Friday, November 11, 2011

A somewhat gay review of Wizorb (PC and XBLIG)

Game: Wizorb
Genre: Brick-breaker
Developer: Tribute Games
Publisher: Tribute Games
System(s): PC, Xbox 360
Release date: 2011

In pretty much every post I've published about Wizorb thus far, I've described it as "Breakout with a smidge of an RPG." After spending some quality time with this downloadable title over the last week or so, though, I've come to the conclusion that I should have been calling it a Legend of Zelda-inspired brick-breaker instead.

Why? Because while the bulk of Wizorb's gameplay brings to mind titles like the aforementioned Atari release, its graphics, setting--named, ahem, "Kingdom of Gorudo"--and soundtrack bring to mind the game that's known in Japan as The Hyrule Fantasy: Zeruda no Densetsu. Wizorb's main town/hub area, the decimated Tarot Village--which the player can help rebuild by donating gathered gold--also recalls that Nintendo classic. (Said village is the only location players are able to explore freely, by the way. The game's five other locations, each of which houses 13 block-busting stages, are accessed via a board-game-esque world map.)

At the end of the day, though, this basically is a gussied-up Arkanoid clone, so how does its bat-and-ball action stand up to its predecessors-cum-competitors in that particular genre? Pretty darn well. Although Wizorb features a par-for-the-course paddle--although here it's supposed to be a wizard's magic wand--and ball, players can do more with the former than they can in most such games. For example: clicking the left mouse button (while enjoying the PC version, obviously) launches a fireball into the play area, while clicking the right one produces a gust of wind that blows the ball in the direction of the wand. Also, though most destroyed blocks drop coins, gems and potions that refill your magic gauge, some drop curses that shrink your wand or slow it to a crawl.

Another of Wizorb's inventive additions to the brick-breaker oeuvre: many of its stages include bonus rooms and shops that more often than not prove to be life-savers. All in all, Tribute Games' maiden release is refreshing, remarkably polished and well worth the price of admission (a measly $3) whether or not you're bonkers for Breakout and its ilk.

See also: Previous 'somewhat gay' reviews and previous Wizorb posts


Bryan Ochalla said...

One little note from me in regards to this "somewhat gay review": As you can see, I've changed the format of this series to be more in line with my "Great Gaymathon" reviews.

Also, soon (hopefully this weekend), I'm going to go back and edit and/or re-write my previous "somewhat gay" reviews so they're in the same format, too. Just thought I'd give y'all a heads up :)

Viewtiful_Justin said...

I'm excited for when it finally comes to Mac. If it ever does...

Bryan Ochalla said...

It's supposed to be out in 2-3 weeks, Justin. Be patient :)

Viewtiful_Justin said...

That's not a word I ever use to describe myself. :-P

Bryan Ochalla said...

Well, don't feel too bad -- I'm pretty much in the same boat :) Anyway, whether you're patient or not, the Mac version is supposed to be out SOON!

RetroKingSimon said...

I like the look (and sound) of this one a lot! I might even go all out and buy it! :P

Bryan Ochalla said...

If you like brick-breakers, Simon -- and I know you do! -- you'll love this game. I think I need to play through it again :)