Available on Xbox 360 LIVE Arcade, the PlayStation 3 Network, and Windows PC from Steam, Zeit2 (Zeit Squared) is a side scrolling shooter with a twist.
Unlike other previous entries in the genre, Zeit2 adds several new gaming elements that make it stand out from the crowd. The most noticeable in Zeit2’s game play is the use of time (however we’ll get back to that in just a moment).
Enemies that pass by you can eat away a small chunk of your life. Naturally, the impulse is to not take your hand off the trigger button – however that would be a mistake. To complicate things, every shot that you take in Zeit2 which misses an enemy also nips a small bit from your life as well. This contention can’t help but to create a little anxiety while playing, as it is almost impossible to destroy every enemy on the screen. Enter Zeit2’s clever use of time travel.
If you’ve played Microsoft’s Game Room, then you’re no stranger to rewinding your game play in order to fix mistakes. In Zeit2, rather than just fixing a mistake you replay the game alongside your ship from the past. This lets you either finish off stray enemies on the opposite side of the screen as your ship’s ghost, or team up with yourself to deal double the damage to a boss.
While playing the Steam verison of Zeit2, and the first thing I noticed was just how colorful it is. In addition to a traditional arcade mode, there are several additional modes to play on – each of which is tracked on a separate leaderboard.
There are a total of eight large bosses to defeat in Zeit2’s twenty chapters, and although the main arcade mode can be beaten within just a few short hours it is the plethora of extra game modes that make Zeit2 so much more in depth and add extra replay value to the game when compared to other side scrollers.
I’ve played Zeit2 on and off for just over a month, and unlike other similar games Zeit2keeps drawing me back to it even after completely beating the game. That’s because there’s just so many little nuances in Zeit2 that you’ll find yourself spending twenty minutes here or thirty minutes there to perfect your technique. How many Xbox Live Arcade or PlayStation Network games have you played that accomplish this same feat?
The graphics and sound track in Zeit2 aren’t as jaw droppingly insane as the game play, however they accurately fit the game. Combined with its creative new use of life (and time), innovative extra game modes, and fun factor, Zeit2 deserves a solid eight out of ten.
If you are a fan of older games in the genre like 1942, Super R Type, or U.N. Squadron, then Zeit2 is a must own title. For those who’ve never played a side scroller shoot-em-up, then Zeit2 will immediately become one of your favorite games.
Zeit2 is available from the Xbox LIVE Arcade, the PlayStation Network, and Steam. For more information about Zeit2, visit Ubisoft’s website.
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