Rez HD Review
Originally developed by SEGA for the Dreamcast in 2001 and later released on the PlayStation 2 in 2002, Rez brought a new visual and audio approach to the shooter genre. The most unique element to Rez was how it merged music and on-screen visual interaction which was something very unique and light years ahead of anything on the gaming scene at the time; years before any Rock Band or Guitar Hero.
The LIVE Arcade version, titled RezHD, brings the exact same original title to the Xbox 360 from its creator Mizuguchi, this time with a higher resolution and a remixed Dolby Digital soundtrack thrown in. These enhanced features make RezHD an even better experience over its original. The up-scaled vector sprites still look fresh, while the original trance soundtracks that features in each of the five levels feel as new as they sounded all those years ago.
To put it quite simply, RezHD is an on-rails shooter game. You control an avatar character that shifts between an orb object when on low health through to a human figure that beats in time with the soundtrack. Your character travels through a predetermined path inside a futuristic computer network controlled by an AI called Eden. Eden has become to question its existence and as a result has initiated a critical shutdown sequence. It is your goal to enter the network and reboot Eden before its shutdown, while destroying any viruses and firewalls along the way.
The whole game is a compelling experience. The five playable levels are a feast for your eyes and ears, each featuring a different style, visual effects and trance soundtrack which changes and evolves as you interact with your surroundings, enemies and power-ups. The first four levels are divided into sub-sections, with a final boss at the end of each level. The final level is what Rez is all about though and I must stress how important level five is in Rez/RezHD. The soundtrack and level design is at its best here and this is something that is rare in games these days, with better environments and enemies, along with playing out the stories conclusion makes it worth the effort in getting to this final level.
Achievements can be easily achieved throughout the story mode of the game, with further achievements earned through the additional quick-fire score based modes. Once the game is complete, further modes and levels are unlocked which gives RezHD some longevity and you can also revisit each individual level from the story mode, including the awesome level five. In conclusion, for 800MS Points you cannot go wrong in purchasing RezHD, especially if you wish to play a piece of classic video gaming history, just make sure you get to level five, OK!