Raise your hand if you're surprised. Nonetheless, Zuma's Revenge
is just as much of a blast on the Xbox 360
as on just about every other platform it has leapt onto since it launched nearly three years ago. That's largely because what makes Zuma
so engrossing hasn't changed. If anything, PopCap Games
has made it that much more sticky with a few additions.
Before we dig in, can we just say that Zuma's Revenge looks gorgeous
on an HD screen? Everything from the textures to the various power-ups simply pop more than ever. It's to be expected, but it's nevertheless endearing. However, what players will immediately notice upon hopping into the first level is how drastically different--and admittedly difficult--the controls are at first.
Coming from the world of Zuma Blitz
in which a stellar combo is only one flick of the mouse and click away, Zuma's Revenge is almost like learning an entirely new game, thanks to a simple joystick. Sure, such a drastic change comes with the territory. But that doesn't change that it's much more difficult to be precise and quick when dragging a joystick toward the target. (The fact that this version has no "game over" certainly helps with this.)
But after an hour in, you'll be busting chains of marbles and picking off gap shots like it's nobody's business. Just expect a terribly steep learning curve (for a PopCap game). As you fire away at marbles in the same Adventure Mode you've conquered time and again, you'll uncover what makes Zuma's Revenge on Xbox 360 well worth the ten bucks.
The first Xbox 360-exclusive feature players will come across is Weekly Challenge, which is essentially a pared down take on Zuma Blitz that scores all Xbox Live players on a particular level from Adventure Mode each week. Frankly, this mode alone is like an HD Zuma Blitz that players can enjoy indefinitely--no hearts to wait on here. The second is Boss Rush, which stacks you up against the game's cast of tiki god bosses in succession.
What effectively amounts to Zuma Blitz on Xbox 360 is cool and all, but nothing beats the Spirit Animals. Only found in this take on Zuma's Revenge, Spirit Animals are slowly unlocked as players advance in Adventure Mode. Using the Spirit Tokens earned after each level, players can power up these Spirit Animals for special bonuses in both Adventure Mode and Weekly Challenge. Maybe it's this writer's penchant for "leveling up," but this introduces a welcome level of depth to the Zuma formula.
For nearly any other studio to release this many versions of a 3-year-old game would be a travesty. But if the past has told us anything, a PopCap re-release is another beast entirely. In most cases, the developer uses every last feature of the platform in question to enhance its property, but only where it makes sense. That's exactly the case here with PopCap's marble shooter. Save for some jarring controls, this is the definitive home version of Zuma's Revenge.
Are you excited about this version of Zuma's Revenge? Are you sick of playing the same game? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.