Earlier this week, the premier downloadable-content service, Steam, released Bizarre Creations’ Xbox Live Arcade darling, Geometry Wars for all of its PC users. If you’ve never had the chance to play this old-school romp, then I suggest you go now and click the Buy button. For $2.50 (until Friday), you can’t afford NOT to buy it.
Being a fan of the Xbox 360 original, I wanted to give my short impressions. Basically, you get what’s already on the 360 platform. An extremely hard old-school shooter that has an amazing style. Just make sure to bring your extra large balls to this affair, my dear readers. Geo Wars is not for the faint of heart.
But I wanted to focus on something else for this post. In the PC version, the online Leaderboards are not included. Although this is a cool feature that many people will probably miss, I find that I love not having them around.
Basically, it helps me stay away from reality. I’ve only acquired a little over 800,000 points, but there are people with well over 360 million points on the Live Leaderboards. Every time I die, I start comparing myself to all those Geo Wars champions out there, thinking that these guys would never die so early in the game. In a way, Xbox Live makes it feel that I always need to be “on,” if you know what I mean. I’m either storming up the ranks, or I’m being shunned by my gaming brethren.
This is just me, of course, as I have a slight case of social introversion. I get nervous around people for no real particular reason, and I see myself feeling the same way when I play online. That’s one of the reasons why I never play online, really. If I don’t know anyone, I get nervous, and I don’t really enjoy myself.
But with Geo Wars on the PC, I’m by myself again. I’m not worrying about how bad or good I’m doing compared to all the other Steam users. My Leaderboard is filled my scores only. This makes the game a lot more enjoyable for me, taking away the anger that comes when I don’t think I’m playing that well. I instead go through the game looking for its little quirks and secrets, trying to figure out the best course of action.
But again, this is just me and my sad story. For some, Leaderboards are awesome, but I know many that shy away from online gaming for the same reason I have. Games can do some crazy things these days, but they still can’t beat humans and their chemical deficiencies.
This situation always makes me wonder why everyone believes MMO’s will replace single-player games. I’ll be dead in the cold, cold ground before that ever happens.
Suffice it to say, I enjoy Geometry Wars far more on the PC than the Xbox, even when there is less bang for my buck.