Rez Infinite

released on Oct 13, 2016

An expanded game of Rez

The ultimate version of Sega's psychodelic rail-shooter adventure Rez, fully remastered and evolved, including VR support and additional new content, all by members of the original development team

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feel like I just snorted all the drugs at once

This is the definitive way to play Rez, VR-enabled or otherwise. Rez is already a banger game that pushes the boundaries of the unification of video games and music in a stylish and fun way, so to basically have an HD version of that game with all the bells and whistles that it entails is very cool.
The real upgrade comes from the VR support, as Rez itself is already a rather trippy and immersive game so to have it completely surround your senses feels like an extension of the original vision. Only one minor problem hinders the experience for me: i can't really play this for long periods of time without feeling really bad. Rez is a pretty fast moving rail shooter, and it does spin around pretty frequently at times, so I usually can't play more than one level at a time before calling it quits for the day. Doesn't help that the aiming is most precise with the quick head tracking so you are constantly moving your head around in an already moving environment, it does me in real good.
This game also includes the new Area X mode which is a neat short bonus level that has a ton of the visual upgrades you'd expect from Rez on a modern platform. It's more free-moving though, likely to let the player control the pace in VR to not get super sick, but I still didn't feel that good playing it since turning around basically spins you in place with your head already sideways. blegh.
Overall I legally cannot hate it because it's rez but honestly I think playing this on a nice 4K OLED could be a bit more comfortable and cool than playing in VR.

This HD remake of the PS2/DC classic Rez breathes some new life into a very old gem, however the update only harms its own image due to simple design mistakes and the enhancements that only highlight those mistakes further.
The PS2 controller made targeting slow and the game was intentionally timed to the slow pace at which you could target enemies. This meant the sound fx and visuals tied to targeting and shooting were all in sync with the music - that's at the core of the Rez experience. However the massively improved VR controls make targeting and shooting VERY fast. As a result all the sound effects and visuals play at once in a cacophony, the enemies die, and then you have a long 4 - 8 beat stretch of nothing as the backing track plods along, waiting for new enemies to spawn.
What makes this worse is that the graphic updates end up being largely absent. Enemies filled the middle ground of the scene, captured your attention, and were the source of many particles, effects, the music, and animation - but since they all die quickly you're often left staring at the sky box with nothing happening. Then looking around in VR during these wait periods you can see how empty and simple the levels are because the HD parts are in the effects not the environments.
This all becomes especially noticeable in Area 5 when you demolish a mini boss and you're left sitting for 2-3 minutes floating through a desolate low-poly void with half the song missing. It feels like the game is broken. They should either have put a limit on the speed at which you can lock-on to enemies (matching to the BPM of the track), added more enemies to match the faster pace of this version, or filled the spaces with stuff to interact with so you can trigger the SFX/VFX where the music and visual upgrades are hiding.
No new player is going to know that the game is -meant- to be synced to the music and even if they try it is entirely out of sync with itself. This aspect demolishes the intended audio/visual experience which is the point of the entire game. It's very sad to consider how stunning Child of Eden was when it took advantage of the expanded memory, gpu, and peripherals it had available, and it goes to show how much potential has been squandered here. This would have been obvious if it had been properly play tested.
To add salt to the wound, Area X (the new VR part of the game made for Infinite) failed to work on my Quest 2. I couldn't target anything so I just couldn't play that at all (I hear it's basically just 1 extra 15 min level anyway). Truly disappointing in every way.

while i think Rez Infinite is a perfectly well made score attack game that i overall enjoyed, i also have a host of issues with it that i think will prevent me from replaying it in the future
i quite strongly dislike the aesthetic first of all, it's got like a computery wire-framey thing going on and it's incredibly boring on my opinion, none of the background elements stick out and all the enemies are just kinda shapes with an eye with like other shapes attached to them, they don't really have like a clear identity to me
this goes for the bosses as well like i can't really tell what they're supposed to be nor do i really care, i do quite like the guy that like turns himself into different stuff made out of blocks like a snake and a big robot guy but even this idea feels a little played out
the music generally was also quite weak or in some cases just straight up annoying, like the stage 2 boss which is very whiny or the stage 4 boss that sounds like a load of monkeys fixing cars like it's soooooo full of itself omg like academy award search party over here
it is cool that shooting stuff like adds to the song though it does make it feel more satisfying
the gameplay is generally quite solid but it also feels a little limiting, i haven't played the Panzer Dragoon games yet but i've watched a friend play through them and are familiar with how they work, and apparently a lot of people who worked on those games also worked on Rez and this is a sort of spiritual successor to those games
in Panzer Dragoon you're able to make quick 90° turns and this adds another layer of challenge as you need to be more aware of threats coming from all sides, making for more dynamic and engaging play
Rez has camera changes too but rather than putting the onus on the player to execute them they happen automatically, which is not only far less interesting to me, but in places where you have a full range of motion, usually in boss fights, you have to make these slowwwww sweeping turns behind you when the guy you're shooting at suddenly zips behind you, which is one of those things that just doesn't feel good
this rears it's head especially in the stage new to Rez Infinite, Area X, which is far more open which makes navigation feel even more clunky and tank-like, though they did add a useful option to move backwards as well which helps, i assume it feels much better in VR which it seems clearly designed for but normal mode is kinda rough, it also has a weird issue where you have to tap A again to start aiming at stuff again every time a new section starts, where normally just keeping A held down is enough, which was mildly annoying and also killed my family
as well as being able to turn quickly, Panzer Dragoon also had a minimap to help keep track of threats coming from all sides but Rez has no such thing so the only way to check for stuff off camera is just to slowly turn around like a dork, probably opening yourself up to more danger in the meantime
the challenge of the game is also like in this weird place where sometimes it's incredibly easy and it feels like nothing is fighting back, to suddenly a million tiny pieces of shit are right in front of you and you don't know how they got there and you take like seven hits and die instantly which is infuriating
i keep harping on about the bosses but i really don't like them like what are they even doing especially the first two like the first one periodically will just shoot at nothing like an idiot and the second one has this stupid attack where he just keeps making these walls that come for you really slowly and you have to shoot four bits on them and it's like the easiest shit in the world but he just keeps doing it, they improve a bit after that but even then they still feel like they take too long and are too repetitive without enough really going on in them, with some very awkward streches of just nothing happening
i've also had the stage 4 boss like weirdly rubber-band to me and instantly doing damage without any of the wind-up because i was like beating him too quickly or something
a lot of the stages don't really stand apart from one another for me but i think the final area is fantastic, it has a distinct look, really cool music in the background that keeps building and keeps getting cooler, and even a little story going on about the universe or something that i admittedly didn't really care about but it's well told since it's just a couple of sentences each in the transitions between sections with like a cool background change
the stage also demonstrates how to do a boss rush well by having the rematches be much shorter than their first encounters, but also having new attack patterns and movement, so they still resemble their first forms but they feel like new fights, rather than being boring padding like boss rushes usually are
the final boss is a bit dull though and getting interrupted to watch an unskippable cutscene of a woman being rebuilt over and over throughout it, even in score attack mode, feels like needless pomp and circumstance and a case of mixed up priorities, the story just struck me as one of those things that wants to be all up in your face looking like it's saying something really deep but not actually saying anything at all, but it's possible i could be being close minded about it though but either way it failed to engage me personally, and feels a bit at odds with an hour long rail shooter you're meant to replay a bunch
this review is just a collection of stuff i've written at like 3am which is just things i was thinking about while playing the game and i fear i sound overly negative and whiny, but i really did enjoy myself, building the highest combos you can and memorising enemy patterns is inherently satisfying to me, even in the more uneventful sections there's always some stuff to shoot so i was never like bored bored
i liked the game enough to get all the achievements and spent a good deal of time in score attack mode just trying to perfect the first couple of levels, this along with some cute extra modes and unlockables mean there's enough hear to keep me occupied for hundreds of hours probably, but unfortunately, all those little issues i brought up really added up for me over time and i could start to tell that i'd had my fill
i had my fun, but my hyperfixation lies elsewhere

not my type of game but I can see the appeal, I didn't play this in VR so it could also be very different in VR, but yea on KBM I didn't enjoy it. Still try it though, could be your cup o' tea, not mine though.

This review contains spoilers

Top 3 VR experiences I'll ever have. Aiming with my head feels faster and more natural than controller.
The vibe is unreal.
This game rules. I have fun every time I replay it.
A true Arcade classic.
The final level is such a banger- a shame it bleeds into the final boss fight immediately after. I end up playing through area 5 and just quitting to menu right as the boss rush finale starts on replays. Area X is such a great addition and surprise. This goes beyond what a simple "HD remaster" usually brings.