You wouldn’t call the clicking undulations of me typing these words on a keyboard music, but someone else might. That uncontrollable urge to start tapping your hands on a desk or counter-top, mimicking some beat you’ve never heard, that’s not music. Or is it? Music is subjective to be certain, but it’s also universal. I may not be able to speak Spanish, but I can still convey everything I want to a Spanish speaker with the right music in hand. Sure, words help, but sounds are what carry the true message.
I would like to say I’m good at writing, playing, and singing music. I take pride in the fact that I don’t lie to your face though, my dear readers, so I won’t. I may not be good at crafting music, but like anyone else with ears or even just the ability to feel vibrations, I can still appreciate what this language of the soul has to say.
It wasn’t until recently that games really turned a focus towards music. As technology has progressed, many big budget titles have epic orchestral scores that carry the full weight of the on screen action. But even smaller titles have begun to craft unique and engaging pieces of music that still capture, delight, and even depress should the mood call for it. And then you have games that based entirely on music. Not only do these games have amazing soundtracks, but they bring that music into the game and make it a part of the experience. No, I’m not talking about Rock Band. Or Guitar Hero, or even that weird zombie music game hybrid Rock of the Dead. No, I’m talking about something that doesn’t require a peripheral. I’m talking about a little game called Sound Shapes.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a side scrolling rhythm game?
That got your attention, didn’t it? Yes, Sound Shapes can best be described as a side scrolling action platformer. There aren’t real enemies to speak of, and death is a mere inconvenience. Sound boring? It’s not, because I haven’t gotten to the best part yet. You see, in Sound Shapes, everything you do affects the music around you. As you traverse levels, you pick up collectible orbs scattered throughout. You objects to interact with, and everything you touch and gain adds another layer to the music of the level.
You build the experience, both in gameplay and more importantly, in the audio. The more you put into the game, the more it gives you to listen to. Because of this mutual effort between game and player, the game becomes a calming and methodical journey that changes with each level. You see, the game is divided into different albums, each with their own unique look and feel. The music in these levels is composed by famous artists as well, with one such level being written by Beck.
Take a page from Little Big Planet, Make your Own Levels!
Sound Shapes also features a robust level creator. With an entire toolbox at your disposal, you have tons of different instruments to create your own music. You can create ethereal, flowing masterpieces, or unforgettable beats. The game can be played on PS3, PS4, and Vita. It is worth noting, that the Vita version is incredible for this feature because the touch screen makes for easy navigation.
Once you have some music going, you can utilize assets from any level in the game and create your own levels for players to navigate through. The progression of your music, the rhythm of the level, everything you would want in your control is there for you to use. With Sound Shapes releasing on PS4, now is a great time to jump in and see what you can make.
You can also play levels that other people have created. Recent reviews on the PS4 version of the game have stated that the community created levels are fantastic and truly represent the potential of this game as a easy to jump in and extremely versatile experience for all gamers.
What’s New on the PS4 Version?
The PS4 version of the game features a 1080p resolution and sixty frames per second gameplay. This means clear, crisp picture, and smooth gameplay. Beyond this though, the game also features some unique elements with the DualShock 4. Certain elements of the music are played through the built in speaker on the controller, and the light bar on the back will pulsate with the beat of your current song.
What’s better is that owning the game on PS4 grants you access to the PS3 and the PlayStation Vita versions of the game as well. This is another amazing instance of Sony offering value and versatility to your purchases.
So, let’s recap on the features of this awesome rhythm game.
1. Sound Shapes is a side scrolling platformer game with a focus on rhythm and music.
2. The levels help you build the music, adding elements are you progress.
3. You can make your own levels and play other levels people have made.
4. Buying the game on one PlayStation platform, gets you access on all of them.
What do you think of Sound Shapes? Did you buy it recently, or back when it was first released? Tell us in the comments!
See our review of Sound Shapes.
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert Date: 11/15/2013