August 21, 2013
Games That Will Make You Loose Yourself in the Beat
There are games out there that have epic, sweeping scores that toss you into a conflict. There are games out there that have tight, flawless gameplay and soundtracks you would rather forget. What if there was a marriage between these two? There are a handful of games out there that incorporate gameplay into the music or gameplay that would be loss without music, creating surreal experiences. Some of these games look like glorified visualizers, but go well beyond a visual aspect. Quite a bit of the games I am going to highlight come from Q Entertainment and the mind of Tetsuya Mizuguchi. Q Entertainment specializes in creating games where the gameplay influences the music, creating a euphoria of control, sound, and visuals. There is one other game on this list that is not like the others but would be lost with out its music and would loose much of its appeal. Geometry Wars gameplay does not effect the music, though the music effects the gameplay. The game would not be the same if the soundtrack did not exist. Lets put on the headphones, crank up the volume, and get lost in these great titles.
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved/ Retro Evolved 2
No matter what version it is, the Bizarre Creations seminal twin stick shooter remains one of Xbox Live Arcades top tier titles. The game was originally designed to test analog stick movement and has since moved on to become a hit. The gameplay, unlike the other titles in list, does not directly effect the music, though this title would be lost with out those sweet beats. If you have the title or if you watch the video below, turn the sound completely off. Just by doing that the game looses much of its meaning and becomes a explosion of color and photo sensitivity with out a meaning. I play this game exclusively with headphones and the volume not too loud, but just enough to tune the outside world out, and I get lost in the cornucopia of color, tight gameplay, and the audio ques of Audioantics. Audioantics have the soundtracks up on their Sound Cloud page, and are great to listen to, but nothing beats the chemistry of the music and the game itself. If I feel upset, aggravated, or lost, I fire up this game and loose my worry in the beats. If you are on Xbox Live, both titles have trials, and I urge you to loose yourself in its colorful beat.
Rez HD is a high resolution version of a PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast game of the same name. Rez is a rail shooter where every shot and every hit provide a beat to the over all music track. The game had a small release on the PS2 and Dreamcast. causing boxed copies of the game to hit the $100 mark on various sites. The game is now available on Xbox Live and there is nothing quite like this game. Every level is designed to hit your senses, whether it be the rumble of the controller, the visual elements, or the music. The game is surreal and has to be played to experience this experiment in synesthesia (sound, visuals, and touch integrated into one experience). Just like Geometry Wars above, this game benefits from being played with headphones. Area 1’s track, Buggie Running Beeps 01 by Keiichi Sugiyama, is my favorite and is the track in the trailer below. Again, there is a demo available for this title as well, I urge you to check it out.
Child of Eden
A spiritual successor to Rez, Child of Eden was released in 2011 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Designed to work with Kinect and the PlayStation Move; this is one example of a title that is better with Kinect (one of only a few titles). The game plays very similar to Rez, in which it is a rail shooter where you add beats to the music by targeting and destroying “viruses”. The game features lush visuals and a music by Genki Rockets, a musical and visual project by Q Entertainment’s Tetsuya Mizuguchi and music producer Kenji Tamai. The game can be played with a normal controller as well, with gameplay feeling like the Rez. The game is again a experiment in synesthesia, tagging it “every sound has a movement” and “every movement has a sound”. Child of Eden is a game that shoud be tried with Kinect and a good sound set up at least once. I played the majority of the game with a controller and headphones due to my lack of space, but I did try the Kinect controls and they work wonderfully. The game in now amazing cheep running $9.95 on the Xbox and $8.99 on the PS3 (prices through Amazon), it something anyone with these consoles should experience, granted though, if you don’t appreciate the experience you may not get it. There are plenty of other titles like Lumines and Meteos that Q Entertainment develops that are similar in nature, though they are puzzle titles instead of rail shooters. Check out the video below and get lost in the beats of Genki Rockets.