphics of each stage are definitely great – from the aforementioned “colorful clouds of death” to cool looking ships and awesome bang-zoom special effects – but why a shooter like this requires 60 frames is just baffling. Still, it’s appreciated, and it certainly doesn’t hurt the game, which features a lack of, or flat out dull music. It’d be nice to rock out to some space-metal or something whilst blasting everything to bits, but the developers apparently decided that’d drown out the “BADOOOOSH!” and “PEW PEW” of the battle.
Shred Nebula is incredibly short – just a couple hours long – and the game even has an Achievement for wrapping it up in 90 minutes, but if the excellent multiplayer hooks you there’s plenty to enjoy with the assortment of different ships and stages. While not perfectly balanced, there’s a certain challenge to taking different spacecrafts to new levels and learning their power, and with a high-score mode and co-op play there might be some longevity for those willing to deal with the supremely annoying single player.
If you never get a handle on the foreign controls, there’s nothing for you here. You’ll need to forget everything you know about accelerating/moving with the left stick and blasting away with the right – Shred Nebula is more technical than Geometry Wars, but nowhere near as addictive. With a single player that will infuriate with interruptions, it’s hard to fall in love with, but the multiplayer is loads of fun – at ten bucks, it’s a little steep, but if you need a challenge and you’re looking for something fresh online, Shred might be worth considering.
+ Great multiplayer...
+ ... with a variety of great ships...
+ ... and really unique combat to boot!
+ Controls yield great abilities
- A wonky camera in the solo campaign annoys...
- ... as does the confusing level design
- Controls are cumbersome and have a steep learning curve
1 week ago :: Injustice: Gods Among Us
1 week ago :: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14
2 weeks ago :: BioShock Infinite
4 weeks ago :: Gears of War Judgment
1 month ago :: (Kinect) The Hip Hop Dance Experience
1 month ago :: Tomb Raider
1 month ago :: Crysis 3
2 months ago :: DmC Devil May Cry
2 months ago :: (XBLA) Serious Sam Double D XXL
Download us here!
Game Junkies podcast and audio interviews
Release Date : 2008/09/03
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : Crunch Time Games
Developer : CrunchTime Games
Category : Shooter
ESRB : E
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10