Fez Xbox Live Arcade Review

James / December 9th, 2012

Description: Mike Matei reviews Fez for the Xbox Live Arcade. Fez is a Puzzle/Platformer that was featured in Indie Game: The Movie


  • tylercomp

    December 10, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Nice review, the creation of this game is also covered in a great documentary: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1942884/ (Indie Game: The Movie)

  • Ace

    December 10, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Thanks for sharing this one, Mike. Nice to see something different that can easily be overlooked in the current trend of FPS games.

  • December 10, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Mike did you play Super Meat Boy or Biding of isaac? both by Edmund McMillen ?

  • Q306005

    December 10, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Hey Mike! Ever consider making your own YouTube channel for your game reviews? They’re so much different than the AVGN stuff that I feel they should be in a category of their own, y’know?

  • mistahtom

    December 10, 2012 at 12:53 am

    The documentary behind this game only demonstrates about 10% of what this game is able to achieve

  • Chewieshmoo

    December 10, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Are you on FACEBOOK? Check this out.
    First and foremost, as far as I am aware this is not against rules and is in the appropriate section but if it IS breaking some rule feel free to remove or close with my humble apologies. I merely want to share some fun. FOR THOSE OF YOU ON FACEBOOK, I don’t care if your NOT on Facebook, if FACEBOOK SUCKS etc, AGAIN THIS IS FOR THOSE ON FACEBOOK.

    Are you into Horror? How about Classic Gaming? Perhaps your into the AMIGA? Maybe your into Mystery Science Theater 3000? Well, whatever your into there is a good chance I GOT A FACEBOOK GROUP FOR YOU! check out my hub in the link and come join the fun!


    Thanks for you consideration.

  • NightmareMagnet

    December 10, 2012 at 1:04 am

    Mike, have you ever played VVVVVV? Because it is a great game.

  • AiRhEaD

    December 10, 2012 at 1:35 am

    You should do a review on Braid (Indie game for PC). The game-play will blow your mind even more than Fez. It’s arguably the best indie game ever made.

  • xxn1927

    December 10, 2012 at 2:52 am

    Hell yeah, if you want a Zelda like game, The Binding of Isaac will please you greatly.

  • Paul Dower

    December 10, 2012 at 6:04 am

    YES! Mike, you said back in the old days and not back in the day! For that alone I respect you! Lol but this game looks awesome! Wonder if they will ever have it for PS3?

  • honkytonk

    December 10, 2012 at 6:51 am

    I like your positive reviews much more than I like your “angry” reviews of supposedly bad games.
    This review made me want to play the game… is it out on other consoles or pc?

  • fcabanski

    December 10, 2012 at 6:53 am

    As the Doctor says, fezzes are cool.

  • December 10, 2012 at 8:03 am


    Braid was the most overrated indie game ever and that’s saying a lot considering most indie games are overrated.

    Braid is Super Mario Bros. only with terrible gameplay mechanics by comparison. It had some silly high-brow story though so people pretended it was a lot better than it was. That’s not how you design a game. Gameplay comes first, story comes second.

  • super.ca.i.n

    December 10, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I find weird neither Mike or James have mentions Ghostbusters 3 is on the works. Dont they know about it?

  • super.ca.i.n

    December 10, 2012 at 8:25 am


  • LightningLuigi

    December 10, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Looking though these comments so far, I can see you’ve already gotten some similar questions, haha, but I was curious if you’ve ever played Cave Story, Mike. If you’re looking for really retro-esque indy games, there are few that compare, and the best part is that the original PC version is completely free.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed that review, and now I’m kinda curious about trying the game out. It’s too bad I don’t really have an Xbox 360 handy.

  • mrbuttonz

    December 10, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Mike, please, play the remake of “La Mulana”.

    It is one (if not THE) most difficult and charming puzzle adventures I’ve ever played.
    It’s pretty hardcore but I think you’ll like it very much.


  • PoopyMcpants

    December 10, 2012 at 9:23 am

    I love your game reviews Mike.

    Very well written, very intelligent, and done from the paradigm of a hardcore retro gamer.


  • breeman

    December 10, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Check out this awesome animated desktop wallpaper someone made out of FEZ


  • vitekr

    December 10, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Mike, you should just start a short series on indie games. I know you and James are not much into modern games, but the “retro craze” that has been going on with indie developers the past few years has spawned some really stellar stuff in the old 8/16 bit style that I think you guys would love, and your audience would enjoy seeing reviewed in the unique Mike style.

  • Xotice

    December 10, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Looks like Polytron will be getting a few extra sales thanks to you Mike 🙂 After watching, I downloaded the Free Demo, then about 5 minutes later bought the full version. Your review was spot on – this game is awesome and totally brings back that retro/nostalgic feeling from when I was a kid.

    I was a hardcore Super Meat Boy fan/player, got every last bandage and the A+ on every single level to 106% the game.

    I hope ‘Fez’ is just as challenging 🙂

  • December 10, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I have to say, this game is awesome! It’s insanely creative and I love it’s soothing soundtrack.

  • PoopyMcpants

    December 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    If it’s got the James seal of approval, it’s a must buy.

    I was on the fence about it. I do enjoy me some 8-bit, but I was kind of leery about the puzzle/platformer aspect. Seems to me it would grow stale in a hurry.

  • yonoid818

    December 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    It’s similar to Super Paper Mario for Wii ( http://youtu.be/-BDFSFDyX_w ) in that they both shift back and forth from 2D perspectives into 3D ones.

  • Jel-K

    December 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Thank you Mike for sharing your experience on that game; the game looks awesome

  • PoopyMcpants

    December 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm

  • December 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Great review. Saw this game on Indie Game: The Movie on Netflix. Great documentary. Check it out:


  • TheNewFlesh

    December 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    *Type out long comment*

    “ERROR: The post you tried to submit contains banned words”

    *click back, comment box is now blank*


    I’m so frustrated, I’m still submitting something. Good video, btw.

  • terrance_s

    December 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    great review. too bad the game isnt on more than just xbox live.

  • GuardianAuron

    December 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I also watched Indie Game, the Movie. Pretty awesome, and highly recommended.

    Off topic: Somebody selling every SNES game released in North America with boxes and most have manuals. This a deal or just a rip off?


  • Lazaruxx

    December 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    If this game was on PS3 I would have bought it!

    Great review Mike!

  • jdshald

    December 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    review other indie platformer games like super meat boy and bit trip runner.

  • LordJason1986

    December 10, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    well done mike. it is one of the best examples where old dogs can learn new tricks. using 2D living beings in a more 3D world is something I have alwasy bee a fan of since it gives you that idea that this 2D world can be living breathing real world. when people use their nostalgic memories from the past as their tools of creating something new , you do get a sense of joy from experiencing it especially when the creators get very passionate about it.

    say , maybe in the future you and/or james can look into playing some more bad games like Mortal Kombat Special Forces. I think it would also be fun to see you guys look intoi tv shows and movies that are all based on video games sicne there is a lot of examples of topics to discuss about. should be interesting to see how many tv shows & movies that were based on video games were either truly bad or surprisingly good.

  • LordJason1986

    December 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    “always” “been” “into”
    god I hate abvious typos.

    anyways , I look forward to seeing more videos from both you and james in the distant future. good luck with the avgn film , and I wish you guys the best of luck for many years to come.

    happy holidays,
    and happy Hankwamas

  • December 10, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I made it 51 Seconds into the video. What a cheap and shitty game!!!!!!! PEEEEE U!
    No offense MF Mike, your cool. I hope to God you didn’t pay retail for that P-O-S.

  • Bobby1001

    December 10, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Great review Mike. I love your videos.

  • Chrono

    December 10, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    It’s sort of like Crush for the PSP

  • Firx

    December 10, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    I’ve gotten really super into indie games lately, and I’m very happy to see you reviewing one, Mike! I’d put this game out of my head for a long time because I heard the Fish guy that made it was a dickmeister, but seeing your review makes me hongrey jack for a Steam version, dick or no dick. Seriously, this is one of the prettiest, weirdest looking indies I’ve seen, and I buy about every one I can afford.

    Hey man, I always love your reviews! Send more our way, movies, games, cartoons, whatever!

  • DON

    December 11, 2012 at 7:02 am

    I have to agree, it reminds me a lot of Super Paper Mario for the Wii with its 2D/3D shifts.
    Seems like you guys passed on the Mario game, haven’t you, or why else should you be that excited about Fez?^^

  • AklashPahk

    December 11, 2012 at 8:25 am

    This is such a great game. I agree the satisfaction you feel on the puzzle solving, it’s so big, never felt that before. Some are really mindblowing. Took me a loooooong time to have it 100%.

    Beautiful game. And I’m surprised you didn’t comment on the pop culture references like the 2001 ones you have on it.

  • AklashPahk

    December 11, 2012 at 8:26 am

    BTW Mike, you should review Spelunky (either the free to play PC one or the XBox arcade title).

  • crazunitium

    December 11, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Funny Mike mentioned Zelda so much… in this youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8Ifue2xGFY @ 00:38 you can see a picture on the wall that is the opening screen from Zelda on NES. Nice tribute. 😉

  • Zecks

    December 11, 2012 at 9:20 am

    All respect lost for Mike.

    why this game is shit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8Ifue2xGFY

  • mokusei75

    December 11, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Great review, Mike! Games like this make me wish I had an XBox 360 at times. 🙂 Thanks for the upload!

  • Xotice

    December 11, 2012 at 11:38 am

    @ Zecks – wow for you to even consider ROCKCOCK64’s review as a valid review just makes me wish you would crash into a tree going a buck 25. I’ve seen both reviews, and I downloaded and purchased the game yesterday. Mikes review is spot on – ROCKCOCK64’s review is complete and utter shit. Not one positive thing to say about the game or the developer. All he does is bitch and moan about what he calls a “gimmick” (the rotation…) and how this game doesn’t copy what other games do well. I for one am glad I bought this game, it’s super addicting, a blast to play when you’re blazed as fuck, and is an awesome change of pace from the typical Halo, COD, and other console type of games. Hell, when super meat boy came out I played that game religiously for about 4 months until I got every bandage and A+’d every last level. I can see myself already spending hours upon hours exploring the awesome levels in Fez.

    Long story short. This indie game is one of a kind, brings back that nostalgic feeling, and is a absolute blast to play. So what if there is no real “challenge” or “enemies” to kill – it’s a different type of game. Stop fucking criticizing it for being so different. Games that are different are what makes them unique and fun to play. Oh, and yeah, as I’ve said to ROCKCOCK64’s – let’s see your game?? Do you have a game that you’ve made that I can review? No? Then stfu.

  • avgn_k

    December 11, 2012 at 11:46 am

    good review mike

  • jsim

    December 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    this game is unique because it has bad graphics, let’s all praise it!!!

    …… boring game with no replay value

  • Zecks

    December 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    @Xotice: okay have fun having bad taste

  • Zecks

    December 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    “This review is bullshit it doesn’t say what I want to hear”

  • Zecks

    December 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Also as for a game, hopefully you’ll see something come out of that within the decade. Not that “lets see you do better” is actually an argument.

  • Traditionalfire

    December 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    This game looks really good. If it comes to PS3 or PC, I’ll get it.

  • Xotice

    December 11, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    @Zecks – Okay, have fun being trapped in your little bubble of what you think good games are. I’m sure your a huge fan of just about every console game, but something that’s different from the norm, like Fez, it MUST be garbage, right? Go suck on ROCKCOCK64’s dick a little bit more you fucking queer.

    You probably have a very short attention span, which is why you can’t indulge yourself into the awesome game that is Fez… that or you’re retarded.

  • Player-1

    December 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Mike, I want to correct you on something. This game was created by one guy.

  • crovax3000

    December 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    After watching this, Mike should play Cave Story+.

  • Sardaukar Prime

    December 11, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Mike,if you liked FEZ you must absolutely get Mark of The Ninja (one of the best games games this year,hands down) and Dust: An Elisian Tail. You will be in 2D heaven,my friend. I’m not even remotely kidding.

  • pezoamo

    December 11, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Nice job Mike, I was so excited when I saw a new video up!

  • fartfeathers77

    December 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Mike… Please do Slender.

  • Yakko

    December 12, 2012 at 12:51 am

    Bad news… they payed MS to patch it once, and it broke things more, so they REVERTED. It is possible that if the game makes sufficient cash on the 360, they will release another patch that will fix issues, but, as it stands, from rumor, it cost them about 10K to release a patch on the XBLA system, and they couldn’t afford to try again.

    Sort of weird that MS would take a patch, accept it, and then force a team to try again at full price to try to make the patches work, but then, not many indie games manage to pull of Minecraft levels of success.

  • dannylomborg

    December 12, 2012 at 8:49 am

    If you like old school sense of wonder and discovery mixed with old school fair toughness play the Souls Series. Demon’s and Dark Souls really reminded me of old school games with their mystery, sense of discovery, level progression (ie memorizing levels like old school action games), and willingness to challenge and never hold your hand!

  • December 12, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I agree with Sardaukar Prime and I would love to see Mike play and review Dust: An Elysian Tail because it is sort of a hack and slash metroidvania style game with easy controls and a gripping storyline.

    I think he would put everything that makes that game awsome into great context.

  • Basedewd

    December 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Mike, you forgot the Tetris reference at 0:38 on the vid. Look at the walls 😉

    I also recommend a freshly released documentary about Indie games and their companies. You get to follow Fez (Phil Fish), Super Meat Boy (Edmund and Tommy from Team Meat) and Braid (Jonathan Blow) with their successes, strugles and hard work.

    thanks for reveiwing Fez!

  • douglaz

    December 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Just a joke. I think Mike can start a new series/ sideline doing underrated/less known but really good game reviews, while James can keep on his AVGN role doing bad games only :p

  • StarvinMarvin

    December 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    I must admit, at first, I thought this could be a boring review. But I gave it a chance and you proved me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed this Mike. You did a very good job of talking about the game on that fine line between under explaining and over explaining. That takes a certain amount of skill, and I found this very interesting and fun to watch. Great review and it looks like a great game. Good job Mike.

  • December 12, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    This game looks awesome. I hope it comes out for PS3 or Windows, though.

    I reminds me of the indie game Knytt. You’re this wall-crawly little rodent creature that hast to find pieces of a spaceship so you can get back to your own planet. There are only a couple enemies too speak of and the music is ambient. Old-school graphics. I recommend it to anybody who likes that kind of game.

    P.S.: Within a Deep Forest is awesome as well. Hard as fuck, but a great retro game. Unique gameplay. Kind of a cross between Marble Madness and Mega Man, I guess, kind of…

  • December 13, 2012 at 12:13 am

    You sold this Dr. I will be purchasing this post haste. I bid you adieu.

  • AbsoluteDeicide

    December 13, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Fez is such a great game. One of the editors at Game Informer cracked me up writing about how he and his wife would play together, building up a notebook full of drawings and symbols that would look like a madman’s scribblings to anyone on the outside. I had the same thing going on.

  • Johnny Deformed

    December 13, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Excellent review! I got the game at the release date since I had been anticipating it for a long time and it did not disappoint. The things you said about it giving you a sense of wounder much like older games gave us, I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I agree with everything in this review.

    Watching this and hearing the music made me feel really nostalgic, even though the game was just released this year. It must have had a great impact on me. I even showed this game to my parents, much like a kid would have done. I’m 20 now, heh, guess this game must have made me feel like a kid again.

    I never beat it past the normal ending because my save got corrupted due to a glitch. The glitch has been patched now, however save files already corrupt can’t be recovered.

    I will have to brush up on this game this Christmas break ;D

    Thanks for the show Mike!

    P.S. Just some constructive criticism: I like it better like this, when you aren’t putting too much effort on trying to be funny or being annoyed with a specific part of the game. Much like you were in your Lord of The Rings review. It’s kind of like the Nerd’s thing. You are fully capable of doing your own thing. Though I guess it is possibly dependent on the game. This review was perfect!

  • king nerd

    December 16, 2012 at 11:52 am

    awsome game i think i will bye it thx mike

  • Iron65

    December 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Man this one is a very refreshing review. I am very glad that you Play fez . I’m a huge fan or arcade games, I found them very entertaining, beatiful and more fun to play with friends… Really Mike, I played red dead redemption or Mass effect on single player with friends but it gets bored . Of course those are awesome but let me explain. We play super meat boy or Limbo which of course are on single player, and we had a lot of fun with them only by watch the puzzles and everyone trying to solve them… By the way, i totally recomend you those two, and Double Dragon Neon and Castle crashers, if you wish to play with James or anyone 🙂

  • wadda

    January 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Super paper mario anyone?

  • Ben_from_G-town

    February 19, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Nice game. It’s nice to see an original game these days.

  • Ruben

    March 25, 2013 at 11:55 am

    That game looks very fun. Too bad i don’t own a Xbox 360…

  • June 25, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Nice job, Mike. This was one of your best reviews. I actually sort of forgot about this game after it initially came out and your review reminded me I’ve been meaning to play it. It turned out to be one of the best games I’ve ever played in my life and I’ve been gaming since before you were born. Did you get any of the Heart Cubes? There were a few puzzles in this game I simply couldn’t solve.

  • January 18, 2014 at 5:04 am

    I love how some points that you make are based on “saving time” when video games are a pure waste of time, period. Don’t get me wrong I’ve always loved video games but I’ve also always known that they’re worse than masturbating. At least with masturbating you feel good at the end and can go to sleep.

  • chris jackso

    August 1, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    you should try Braid

  • kevdemed

    April 20, 2015 at 6:10 am

    I want this… But XBOX ONE… 🙁

  • Joe Smith

    January 18, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    I really like commenting on older videos that haven’t had comments in awhile. It’s a little game I play.
    A: An egg. You nasty Hobbitses!
    Where will I be next? Another riddle awaits!

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