'Fusion: Genesis' (Xbox Live Arcade)
Video Game Review: 'Fusion: Genesis' (Xbox Live Arcade)
A lot of
Among these overlooked games is "Fusion: Genesis," a top-down space adventure made by the team at Starfire, made up of former Ensemble Studios members. (That's the team behind "Halo Wars.") It's a shame that this didn't pick up on the masses (at least, not yet), because sci-fi fans of "Firefly," "Battlestar Galactica" and other epics would be right at home here.
The game starts out slowly enough, putting you in control of a drone as your bothersome trainer walks you through the essential basics of the game, including shooting, mining and other skills. But just when you think it's going to lull into a sense of formula, an attack leaves you lingering on your own - and racing just to get out alive. From there, your real adventure begins, and how deep it goes depends on how much time you put into it.
When Starfire released this game, it described it as a "twin stick MMO," which didn't make much sense at the time. Can you possibly concentrate the values of an MMO-style game with the kind of controls that would be best suited for "Geometry Wars" or "Super Stardust HD"? But upon getting into it for a few hours, you could see where this description makes sense. The game has the fundamentals of an old-school shooter, not to mention the handling, but its sense of speed and timing is slow and intricate, building into something far more tremendous. And that alone makes "Fusion: Genesis" a valuable commodity.
You can do all sorts of nifty stuff in "Fusion," such as choosing which weapons or goodies to harbor, whether you're up for being an all-out war machine or mining like a money-grubbing gold-panner until you've got enough assets to build an armada. The tools at hand diversify quite a bit, so no adventure really plays the same way twice, even if you're used to a certain style of play. What's more, new ships are available, so if you prefer something big and bulky to slow and speedy, then trade up. The shop alone will keep you busy for hours at a time, and you'll be surprised what strange allies - and enemies - you make in space.
Not everyone's going to be crazy about the game's pacing - it takes some time to really get where you're going - but "Fusion: Genesis" does provide a lot of depth, and for 800
Furthermore, Starfire gives "Fusion" plenty of graphic oomph. It may be a top-down approach, but the way the galaxy travels beneath you, from multilevel structures to moons that whiz right by, is amazing. They really stand out on an HD screen, enough to make you stop and gaze every once in awhile. (Just make sure you're not surrounded by enemy troops when you do.) The audio is equally impressive, with worthwhile MMO-style music (almost sounds inspired by "Starcraft") and good voicework - although some characters don't really have much to say. Ah, well, the life of a lonely space miner. . .
Seriously, if you embrace science fiction in any form or need a different kind of shooter, "Fusion: Genesis" is worth the investment. There's production value galore here, and the gameplay has so much replayability that it's ridiculous. Take to the stars already.
- 'Fusion: Genesis' (Xbox Live Arcade)
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Video Games: 'Fusion: Genesis' (Xbox Live Arcade)
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