Game Reviews Done Quick #2 - FEZ

in INVEN Gaming2 years ago (edited)

Hey Steemit!

So if you didn't catch the last post, this is a new series of posts I'm starting where I write about games that I've played; what they're about and my experience playing them! I'll try my best to keep these posts short and sweet, hence the name; it's a reference to Games Done Quick (GDQ) - a charity speedrunning event! Since Tasteem is not up and running yet, my foodie series will be put on hiatus indefinitely, and this series will take its place on Wednesdays!

Anyway, the game I want to share today is an indie hit that I think not a lot of people know about - FEZ!


Source: Steam

If you've never seen this game before, FEZ is a 2D puzzle platformer game developed by Polytron Corporation (which consisted of 3 guys - Phil Fish, Renaud Bédard and Rich 'Disasterpeace' Vreeland) and published by Trapdoor. In FEZ, you play as Gomez, a 2D creature living in what he believes is a 2D world. Until he receives a fez hat that reveals his world to be one of four sides of a 3D world! Tragedy strikes when this huge, really important cube breaks, causing the world to glitch out in certain areas. Now Gomez has to use his newfound powers and perspective to solve puzzles and retrieve the cube fragments to restore order to the universe.

Here's the trailer:

Gameplay-wise, you control Gomez with WASD/control stick. But you can also change the game's perspective by rotating between the four 2D views. This mechanic is key to realign platforms, reach certain areas and solve the game's puzzles.

Visually, FEZ is absolutely beautiful. Phil Fish, who did the design and art, used pixel art is ways I've never seen in any other game. FEZ has such a unique art style that is both visually appealing and fitting for the perspective shifting mechanic. The objects you can interact with blend so well with the environment, but are still obvious enough that you will think to try to utilise in solving a puzzle.


Source: FEZ wiki

One of my favourite things about FEZ is definitely the soundtrack. Composer Rich Vreeland, better known as Disasterpeace, doesn’t get enough credit for establishing FEZ’s unique ambience. The soundtrack consists of mostly electronic and chip-tune music, but his score is delicate and atmospheric which, coupled with the colourful art style, makes FEZ such a serene and peaceful game.


Source: WallpaperUP

FEZ was initially released on the Xbox 360 in April 2012, but was later released on PC and Playstation 3, 4 and Vita in 2013. The game was called an "underdog darling of the indie game scene" during its high-profile and protracted five-year development cycle. I read that there was quite a lot of drama during those 5 years. Severe delays, loss of funding, legal disputes, multiple redesigns and other problems plagued the game’s development—as shown in the 2012 documentary Indie Game: The Movie, through which Phil Fish gained celebrity status for his outspoken public persona.


Source: WallpapersVista

I wasn't in the loop with all that drama as I only played FEZ 5 years after it released, in 2017. But thankfully, you don't feel any of the stress and turmoil when you actually play the game. And I absolutely loved it! FEZ is so calming and peaceful; I really enjoyed just exploring the world, collecting the cubes while listening to the tranquil music. And although there are no time limits, the puzzles can be quite challenging.

Source: Taming Gaming

I was also surprised by how deep the game actually was! There is so much lore hidden throughout the game, with a secret language you had to decode, and QR codes you had to scan if you wanted to uncover secrets!


Source: Smoking on a Bike

That was definitely the first time I ever had to use a QR code scanner for a game, and I thought it was so cool and creative!


Source: Arqade

FEZ plays with a lot of reboot screens (especially after the intro sequence) that I thought were really cool too. It kinda freaked me out a little bit at first (I might've been scarred from Doki Doki Literature Club and Undertale), but when I finally got into the game I figured FEZ wasn't gonna do me like that. Thankfully.


Source: Steam Community

I never did 100% the game, as there are 1 or 2 cubes that require you to be at a specific area at a specific date and time (according to your system's clock), if I recall correctly. Or you had to wait for a certain amount of time to pass or something. I didn't have that kind of patience so I just left the game at that point.

FEZ is such a fantastic game that I have fond memories of. Despite all the turmoil Polytron had to go through to get it developed and released, I'm glad they managed to pull it off. FEZ did really well too; receiving universal acclaim after its original release, with each release being consistently among the top-rated releases for each platform's year. There were plans for a sequel but they unfortunately got cancelled when Phil Fish abruptly left the indie game industry.


Source: Wikimedia

I think not a lot of people know about FEZ, as compared to other indie games like Undertale and Stardew Valley. Which is such a shame because it's a really charming game. While it might not have as much replayability, I think it's definitely a great game to play if you're a fan of puzzle platformers like me.

Thanks so much for reading!

To find out more about me, check out my intro post here!

Check out my previous post in this series!

Game Reviews Done Quick - Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp! 🏕


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