WeView: Sound Shapes

It was a very close run thing in this week’s poll, with both Sound Shapes and WipEout 2048 jostling for poll position. Sound Shapes just managed to come out on top though, so now it’s time to look at this beat based platforming adventure.

Sound Shapes is focused on music to an almost worrying extent, Queasy Games clearly have a very one track mind. As Alex put it in our review, “Sound Shapes couldn’t be more about music if it – ironically – came out on vinyl.”

Perhaps the most interesting element of the musical basis to the game is the way it uses real artists in it. For example both Beck and Deadmau5 contributed tracks to the game, but due to the nature of the gameplay it’s more than that. Levels are based on their songs, and the game’s aesthetic changes significantly when dealing with different artists. It’s an interesting way to build a game, although it certainly makes for a fairly unique experience.

The other element of the game is the editor, which Alex called “an absolute joy to use.” With the game’s musical focus you can, of course, create music for your levels right in the editor, as well as the level that it’s coupled with. Alex pointed out that the editor really “isn’t LittleBigPlanet – there’re no computers or fancy logic routines” but noted that the way it’s linked to music means it has to take a fairly different approach.

The Beat School, unlocked after you finish the main game, sounds interesting too. It’s a more gameplay focused use of the editor, where you’re asked to construct levels that match supplied beats and drum tracks. Alex certainly seemed enthusiastic about it, and the concept has me more intrigued than the core game if I’m honest.

As for Alex’s overall opinion of the game, it’s safe to say he found a lot to like. He cited the “Wonderful visuals and music” and “Great gameplay with some really cool ideas” before giving the game 9/10. There were a few issues though, namely a few framerate troubles and “Some concessions to physics can be initially confusing”.

If you want an overall view of Alex’s opinion of the game, then here’s his concluding remarks:

Sound Shapes has emerged as one of the Vita’s finest games, seemingly out of nowhere. It’s deep and complex enough for the hardcore whilst remaining accessible and fun for those that just want something a little bit different. As a platformer there’re probably better options, but this isn’t just a platformer – it’s a music sequencer, an underwater explore-em-up, a bullet-hell shooter and a trip into the minds of a bunch of people we wouldn’t normally get to experience. Just buy it.

So that’s Alex’s view, but what’s yours? Whether you fall in line with his view or the game, or simply couldn’t stand it, then feel free to share your view below.

Of course the game’s available on both PS3 and Vita, so it would be interesting to hear which version you spent your time with. Alex spent most of his time with the Vita version, and called it “a natural fit”. Do you agree with his assessment, or did you find the PS3 version simply worked better? Again, you can share you opinion in the comments below.

Once you’ve formed your comment all you need to do is attach a rating from the Buy It, Plus It, Avoid It scale. Given this is a downloadable title our normal ratings of Bargain Bin It and Rent It don’t apply, but we add Plus It. Plus It means that it’s only worth getting if it’s free or discounted via PlayStation Plus. You’ve got till Sunday afternoon to get your comments in if you feel like taking part.

So, what do you think?

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31 Comments

  1. Buy.

  2. Bin it – this game ain’t good what’s so ever, the good thing about it is composing your own music. I bought this expecting something good.

    • It’s amazing. Are you sure you didn’t download something else?

      • I’m sure lol, I do music in my spare time & the fun side of this game was creating your own music level & I found out you don’t get trophies for that & fit you to even start to get trophies you have to complete the main story. That pussed me even more.

      • Lol for some reason I always put fit instead of for, pissed not pussed lol

      • Did you just say an entire game was crap because the trophies were weird?

      • No I didn’t say it’s crap cause of trophies.

    • That’s an impressively strong opinion about something I couldn’t disagree more about (although of course you’re welcome to it)! I love this game. Probably my new favourite vita game.

      • I think it’s overrated tbh, but that’s my opinion I expected more than what was offered, I was really excited for it & when I did buy it played it to a point I just thought 7.99 for what. Never again will I read into the hype lol

  3. Buy it

  4. Buy it. Looks so plain and simplistic but you’ll soon be hooked.

  5. Buy it! As frustrating death mode gets you just wanna keep playing! I played the vita version as I thought it was perfect for on the go!

  6. Without a doubt, buy it! This is one of the best games on my Vita, and that took me completely by surprise. Its everything I wanted from the Vita, pick up & play…yet horribly addictive!!
    I picked it up on a whim, purely because it had a plus discount and favourable reviews…and wanted something to tide me over until LBP arrived. Still playing this now, inbetween LBP sessions. If you’re on the fence about it…don’t be! I’ve not regretted buying this and hope to see more games like it!!

  7. I haven’t played it much but its easily a must have for the Vita despite the Rear Touch pad being a nuisance in the level Editor. (like in any other game….)

  8. Whilst definitely nice to look at it and visually fairly unique, the gamefelt far too easy to me and I breezed through it, no real challenge (although it did feel like that was deliberate so you could unlock all the notes without too much difficulty).

    I really couldn’t be bothered with the music editor though, but obviously your mileage will vary depending on whether you like that sort of thing, so I’d definitely go for Plus It, since Rent It isn’t an option.

  9. I actually had no idea this was even available on PS3, i thought it was Vita only!

    As i have no Vita, i have not played it. Which reminds me, did i win yet? :P

  10. Sounds Shapes is a must have for the Vita. The levels are so creative,with every piece of your gameplay action adding a musical note to the level, so the level in a way is a musical score :) The beck levels are without a doubt the best on the game, I’ve replayed Touch the people and Cities a hell of a lot as I love playing through it.
    The online resembles LBP’s focus towards an online community. So Sound Shapes adopts the Play Create Share philosophy. Some of the online levels are fantastic too, saw a journey one on there not so long ago which was great. Unlike LBP as well your levels actually get played a fair bit by the community.
    Create is easier on the PS3. The fiddly touch controls on the Vita make it a nightmare to create anything. But create mode is simple but quite extensive. Its open to a lot of variety.
    As a big music fan, I play the piano and guitar a lot, I enjoyed Beats school but found it a little too easy, apart from what seemed to me badly placed notes.
    Death mode is it’s only downfall, what was an original and unique game becomes a frustrating mess of one. Didn’t think it should be included in the game, or as it was maybe tweak it so it doesn’t revolve around luck.
    So overall BUY IT. But ignore death mode, unless you want trophies.

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