Fez Review(360 XBLA, PC, Mac)

Posted: May 13, 2013 in Reviews
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Fez cover

Fez is a well thought through game that will put you into creative levels, with fun, relaxed gameplay. The opening moments of the game will have you waking up Fez in his bed, then you can scroll the section of world Fez lives in, you can walk in the typical side-scrolling fashion, until a giant 3D cube comes down and blows up, giving you the power to flip the screen around levels. Being able to flip the screen around will help navigate levels, find collectables, cube sections, search rooms, find treasure chests, and getting to the top or bottom of areas, the flip works seamlessly with the games 8-bit style.

After the cube explodes, it will also scatter pieces of the cubes within, there are 8 pieces to find for each of the 32 cubes, there are also 32 anti-cubes which are already in the full cube form, but are also harder to find. There are 4 sides to most of the levels, which hide the cube parts, and being in certain spots of the level when you flip will reveal parts of the cube that you may have not even seen, to top it off, hidden in some of the levels there is a full cube waiting to be collected. Once you have a certain amount of full cubes you can unlock doors that lead to other sections of the world, but it can be easy to get lost.

The map is very confusing, getting lost will more than likely happen, and there are so many doors, some lead to other sections, and some just to rooms, it makes back tracking a must. The levels are creative and look well thought through, each section will come with it’s own obstacles, and the obstacles require creative thinking as well. One second you can be on the left side of the screen, then with a flip of the screen, be on the other side. It’s fun navigating the sections and finding the way through, some levels have portals at certain points so you can go back to the main part of the world, which is a nice addition.

Fez and the rest of the characters are little white people, that almost look like they are made of marshmellows. Adding to the cute style, the levels are relaxed, there are not enemies in each section, you just explore, looking for the cubes, the parts, and other collectables, figuring out each section in a relaxed way. The game will keep you thinking, each section will require the right flip or jump at the right time, each flip will give the section a different perspective, and trying to figure it all out is very fun and rewarding. The music in Fez is also very relaxed and mellow, and makes each environment even better. The soundtrack blends into the gameplay, it does not overpower, and yet adds to the mood, and additionally gives the game an enhanced 8-bit feel.

Finding all of the pieces is a long process, there are so many sections to the world, many different hidden areas and rooms, sections you can’t figure out, may just need some thought as you play through other sections. If you want to create all 32 cubes, the 32 anti-cubes, plus the artifacts and treasure maps, it will take quite a few hours, it’s easy to play for a few hours then take a break if it becomes too confusing. With the many hours that can be put into this game, it’s good that levels are pretty memorable, and entertaining, the levels generally look different, and have their own quirks and challenges.

There are a few glitches and flaws to Fez, for one there is not much replay value, going through the levels again, and collecting anything you’ve missed can be fun, but it’ll probably the relaxed and yet challenging feel will be worthy of a replay. Also, there are random glitches that will have Fez falling through platforms over and over, the controls are solid, but jumping can also be an issue that pops-up every once in a while. The map is probably the biggest issue in Fez though, it would be less difficult to get lost if it was done differently, but yet can add to a lot of exploration.

All together Fez is a great game, lots of gameplay time, exploration, challenges and relaxed feel push Fez over the top. There is a lot of thought involved in the majority of sections, and being able to flip the screen to solve them is a lot of fun. If you are looking for a game that will intellectually challenge you, while blending fun, relaxed, 8-bit style gameplay and a mellow soundtrack, this game is a for sure must have.

Overall Score 8.8/10

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