S&S Review: Fez (PS4 Update)

Title: Fez
Format: PS4(reviewed), PS3, Vita
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Publisher: Polytron Corp.
Developer: Polytron Corp/TrapDoor
Price: $9.99(Cross-Buy)
ESRB Rating: E

After two years of patiently waiting, Playstation owners finally have the chance to play one of my favorite indie games of 2012, Fez.  If you've never played the game before, you've missed out on one of the top showpieces of indie games.

Presentation and Story:
You'll be controlling Gomez throughout your travels in Fez. He lived in a peaceful pixelated village, well until a huge 3-Dimensional cube appears and changes everything that little Gomez knows about the world he knows. He's granted a red fez that gives him the power to shift the perspective of the world around him. The first time I changed up the dimensions, it really threw my brain through a loop. The environments at a glance appeared very simplistic in design, but rotating the world around four times gives you a different perspective with each button press. I instantly came to appreciate the game's gorgeous aesthetics, lots of bright and vibrant colors will fill your screen. If you haven't noticed, the game sports an old school pixelated style, each pixel was intricately painted to really bring out the game's cutesy personality. There's a lot vast levels that offer up a lot of diversity in color and level design. There is a lot of witty writing in most of the levels via random characters you come across. There isn't any voice acting in the game, but the great soundtrack more than makes up for it. The charming soundtrack rounds out an inviting presentation giving you a lot of reason to start the game up.
Core Gameplay:
The game at its core is a platformer, but the mechanics of changing the different planes around to assist your way through a level makes this game completely unique in its own way. The rotation gimmick this game throws around could have made this game a nightmare, but the puzzles revolved around the gimmick are well designed. There are a lot of challenged puzzles which will require a lot of dedication and patience on your end. The good thing about the puzzles is that they are never cheap, and you won't be throwing your controller to the ground in frustration. Each new area you come across offers up a number different routes to take, and secret treasures that you probably won't find with just one playthrough. This is another reason to come back to the game after you've completed it, achievement hunters will have field day with Fez. There is even a heavy component involving QR codes, scanning the secret codes will unlock more. Have your smartphone handy just in case you come across a secret QR code.

*PS4 Update
Fez on the PS4 is essentially the best version of the game, seeing as how the PC and XBLA had bugs that were ironed out for the PS4 version. Obviously the PS Vita and PS3 versions have received the same treatment, but the PS4 version has been rendered in a higher resolution. I’ve seen the PS Vita version in action, and the game looks absolutely beautiful on that screen. Even though it’s not running at 1080p, like the PS4 version, it’s still one of the most technically proficient games you’ll find on the Vita. Other than the visual upgrades, the PS4 version is essentially the same as previous versions, just a bit more smoothed out than before.  One cool thing that the devs have provided is Cross Buy and Cross Save functionality for all three platforms.  So if you want to play the game on your PS4 first, then you want to continue it later on your Vita, you can do just that.  It works seamlessly, and it makes you wonder why more developers aren't going the same route.

Final Thoughts:
Fez is still a fantastic game, and if you missed out on the XBLA and PC versions, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the smooth experience on the PS4.  This is one indie game you shouldn't miss.

+Beautiful Visuals
+Sublime Soundtrack
+Uniquely Crafted Puzzles
S&S Rating: 9/10


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