Sound Shapes Hands On (PS Vita)

Sound Shapes is a 2D platformer in which the world you traverse is populated, musically, by its inhabitants and by the game’s collectible items – every shiny ball you collect adds a new musical element to the overall aesthetic.

Players assume control of a betentacled ball that sticks to the surfaces of things when its tentacles are out, or rolls around (with more speed – useful for long jumps) when they’re retracted.

The player can leap from one object to another using the X button, and moves using the left stick.

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[drop]Visually, the game is simple, but charming, and slightly reminiscent of Pixel Junk Eden in style. Block colours and simple decorations seem to be the name of the game here, but just as a friendly warning, things in red hurt you. Often.

Of course, as you’d expect, it’s aurally that this game really shines. Despite my limited play time, I was subjected to all manner of thumping kick drums, sparkly pads, mellow harps, guitar twangs, piano tinkles – the list gets long quite quickly.

That’s not to say that the sounds clash during the levels that come with the game, far from it; each level is themed to a different musical style (with the potential for celebrity artists to lend their own musical stylings to the game via future DLC) and it always sounds “right”, as though you are listening to the track as it was intended to be heard.

This game will live or die by a single (albeit sizeable) mechanic – user generated content. In the same way the LittleBigPlanet was created, Sound Shapes was crafted by first developing an editor, then concocting all the levels using said editor.

[videoyoutube]Of course, the editor is provided with the game, and will allow players of all abilities, from budding game designers to musicians and most in between, to start constructing their own musical masterpieces. Furthermore, the ability is given to the player to download and “remix” the levels of others.

Create mode itself is a relatively simple affair, shaping and positioning bits of level, bad guys, red bits (danger, remember?) and the like, all using the back touch screen, whilst the front is reserved for previewing and placing the musical elements of your level.

The controls take a bit of getting used to, but after ten minutes you’ll be swiping and scrolling like there’s no tomorrow.

I can imagine that, if taken up by the community on a scale even a fraction of that devoted to LBP, wonderful things may start to emerge from this cute little puzzler.

The sleek, and mostly intuitive, interface lends itself to quick bursts of play, perfect for that bus journey or cheeky gaming break in the loos at work. That said, I can see people sinking a lot of time into their Sound Shapes creations, myself included.

Original article written for TheSixthAxis by Kev Adsett.

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7 Comments

  1. Really looking forward to this.

  2. This was awesome at EGX, really love the style and play. Looking forward to it.

  3. This looks really interesting.

  4. I’d like to give this a go

  5. I’ve thought this looked interesting from the start, this doesn’t put me off!

  6. Another to add to the growing list of games for PSVita that I feel I “MUST” buy.

  7. OMG Queasy Games!!! Everyday Shooter is still my favourite game.. this and this alone makes me want a Vita..

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