Rez HD

8, 7, 6... 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Rez.

That game called Rez finally gets the mass availability that it deserves on the Xbox 360. In this rundown, The Local ditch checks out the new features to see if Rez HD is a worthy release.

Rez, Sega’s techno shooter tale of self-awareness and kinesthesia, saw a limited release on the Dreamcast and PS2 in 2001. In 2008, mass availability finally happened when the game arrived on Xbox Live and was later packed with Lumines Live and E4 in the Qubed set.

I like Rez. Rez is still Rez. Rez is still good. The selling point, of course, is that the game is in HD, with enhanced resolutions and a 5.1 channel mix. No doubt, the additions complement the game. The sharper images give the Tron-like world a nice clarity, while extra effects, like bloom, help push the game’s visuals over the top.

Sounds come from all sides and seem to be done pretty tastily; there’s not random lasers shooting out of the rear speakers, only justified by technical feasibility.

The real addition is Xbox Live functionality. Achievements are fun, but nothing special, serving as directions to fully unlock the “Beyond” mode. The leader boards are excellent, allowing high scores to be shared with friends and others. My favorite part, however, is that replays are downloadable. Wonder how the highest scorer in the world played the Area 4? Download a replay of it and see. It’s a great way to learn some new tricks and up your Rez skills.

As a purely visceral experience, Rez is unique, but pretty short. The competitive element breathes new life into chaining and high scores, bringing out the best of the game.

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