Back when Fez was in early development, some people on the Tigsource forums mentioned that the idea was kind of similar to the PSP game Crush – Terry then mentioned that the ideas are fundamentally dissimilar. While there is a lot of overlap between the puzzles elements used in the two games, the limitations added by Fez feel like they made the concept tighter and more fun to play. More importantly, it helps that Fez manages to be a lot better at everything from macro design to aesthetics. For a good example of the difference good atmosphere makes, compare Fez and Crush.

On a grand scale, Fez feels like an exploration game where the actual exploration is almost only limited to what the player knows as opposed to any skills gained by playing the game. While this sort of reduces the replay value, it works remarkably well for a first playthrough and the game has a very fitting aesthetic and soundtrack that help drive home the feeling of exploring a world. In a way, it is not unlike Knytt.

Fez flirts a lot with older games – some of the art styles and elements are directly inspired by existing titles, game objects work similarly to how they do in other games and entire levels use mechanics that you rarely see modern games utilize. It is mostly a joy to behold the subtler things, but occasionally it becomes a bit much – occasionally you will come up to sections demanding reflexes and precision jumping, rather than changing the pace the game shifts completely from a puzzle game to an action platformer for no reason.

In addition to that, Fez is a really broad game – everything and anything can be a puzzle or a clue, oftentimes you need to take notes or solve puzzles outside of the game space in order to make sense of the information presented to you. While it helps a lot in making the world seem more alive, at times it felt like the proposed solutions mosty felt cumbersome and gimmicky.

Ultimately the tricky things are things I chose to do after the game had officially “ended”, though, and there is a good reason for that – Fez is a great game that you want to explore to its fullest. It is a bold game that manages to tie together a long legacy with out-of-the-box puzzles and still have its own identity – more than usual I feel that the things I do not agree with are because of my individual taste rather than the game having deficiencies.

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Posted on Apr 16/12 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »