More Reviews
REVIEWS Boss! Review
PlayStation Vita owners looking to exercise a little frustration can look to this rather low-fi title about creating a monster and destroying everything in your path.

KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.5 ReMIX Review
Part 2 of Square-Enix and Disney's cooperative compilation cash-cow is ready to milk the series for another go, but does the milk taste sweet or is it spoiled?
More Previews
PREVIEWS Evolve Preview
With multiplayer action set as its focus, Evolve surprised us earlier this month by introducing a single-player campaign mode where you can switch between mercenaries.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Kalimba
Release date: Out Now

Persona 5
Release date: 12/31/14

Motorcycle Club
Release date: 01/01/15

Atelier Ayesha Plus: The Alchemist of Dusk
Release date: 01/14/15


LATEST FEATURES Downloadable Content Walks the Line Between Fun and Frenzied in Middle-earth
I don’t even care all that much for the Lords of the Rings brand, which makes the content falling under Shadow of Mordor’s Season Pass a pleasant surprise.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters for Gamers
If this awful trend is going to persist, you may as well do it your way.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP KevinS
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014)
By KevinS
Posted on 12/07/14
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

Sound Shapes Review

danielrbischoff By:
danielrbischoff
08/08/12
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Music 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Sony Computer Entertainment 
DEVELOPER Queasy Games 
RELEASE DATE Out Now
E Contains No Descriptors

What do these ratings mean?

Break a little. Move a little.


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. The first explains the platforming. That's stayed the same since the first time we went hands-on with the title. You still control a little sticky ball that can unstick itself at your command and roll faster to narrowly escape hazards including lava-spewing volcanoes, lasers, and saw blades.

While you're navigating levels, you'll pick up notes. These notes build into the soundtrack, in addition to contributing to a tally at the end of the level.


The second tutorial level teaches players how to create levels and music for themselves. Notes can be placed by holding your finger anywhere on the Vita's front touchscreen. The higher the note is placed, the higher it'll be in tone. Hazards and platforms are placed in the same fashion, with the rear touch panel allowing for movement, size, and orientation manipulation. The sheer volume of placeable objects, sounds, and enemies is astounding, mostly thanks to the high-profile contributors Queasy roped in with their stellar concept.

In order to unlock all of those customization options, you'll have to play though a just-long-enough campaign mode, comprised of several albums. Some were created by Queasy themselves, while others were contributed by the likes of Deadmau5 and Beck.

My favorite is the Superbrothers-inspired Jim Guthrie album, complete with sharp pixel art. Despite the campaign's taught gameplay and excellent soundtrack, it's what players do with all of these options that will really floor you.



Swiping down on the Sound Shapes home screen will take you to the community. Here you'll find the vast selection of levels published by other players. The first screen is filled in with any notifications you might have received while you were away (like if another player played and 'favorited' a level you created).

The next panel populates your screen with highly-rated, frequently played levels so you can immediately hop into the best tracks from around the world. The final screen is all about you, your levels, and your favorites so you can replay any you particularly enjoyed.

Finally, you can check out new releases and search for specific tags. Still, I've always had more fun playing an instrument myself as opposed to just listening, and the same holds true for Sound Shapes.


Even if I don't walk away with a satisfactory creation, creating a level in Queasy's music box is so easy and painless, half the fun is messing around and seeing what you come up with.

Sound Shapes starts you out with a blank slate and a massive toolbox. Tapping the top-right corner brings up all of the instruments, terrains, objects (including enemies), and decorations you've unlocked. You can also switch the color palette on any screen. In just under a minute you can whip up a neat track, build obstacles and platforms around it, and publish for the entire world to see. If you already enjoy creating your own levels in games like LittleBigPlanet, Sound Shapes will appeal to you immediately.

I, however, hate making my own content in games. If you sat me down with LittleBigPlanet, you couldn't pay me to wade through the menus and objects available to build my level. I would laugh in your face and walk away.


I am not a game developer. I hate feeling like I'm doing the developer's work for them. That is not the case with Sound Shapes. Creating my own levels and tracks is easily my favorite part of the game, so if I'm having fun, I'm willing to bet that you will too.

Sound Shapes exudes style, invites players to play and experiment graciously, and justifies the PlayStation Vita's absurd rear touch panel. It was the only reason to be excited about the Vita for months leading up to release and it is the only reason you need to buy a Vita today.

There is an endless amount of replay value, thanks to the brilliant tracks the community is already hard at work on. The simplicity belies a brilliance developers have yet to touch on Sony's new handheld platform.

I will say now that Sound Shapes earns its grade as a PlayStation Vita game, and while I recommend you play it on that platform, it's just as entertaining and enjoyable on your PS3. Even if you don't have one, this is the must-buy Vita title you can play today.
 
Copy not provided by publisher.
Sound Shapes
fullfullfullfullfull
  • Creating my own levels
  • ...I can't believe that's fun
  • Campaign packed with unlockables
  • Challenge modes after completion
  • A little on the short side still
  • Tons and tons of user-created levels
  • Even people make garbage sometimes
  • Not having to sort through that garbage
  • Style, sounds, art
  • Buy it once for both PS3 and Vita
Reviews by other members
No member reviews for the game.


FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.

More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Sound Shapes