Meteos Wars

Meteos is the definitive game for the Nintendo DS; it’s one of the few games that actually takes full advantage of the stylus controls. Funny then that the game has received an Xbox Live port. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t have a touch screen TV.

So getting straight onto the key question, just how does Meteos work with a controller? The analogue stick controls an on screen cursor. Select a block and press a face button to either slide the block up or down. In all honesty, it actually worked better than I thought it might (after you change the cursor speed in the options menu). Meteos is completely playable on the big screen but not as intuitive as the DS version and much harder to play when things speed up.

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In all honesty, I have never managed to hook up my DS for some two-player Meteos love. To me the system has always been more of a single player beast, I don’t usually take it to friend’s houses and I can’t be bothered hooking it up to the world of online game play.

Meteos Wars then for me was a chance to take my skills online. Unfortunately there seems to be a lack of opposition with very few attempts of finding other players successful. When I did manage to connect to someone, the game seemed to lag a great deal, slowing down gameplay and ruining the experience. Quite often, button presses fail to register completely.

Surely this game would be easier to keep in sync than many other Live titles? I’ll have to find someone local to play against as I’m quite keen to play with this mode further. If you have this game and Live, leave your tag in the comments, or even let us know if you suffered the same issues.

Now for those that have yet to play this little gem at all, Meteos is a block-based puzzle game. You use the styl… uhhh, analogue stick to select blocks that have fallen and flic… uhhh, press a button to move them up or down. Line three blocks up vertically or horizontally and this will propel them, and any blocks above them into the air. Any blocks that hit the top of the screen will be cleared. It’s a very simple concept with some deceptively deep strategies once you get into the game.

For example you can move blocks to move a certain colour out of the way to avoid launching until you are able to line up even more blocks. You can chain launches in groups of blocks already in the air, or my favourite, flick blocks on the ground up onto a stack that’s already airborne. I haven’t even mentioned yet that different atmospheres have different characteristics such as gravity.

The main reason I would buy Meteos Wars is if a mate or two already own it. If you like the sound of the game, pick it up for the Nintendo DS. A set of headphones and a stylus make this a much more personal and involving game. The single player is great on the DS but pretty much entirely lacking for the Live release. If a fix for the multiplayer speed is issued (server upgrade or more efficient code?) making the non-local matches enjoyable, then the game will immediately be worth a purchase. Sadly Meteos Wars is very hard to recommend. I do however completely recommend the original.

"Classic is crippled Live."
- Meteos Wars
Follow Own it? Rating: G   Difficulty: Easy   Learning Curve: 15 Min


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