Way back in the late 70s the world was introduced to some crafty invaders from space in an arcade game known as Space Invaders. After that, several other games of quite popular fame and history tried to get their share of the market. Come the end of the arcade days a new leader appeared by the name of “Gradius” and was followed by several other next generation classics.
In more recent years, a new Japanese craze brought this classic gameplay style back, the new games being known by the trait that best describes them “Bullet Hell”. After so many classics and amazingly diverse titles over the years Zeit² tries what no other game has quite figured out; a good mix of dodging and little things to shoot. Not only that, but Zeit² aims for its own personal flare offering players the power to mess with time and to kill enemies and fix errors.
Will Zeit² fly to the edge of greatness, or will it require some rewinding and masterful piloting to fix? Find out as was take a look at the HOTs and NOTs!
Very rarely do I find graphics that work well with the game I’m playing but there is a great contrast here. You can easily see what you have to kill, what you can’t kill, and what the enemy is going to do. I was very pleased with this over the usual attempt at pixels, or 3D which let’s face it, doesn’t look to hot or average. In addition to this, the enemies have a sort of flow feel which makes the game easy to play for long periods and able for you to stay alive longer.
Lots to do
Generally when you have a digital game you have a short arcade or a limited set of tasks past working towards digital icons… Zeit² has 70 challenges which have a good amount of diversity and a low amount of difficulty so even less skilled gamers can have some fun trying to obtain them all. Not only do you have challenges but you 7 other game types which give you a bit extra things to accomplish
Not every mode is enjoyable to play but there is something for everyone here. Some tasks like tactics require high amounts of skill and a good bit of diversity past shooting enemies. However, don’t worry if you just like to shoot there’s a fun little “wave” mode where you have to kill every enemy making sure no enemy makes it across the screen.
This thankfully is more than just shooting enemies as it allows you to plan and master every level and and is better than just your average trial and error game. Some of the other modes like Time Limit force you to collect as many posts and kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. It sounds a lot harder than it sounds but it really forces you to hone and master your skills. Another mode is Survival which adds 50% damage per 1 min when you’re alive. This can make the mode very hard; or very fun since you won’t get anywhere if you’re not a sharp shooter, with good reflexes.
Don’t you hate it when you’re trying to kill some enemies and the game tells you an hour later you could dodge? Well thankfully this is not that type of game; you will know everything you need to know long before you need to know it. You might find all the tutorials a bit annoying, but I rather be over informed than uninformed.
Too much going on
Have you ever tried to do a multiplayer mode on your own for whatever reason? I did it for Shank, Prehistoric moves, and Lost Planet 2… and I can tell you Zeit² can feel as impossible at times. Since your main source of damage early on will be “Blue” ships which steal your health for not killing them as they wiz by… You will be forced to either get lucky or kill everything perfectly. Considering arcade took me 25 minutes to beat, you’re going to have to either get it or extend your controller warranty. Not only do you have to kill nearly every enemy you encounter you also can only kill some enemies in “time” mode. So not only do you have to kill everything perfectly, you will also need to rewind time and get enemies like that too. Finally, in later stages there are enemies you can’t kill which rain bullets and fly into you. Come the end of the game if you don’t have clear understanding of the time system you will die or find it not very enjoyable!
The big claim to fame here is the ability to rewind and fast forward time… However it just gets lost in the things you have to do. As I said above, there is a lot going on and a lot of times rewinding time was low on my things to do list when I have 50 bullets flying around me. You will need to kill enemies in time and avoid boss bullets which can get rather bothersome fast. Don’t get me wrong it’s not a bad feature it’s just too much of the game is dependent on the master of this feature which frankly I forget exists at time.
Less Classic more Hell
At the start of the game you will find it like Gradius which is very fun, for those who didn’t play Gradius there’s a lot of easy to kill enemies with minimal challenges. After you get though the game and make it to a boss you will see it shift to “Bullet Hell” requiring fancy piloting and high levels of skill. Sadly mid game there are tons of enemies you simply can’t kill which flood the stage with bullets. You will find yourself looking for ways around bullets over trying to kill enemies which can seem like a tease for gamers not prepared for a bullet hell situation.
There is a lot of fun here, but the learning curve is a huge turn off. If you can use your mind to find paths to fly though and keep cool with 20 things going on at the same time you can have some fun… But if these traits don’t suit you then stay away. All things considered though, there’s more than enough post game to more than justify buying. I just wish there was an easy mode for more causal gamers.[Editor’s Note: Zeit² was reviewed on the Xbox 360 platform. This game was given to us for review purposes from the publisher.]