Beat Hazard is a visual feast for the eyes.
The easiest way to describe Beat Hazard is ‘a cross between Audiosurf and Geometry wars’. Beat Hazard is a dual joystick shooter that takes your music to help shape the levels you play, the more intense the music the more intense the level. I enjoyed what I played of Geometry Wars but was not a huge fan. I really enjoyed Audiosurf so when the two games came together I felt they formed a great game.
You play as a spaceship fighting off asteroids and other ships as you try to take a relaxing stroll through space, listening to your favorite tunes. You collect power ups to make the volume of the song louder and your guns more powerful. The guns are also powered by the music, so if there is a slower part in the song you will not be doing as much damage. When the song picks back up you will be a threat once more.
There is a rank system in the game. As you keep playing you reach new ranks. At each level you get an extra perk, anything from starting the level with a volume level up to extra multipliers to being a Dare Devil. Dare Devil is when you float around the level but don’t fire for five seconds.
The game is available on X-Box Indi Games and Steam. It’s cheaper on 360 then Steam but this game is all about the music. If you don’t have music on your 360 hard drive you will be missing the most fun this game has to offer. It does come with some songs to play but lets be honest, you want to get your ass kicked by music you listen to everyday.
Beat Hazard favors upbeat music. I started off putting in my favorite bands, Dave Matthews Band and Guster. Their music wasn’t the best fit for this game. I picked their more upbeat songs and they worked well but you couldn’t play through one of their albums on survival mode, for instance, because on softer songs your weapons are not powerful enough to…well…survive. Lady Gaga and Britney Spears songs worked great and I was surprised to find that pop punk music, like Fall out Boy and Motion City Soundtrack, also provided great levels.
The only problem with the game and this isn’t really a problem. The game gets so intense sometimes it is very easy to lose your ship in the visuals. Your eyes, at points, feel like they will start to bleed at any second. Although all the times I played it, the game never gave me a headache. After a few hours of playing it straight, when I closed my eyes all I saw were the ships coming for me. Also if you buy this on steam I would recommend using a gamepad with two analog sticks. This game is almost unplayable with a mouse and keyboard.
If you like dual joystick shooters this game is a must buy. If you enjoy music games you should also pick this up. The steam version has leader boards so you can check your scores against your friends. It will also show some of the songs they used to get the high score. So you can try that song and try to beat them.