Split Screen

Two guys, infinite opinions.

Geometry Wars – Attack of the Shapes!

“Want to play Geometry Wars?”geometry-wars-02

“A learning game? No thanks.”

The response I receive from many non-gamers. Though despite the name, this is one of my favorite titles of all time.

Geometry Wars (360) is a 2D, dual stick shooter that seems to have started the craze. One stick controls moves your “ship” while the other is held in any direction to constantly pour out projectiles. Either triggers use a bomb which destroy every enemy on screen with a huge, rippling explosion. The action is fast paced and challenging for everyone.

Gameplay goes like this: you are an octagon-like unit that flies around an enclosed area that contains geometry shapes which are constantly reappearing. Each different shape has a distinct color and attack pattern. Learning each shape’s personality and killing strategy and quite fun so I won’t give any hints. Each enemy also gives off a distinct noise when it spawns. This helps prepare you for any shape that spawns off screen.

At first gameplay starts slow, with a few slow moving enemies on screen then gradually increases in pace as 20+ enemies spawn at once. Eventually, there is a constant flow of baddies that keep you on your toes and your fingers twitching on the bomb triggers. There is an added game mode that contains the entire area on the screen and feels much simpler.  Although simpler, this mode is just as difficult.

The visuals in this game are unbelievable. The background ripples from explosions and bullets, the enemies are vivid and explode in a wonderful rainbow of sparks. When the screen gets overrun with baddies, the visual also presents a challenge. Trying to focus on the more threatening enemies while the screen is a seizure of colors can be a real challenge as everything chases you from every-which-way.

The reason I love this game so much is the leaderboard feature. Yes, that’s it. The gameplay is so challenging that you’ll constantly want to best your score, your friends score, or the entire2aj9nbngeometry wars’ population score. Another very key point that I enjoy about Geometry Wars is the startup time. After you select the game, you can spam the A button to get into the main game within seconds. Because of this, I love to play a quick round or two before I begin a session of Call of Duty or Street Fighter 4. Of course how skilled you are will depend on game length. A polished, short game never outstays its welcome and keeps you coming back for more.

This is my favorite game on XBLA. It’s quick to start, play a round, and be satisfied to matter how well I do. For just 400 MS Points ($5) you get a beautiful arcade game that will keep you hooked for years. I’m still playing a round or two a day, trying to best my score and obtain the insane achievements after two-ish years of owning it.



March 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

iPhone App Review: B1nary Game

B1nary Game is a fast-paced iPhone game that is quite addicting and is a very good value. (more on that later) The game is much simpler then it sounds, it is all about basic addition and quick thumbs. There are two modes of play; Speed Mode and Challenge Mode. In Speed Mode, you are trying to solve 15 problems as quick as you can. The record is currently at 20.9232 and is held by @lupka. Challenge Mode is all about solving problems in stages before your time runs out.

If this were all the game had to offer, it would be a decent game, but what makes it stand out is its very competitive and addicting online leaderboard. The problem with a lot of games on the iPhone is finding other people to play against. B1nary has an awesome all-time leaderboard as well as a daily top 10. So everyone can get their name on the leaderboard at some point. I’ve had this game for a few weeks now and unlike most games where you download it, play for a bit, then move on to the next one, B1nary offers good times when you’re bored in class, work, or where ever. I think it’s a good value and worth your $1.99. Visit http://b1narygame.com/ for more information.

Check back for my “Movies You May Have Missed” Review. If you know of any good movies you think others should know about, send me a message on twitter. http://twitter.com/kylehowell



March 10, 2009 Posted by | Review | Leave a comment

Street Fighter IV Impressions


Street Fighter 4

Street Fighter 4

Let me begin my Street Fighter IV analysis by saying that I am 98% new to the series. As a youngin’, I played Street Fighter II on the SNES a total of two times. Two matches. So this interpretation of the game is completely free of influences from the past games.


Going into this game, I knew it would be easy to learn the controls yet unbelievably frustrating to master combos and timing. I was right.

I started with the training mode to get down the moves famous of the franchise. I began with Ryu and Ken as I had heard they are very beginner friendly. Hadoukens (fireballs) and Shoryukens (uppercuts) were very easy to perform. I am using a normal console controller as I am not interesting in yet another, expensive peripheral of an arcade stick.

All special moves in this game were extremely simple for me to perform. After checking the move list and how to perform them, I was able to do any of the basic special moves within 3 attempts. Specials and Ultras were basically the same with the help of the left shoulder buttons as they allow one button press to yield all three punches or kicks at the same time (default settings).

There is another batch of moves that are combined into combos. These moves are timed correctly and ‘canceled’ into other moves to perform attacks quickly that give your opponent very little time to react. These combos, I found, were incredibly difficult to time properly. About 15 hours into the game and quite a bit put in the challenges mode, I have only completed Ryu’s Normal Difficulty combo challenge.. and that is against an idle opponent. Doing these combos at will during a real fight will be possible in.. I’m guessing.. a year or two? BUT! I look forward to the challenge of mastering them.

The forgiving controls (excluding combos) give way, though, in the heat of a match. But that is no fault other than the user (or just me heh). Fights are fast paced and frantic. Attempting to pull off an Ultra Combo while both fighters are holding on by a sliver of health provides a rush I have not experienced in a game for quite a while.

I love this game. 9 out of 10 of random online play is lag free and I’ve had no internet problems with people I know personally. Challenge modes and online rankings add to the already addictive “memorize and master all moves” game. I will be playing this game alone and with friends for years to come.

A review will come later as the release’s hype and freshness of the game plays into the mind as added value.


March 7, 2009 Posted by | Impressions | Leave a comment

The Screens have Split.

Are there enough review sites on the web? Absolutely.

Do they feel the full impact of purchasing something that they have saved weeks, maybe months for? Not so much.

Here on Split Screen, we are reviewing, giving impressions, and generally talking about any and all things we are interested in. Both of the main writers and guests will be speaking from their blood, sweat and tears about products that they literally worked hard for.

Between classes and working 20-30 hours a week, we will be blogging on occasion about the wonderful world of electronics and film.

Enjoy and follow us on Twitter!

March 6, 2009 Posted by | Introduction | , , , , | Leave a comment