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Platform: Xbox 360

Fez Review

Polytron's amalgamation of 2 and 3 dimensions brilliantly combines nostalgia and ingenuity into an experimentation of spatial logic

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A fond reverence for the retro is woven throughout every level of Polytron’s design. It’s in the tinkling crescendo and rotating camera accompanying the opening of chest, the bleeping diminuendo when warping down a pipe, the hidden hieroglyphic language constructed of Tetris shapes and the scripted glitch-crashes leading to a nice impression of a DOS re-boot screen. But where fake crashes are an enjoyably quirky throwback, FEZ’s genuine technical faltering’s are less so. Slowdown occurs on multiple occasions during more complex stages, and one encountered glitch forced a re-start.
Still these prove a minor blip in the grand scheme of Polytron’s ambition, which is one that cannot be faulted for a lack of content. Beyond the initial lengthy search for those 32 golden cubes lies a new game plus mode in which 32 equal and opposite anti-cubes hide behind even more craftily deceptive and challenging illusions. Further mysteries unfold throughout as you acquire Windwaker style treasure maps alluding to hidden secrets and stumble across cryptic artifacts whose mysteries require de-coding to unravel.
Just when you think you have a handle on its depth, FEZ presents another layer of referential discovery. It feels like a sentimental return to the gaming days of your childhood viewed through a fresh pair of eyes, and reminds of a youthful Nintendo with its infinitely creative re-use of a simple and pure central idea. That idea is one of magnificent ingenuity, one that consistently intrigues and one that not only challenges your preconceptions about the very space in which videogames occur, but also revives a sense of boundless exploration not felt in videogames for a long time.
Our ratings for Fez on Xbox 360 out of 100 (see how we rate)
Meticulously detailed and wonderfully crafted, FEZ's pixel cube art work has evidently had a great deal of attention.
Polytron have taken one singular, ingenious perspective shifting mechanic and elegantly constructed a plethora of optically illusive platforming puzzles that always feel challenging, but never too confusing.
Single Player
A perfect amalgamation of the new and the old, enriched with multiple layers of nostalgic references. Its only downside is the confusing complexity of its overall world.
FEZ has clearly been treated with such careful attention to detail in every area that slowdown and glitches stand out as a weak spot.
Should you have fond memories of gaming's 2D era, FEZ will undoubtedly leave you with a smile on your face and a warm fuzz in your heart. And yet it is so much more than simple nostalgia, as it deftly blends the old, with fresh new ideas of perspective shifting platforming.
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Fez box art Platform:
Xbox 360
Our Review of Fez
The Verdict:
Game Ranking
Fez is ranked #8 out of 1,268 total reviewed games.
7. Bayonetta
Xbox 360
8. Fez
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11 images added Apr 20, 2012 16:21
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