System: Playstation 2
Developer: United Game Artists
After the treacherous adventure through Super Monkey Ball: Step and Roll, a game had to cleanse the feeling that pervaded throughout the apartment. While there were a few games to choose, Alex chose to go to one of his favorite and short experiences available to gaming (and to them, as well), Rez.
Rez comes about as one of the most revered games developed by Sega’s United Game Artists before Sega reorganized the company, but we are getting ahead of ourselves. UGA was originally Sega AM9 RandD and AM Annex, having created such games as Sega Rally Championship. After Rez, UGA would develop Space Channel Five and Space Channel Five: Part 2. In 2003, however, Sega would merge with Sammy and undergo a great restructuring, causing UGA to become part of Sonic Team Japan, and company producer Tetsuya Mizuguchi left Sega with a number of other ex-Sega employees to form Q Entertainment. Under Q Entertainment, Rez HD would release on XBLA with the help of Hexa Drive, and a spiritual sequel, Child of Eden, was released through Ubisoft in 2011. Q Entertainment’s latest release is Lumines: Electronic Symphony, a launch title for the Playstation Vita.
Rez is an on-rails arcade shooter in which the player assumes the roll of a hacker program sent into the vast K-project network. The network’s AI, Eden, has become overwhelmed by all of the knowledge stored in the system and is beginning a shutdown sequence, and it is up to the hacker’s program to bring her back. Players do not directly control the online avatar, but rather, they control the reticule to aim the avatar’s weaponry. When the reticule hits an enemy or one of its attacks, it locks onto it, and letting go of the lock will release beams of energy to destroy said targets. The long-and-short of the game, therefore, is to protect the avatar, destroy the firewall, and experience the trippy visuals. The game is a beauty to behold, calling artist Kandinsky as its inspiration, and the music is rich and electronic, meshing with the game’s technical style. Besides the main game, there are extra levels and graphical changes that can be made in order to enhance the replayability, but even so, the main game is something special to behold.
While the playthrough of Rez was not the best playthrough, at the very least you get some occasional commentary amid the blown-away stares and thumping music. As with other Game On episodes, it was intentionally meant for a 3:4 show, although this and the following episodes were edited well after our time at RTN had ended. Having a DVD recording of it as opposed to a direct capture does hurt the quality of the video feed itself, but it is still a nice playthrough to watch and experience with us.