Remembering 2008: The Biggest Games That Turn 10 This Year
Created by GameSpot Staff on
Rez HD (January 30, 2008)
When Rez debuted on Xbox 360's Xbox Live Arcade as Rez HD, I was vaguely aware of it--the Dreamcast version never launched in the US, but reading about the Trance Vibrator accessory as a young teen ensured I'd never completely forget the game it accompanied. Early 2008 was still a time where any new XBLA release was an obligatory purchase, and so I somewhat blindly picked up what would go on to become one of my all-time favorite games.
My immediate impressions were underwhelming--sure, it had an interesting look and some stellar music, but the basic gameplay conceit of highlighting enemies and launching attacks seemed exceedingly simple. As the minutes went by, I cranked up the volume higher and higher and noticed how the music was morphing based on how I was playing. Stats presented at the end of a stage detailing the percentage of enemies or power-ups I was able to collect tapped into my competitive side. By Area 4--home to one of the greatest songs in any video game--the level of intensity and synesthesia-esque sensation provided one of the truly memorable experiences I've ever had with a game.
The ensuing spiritual successor, Child of Eden, offered this to some extent, but it couldn't totally recreate what made Rez special. I found myself returning to Rez HD even years later, believing it to be too niche to ever receive any remaster treatment. Cut to almost a decade later, and Rez Infinite shows up to leverage not only modern graphical technology, but also add a VR mode (which justified a PSVR for me) and a new stage (Area X) that provided a greater level of freedom. Now, a full decade-plus later, I still routinely take the game for a spin, and although I dispatch many of its enemies through sheer memorization, it remains quite unlike anything else. -- Chris Pereira