6 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 6 reviews of the Sound Shapes. Experts rate Sound Shapes 8.3/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Sound Shapes and PS Vita Games.
Sound Shapes may very well be one of the most astoundingly surprising games to launch this summer. I say that because despite the fact that I enjoyed it at E3 a couple of months ago, it still totally surprised me when I finally played the full version. I knew I liked the game before, but upon playing the complete game on the PlayStation Network, I fell in love with it. Sound Shapes is an ambitious title, and one that PlayStation 3 and Vita owners should immediately check out and enjoy. When you first start playing Sound Shapes, it eases you into the experience with a brief tutorial on how to play the game's levels and how to create your own. This isn't some long drawn out tutorial; it's a basic means of teaching you the ins and outs of Sound Shapes, and once you get through these two short levels, the game lets you run free through its colorful music-filled world. While not every level is open right from the get-go, you do have access to each of the game's albums. Complete a level in an album, and you'll unlock the next. The progression in Sound Shapes is very liberal, allowing you to choose which album you want to tackle in whatever order you so desire.
Music envelops you like a warm blanket. The rapid tap of a snare drum provides the delicate rhythm, while an ethereal harp exudes a peaceful melody. Songs spring forth unabated, sprouting organically in the environment from the beaks of chirping birds, the engines of zooming missiles, and every other singing object you come across. Creating music as you leap through abstract worlds draws you in from the first moments, but Sound Shapes goes much deeper than its incredible soundtrack. Platforming is at the heart of this downloadable offering, and the various jumps you perform demand precise timing and exacting dexterity. Sound Shapes deftly blends its intoxicating musical composition with intricate platforming challenges to create an enriching and delightful experience. Strip away the clever musical backbone and the eye-catching visual design, and Sound Shapes resembles a typical platformer. You control an amorphous blob in a world populated by all manner of dangerous traps and enticing collectibles. Jumping, climbing, and sprinting make up your limited moveset, and you use your humble repertoire to navigate treacherous obstacle courses to reach the hallowed beat box at the end of each stage. Basic mechanics create a welcome accessibility but don't hinder the potential of Sound Shapes in the slightest.
Sound Shapes still confounds me. I've previewed the game several times and talked about it several times more, but I still feel like I'm not doing justice to the experience and in explaining why I'm so enthralled by it. This became exceedingly apparent when WILLS_COOL_MODE commented last week that "everything [he's] seen [of it] just looks sooooo boooooooring." Now the music and platforming genre bender from Queasy Games and Sony Computer Entertainment of America is here, and I have to come up with some way to explain why Sound Shapes is so much fun or admit that it is, in fact, "soooooo booooooooring." The best way to describe Sound Shapes in its final form is to compare it to a musical instrument. When you think about a clarinet or a trombone or even a snare drum, you can imagine playing that instrument or you can imagine listening to someone else playing that instrument. In that vein, Sound Shapes is a video game instrument, bringing together an entire orchestra you can conduct with your thumbs and fingers. When you start the game for the first time, you'll play two tutorials.
You could almost be forgiven for writing off Sound Shapes as "just another psuedo-intellectual indie title." At first glance, it bears all the hallmarks of your stereotypical "hipster game." Simple play mechanics? Check. Sound Shapes controls with only the D-pad and two buttons. Minimalist visuals? Definitely. Its worlds are built on simple, hand-drawn and pixel and retro-vector graphics. A slick interface and decidedly un-corporate sense of identity? Absolutely. Not that polish and personality represent negative traits, of course. Fortunately, you only need a few minutes with the game to realize it's anything but a lazy or cynical attempt to ride the coattails of the retro-cool trend. Sound Shapes' distinctive aesthetics serve a definite purpose. The game is simple for a reason. Two reasons, actually: One, the level designs and game mechanics have been wed carefully to its music, which builds, Rez-like, as you complete each stage. And -- more importantly -- two, the real purpose of the game is for players to take up the reins and create their own Sound Shapes puzzles, so it needs to be approachable and uncluttered at every level.
The Vita is an extraordinarily frustrating console. The tech is there. The design is there. Everything is in place for Sony's expensive little beauty to soar into the handheld gaming stratosphere. And yet, with the world at its feet, there is nothing to play. The fine Gravity Rush notwithstanding, the Vita landscape has been barren and exasperating.Keen to rectify this situation is Queasy Games' impressive Sound Shapes - a true original and finally something worth getting excited about for that shiny fella sitting the drawer. As a game it's pure abstraction; a platformer where you construct music as you play, but also where music defines the very parameters of each level.Essentially, you play as a ball. You can stick to light surfaces, but not dark ones, and as you progress you hoover up coins (not an unusual request for a platformer). Here, though, each coin adds another track to the musical loop, so you could grab a particularly snappy snare or a growling bass hook as you roll from left to right. Anything red is dangerous, and carries its own musical signature, so you can actually navigate the levels using the beat as well as your own dexterity, like a far less rigid Beat Sneak Bandit with a trilby and hipster glasses.
Is Sound Shapes the most interesting PS Vita game?It might have a name duller than a rusty bread knife, but Sound Shapes is probably the most interesting title currently announced for PlayStation Vita.The idea to Sound Shapes is simple; roll a sticky globule of unknown matter around a series of 2D mazes with the intention of creating music. As you amass disc-like collectibles dotted about each level, a new layer of audio is added to the soundtrack. So, you might start off with nothing more than a simple snare loop, but as you collect more and more you'll add thumping bass drums, trippy high-hats and the odd symbol. It isn't long before you've amassed enough to add melodic synths and a bass-line to the mix. The aim is to complete a level with the full song restored.Having now played five games for Sony's new handheld - the gorgeous Uncharted: Golden Abyss included - it was Sound Shapes that lingered in my thoughts once E3 2011 was all said and done. This struck me as odd. Unlike Golden Abyss, Sound Shapes doesn't boast stunning visuals, an interesting control scheme or a protagonist as effortlessly cool as Nathan Drake. But it does do something different, and this is becoming increasingly important in catching my attention.
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