After completing Gravity Rush for what felt like the 100th time I put my PS Vita in its case and then placed it on my bookcase– and left it there for over a month. Sound Shapes couldn’t have come at a better time, thanks to it I’m now playing my PS Vita more than ever.
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Title: Sound Shapes
Developer: Queasy Games
Platform: PS3/PS Vita
Release Date: 8/6/12[/toggle_box]
- Platforming Bliss – Jump, run, stick, fly, and float through Sound Shapes 20 stages. It’s no Rayman Origins, but the platforming will challenge your reflexes without becoming too frustrating thanks to the generous checkpoint system. The gameplay is simple – avoid red objects, collect all the notes, and get to the record player at the end of the stage.
- Soundtrack – Beck, deadmau5, Jim Guthrie, Jonathan Mak, and I Am Robot and Proud craft one unforgettable soundtrack.
- Level Design – Just like the music the levels are also from different artists. All of them feature a different theme, but SuperBrothers office gone wrong easily eclipses the competition.
- Two For One – You can pick Sound Shapes up for $15 ($12 for PlayStation Plus subscribers). This nets you the PS3 and PS Vita version. That’s a great deal for a game that will have a near limitless supply of user-generated levels.
- Level Editor/Community – The level editor takes Sound Shapes to the next level (ugh). It’s easy to use and you’ll be making killer levels in no time. This is more than a level editor, though. It’s also a music creation tool since you place notes throughout the levels. This makes each level sound different and if you’re musically savvy you can recreate popular tunes using the editor. If you want a challenge search for my level entitled “The Great One: Cthulhu”.
- PS Vita Load Times – The PS3 version loads faster than the PS Vita version. This isn’t a big deal, but it’s noticeable.
- Level Creation Feels Sluggish on the PS3 – Creating levels on the PS3 just feels wrong. You can tell that Sound Shapes began life on the PS Vita because the level editor is built for touch controls.
- Identity Crisis – Sometimes Sound Shapes plays like a brutal platformer and at other times it feels too relaxed and easy-going. This could probably be contributed to all the different artists involved in the creation of this game.
- Fatal Errors/Server Problems – Save your creations often, I lost a few levels thanks to fatal errors. Also the servers can be wonky at times. This sucks because you can’t download levels, so if you can’t connect to the servers you can’t play your favorite user-generated content.
Sound Shapes is easy to recommend. It’s cheap, addictive, charming, and the community will keep you coming back for a long time. Plus it has one of the best soundtracks of 2012. Do yourself a favor and download Sound Shapes — I promise you won’t regret it.
[box_light]We believe that the score is the least important part of a review. It’s tough trying to assign a numerical value to an experience. Furthermore, is there really a difference between a 7.5 and an 8? Gamers place too much importance on arbitrary numbers. This is why our scores are hidden by default. Only look at them if you absolutely need a number between 1-10 to see if a game is worth your time. You can read our review guidelines here.[/box_light]
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Replay Value: 9
Amazing – This is a must have, you’ll see this game on top ten lists at the end of the year.[/toggle_box]