Sound Shapes Hands-On: Beck Songs
At the Sony NYC Fall Preview last week, I played a few games that restored my faith in the PlayStation Vita. Of those games, none compared to what will undoubtedly be a true #Gamechanger. When it comes out this August, I hope everyone has $14.99 in his PSN wallet to spend on Sound Shapes. The game is a sidescrolling platformer with a musical twist: Each note you pick up in a level adds a layer to the bombastic song playing in the background. Since the last time I played it (PAX Prime 2011), Sound Shapes has become a full-fledged platformer with a ton of big names tied to it. Artists such as Deadmau5 and Beck provide the tunes behind levels crafted by the same artists who brought you Sword & Sworcery EP and more.
The biggest change I noticed since I had last played Sound Shapes is how much of a focused platformer it is. The ball you control can stick to most surfaces, making for difficult and novel platforming sequences. The Beck levels I played had vocal sound effects, which is new to the otherwise beat-driven soundtrack. The game is incredibly creative. For instance, some of the platforms changed according to what Beck was singing. As he chanted eight different phrases on a loop, the platforms became skinny (“lose a little”), shook back and forth (“move a little”), came apart (“break a little”), and even turned into red insta-kill blocks (“hurt a little”). The music is catchy to say the least; I’m still humming some of the tunes four days after putting the game down. I played on both the Vita and the PS3, and both experiences are great.
The level editor is extremely easy to use on the Vita. I asked Jonathan Mak if he’s ready for the onslaught of creative output that’s sure to come from Sound Shapes players. He laughed nervously, saying he sure hopes I’m right. Curtis agreed on the podcast that the editor is easier to use than LBP’s. All the game needs is hefty community, so again, if you’re looking for the best platforming experience on the Vita since Mutant Blobs Attack, keep your eyes peeled for Sound Shapes. It releases August 7th and for $14.99, you’re purchasing both the PSN and Vita versions of the game.
Be sure to come back on August 1st when we give you some more impressions from another mode hidden within the game.