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volume 3 issue 2

In This Issue

Contents 2
Features 3
Chasing Otakuism 5
Anime Briefs 6
Reviews 7
Web Showcase 15
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INFO FILE
Title:
Rez
Format:
Playstation 2
Production:
Sega
United Game Artists
Comments:
UGA returns with the results of "Project K," that being their new "musical shooter," Rez.
Overall Rating:
99%

Animefringe Reviews:
Rez
By J.P. Arevalo

Sega is claiming that Rez re-invents the shooting genre, and they say so on the back of the game. And I believe them - Rez is good. Rez is really good. It's taken a while for me to really appreciate my PS2, but with the arrival of Rez, I have come to love it.

Rez, at it's core, is a shooting game. The player takes control of a figure who has been charged with bringing "Eden" back online, "Eden" being a supreme A.I. who holds all that has passed within it. The game is broken down into 5 Areas, each featuring a bass-thumping techno/trance/ambient track. The player uses a lock-on system to shoot down viruses that are invading "Eden". How you shoot, meaning frequency and timing, defines the rhythm of the track. There are two main power-up items in the game, a progress node which increases your level - and as you increase in level, your form in this digital plane changes. The other is an overdrive node which, when fired using the overdrive button, eliminates all enemies on the screen for a short period of time. It is hard to describe in words what the end product feels like, but it is an amazing experience. Often times I find myself just hitting the fire button to find a different beat and rhythm, constantly tapping my foot or bobbing my head to the beats. The violent vibrations from the Dual Shock 2 only intensify this effect.

The gameplay is simple, but the game itself draws you in. Defeating the viruses becomes much more than just an elimination process, it becomes part of the rhythm; part of the experience. Then you get to the fun stuff. Boss battles occur at the end of every area. At first they seem very intense and overwhelming, but a quick thumb and a good eye can get you by. The bosses range from a giant globe to a virtual man running through a virtual hallway. Needless to say, the imagery in this game is incredible.

The only downside to this game is that people may find it too short. The game consists of only 5 levels, but there are various modes and options that you can unlock by attaining top scores. Once the game is completed for the first time, Beyond Mode is playable, in which players aim for score and are able to unlock stages, forms and points of view, among other things.

Rez screams art, style, uniqueness and creativity. It shows us that games can really be art, and they can overwhelm your senses to create one of the more refined, involving and unique gaming experiences out there. Pure gaming, and pure art, Rez is a masterful blend.

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