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REVIEW | It’s A Melodious World In “Sound Shapes”

By
Posted on October 10, 2012 AT 08:03am

I am a bit of a sucker for music-based gaming; not stuff like Rock Band or DJ Hero, but rather titles likes Space Invaders: Infinity Gene and Audiosurf that take music and create it into a different art form. Sound Shapes, released back in August, takes the side-scrolling platformer genre and gives it a melodious twist, all with the help of some big-named artists.

Sound Shapes has players take control of an orb-ish object as it works its way from Point A to Point B of the level. Throughout the way the orb must touch special points in each area that activate a specific part of the song. You also need to be careful in order to avoid lava, sharp pointy things, and beatboxing creatures that love to keep to the sound as much as they enjoy attacking you. On occasion you’ll be able to travel via submarine or UFO in order to get to those hard-to-reach beats.

Sound Shapes main game is set in five different “albums” of sort, which are made up of 3-5 levels each. These albums have been composed by the likes of the game’s designers Shaw-Han Liem & Jonathan Mak, along with Islands’ Jim Guthrie, Deadmau5, and Beck. The music is quite enticing, and fit well with the styles of the original artists. The downside is that you’ll probably beat the main game in under two hours, which can leave some gamers a tad unsatisfied.

There is a silver lining in Sound Shapes, however, and it comes in the form of Editor. Here players can create their own obstacles, all to the beat of their own opuses. Put in crazy jumps, fiery pits, Beck’s beautifully monotonous vocals, and some badass beats to truly get the party started. (You can even unlock more items for your levels the more levels you complete in the main campaign.) The best part is, like in LittleBigPlanet, you can share your levels with everyone around the world. This increases the replay value immensely, as new levels are added by the dozens on a daily basis. It will take you awhile to perfect Editor, but the end results will be well worth it.

PROS:

  • Awesome soundtrack
  • Editor can transform you into a musical madman
  • Deadmau5 and Beck levels

CONS:

  • Campaign mode criminally short
  • Creating levels take loads of time to complete

FINAL THOUGHTS:

It would’ve been great to have a longer single-player mode in Sound Shapes, but fortunately its Editor saves the game from being forgetful. You’ll find yourself getting lost for hours on end in the community-made levels, as no two will be the same. Install a strobe light, get out the glow sticks, and invite your friends to dance along with the levels in Sound Shapes. It’s a guaranteed eargasm in the making!

FINAL GRADE: 8.2 (out of ten)

Reviewed on the PS3

Evan Bourgault is an accomplished music, anime, and video game critic. His passion for discovering new bands, developers, and Japanese pop culture began in his college radio days and continues on today. Evan joined the ElectricSistaHood team in 2008, where he is a contributing editor and host of one of the network's weekly podcasts. Follow Evan on Twitter at twitter.com/King_Baby_Duck


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