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?