April 01, 2014

Fez Review for PS4 PS3 and PS Vita


A creative platformer with a twist finds its way to Playstation consoles. Should you give a try?.....

Formerly released on Xbox and PC, Fez was released on PSN as a cross buy and cross save title for PS4, PS3, and the Vita. Charming in all its pixel rich worlds and actions, Gomez, the fez wearing hero, travels the lands to unravel mysteries surrounding the 2D lands becoming 3D.

It begins!
Truly, when you don the cap for the first time and the flat backgrounds spin into action and you see the world for what it is, you are held to the game. Hitting the shoulder buttons at that point rotates the world 90 degrees on its axis and opens up a new perspective on puzzle solving. 
Colorful worlds that become so much more when you spin them...
A platform that was too far away to jump to is now within reach with a perspective change. Those two vine walls you were climbing now merge into one as you spin the world, too. They make for some creative thinking to get from point A to B while trying to gather portions of the magical cubes that are spread throughout the land. I was reminded of a PSP Mini title, "Where is my heart?" when I played this game. Remember that? Brilliant problem solving with various characters and a trippy map system. 

Music is brilliant in its 8 bit ness. You will be brought back, no doubt, to games of yore with the soundtrack and sound effects. Graphics are simple yet endearing, and become altogether more tangible when you see you can change the view on things. 

But for all of its great puzzle solving (you can trip timed switches, bombs, crates...) I always felt a sense of "Where the heck am I?" and "Man this area looks a lot like the last one I was in, did I leave?" I pride myself in being able to visualize maps in most games so I don't get lost, but after seeing the main hub for this world and then not again for ever this game lost me. I felt like for every step I thought I gained, I wondered how I would return to a place 3 maps prior to the one I just entered. 
Here is the hub. I saw it once and couldn't track it down again...

You won't feel too frustrated for most parts, though. If you miss a platform when you jump, you just die and then spawn back where you came from, and try the thing over again. It is only in the tracking your progress that your frustrations will arise. If you don't play for a couple of days and try to pick it up, you will have a hard time remembering where you were!

Cross play: 
All three versions look amazing, but liking to quickly pick up and play a game I think the Vita has the most play time for me. Graphically you're not going to notice anything different in the games, that's not what makes the game fun. 

Verdict: 
7.5/10 Good!
A creative platformer that gets bogged down in its mapping system. 
You will like this game if you: 
  • enjoy clever puzzle solving platformers
  • like a challenge in tracking down all hidden pieces (there are some deep puzzles buried in this world!)
  • want to experience a pixel rich world with beautiful visuals
You might not like:
  • getting lost and wondering if you are making progress

Thanks to Polytron for the review code! 

What do you think? Will you give FEZ a try?

 
                     
PS Vita Hub ®