Decent Dual-Stick shooter
The Concept: Beat Hazard takes a different take on this genre by going combining the Custom Music Game with the revived Twin Stick Shooter genre.
The Good: The game has a level up mechanic that works very well in my opinion. No matter how badly you think you're doing on a particular level, you're always progressing and powering yourself up, which helps encourage continued play.
The Bad: The power of your weapons is not only connected to power-ups you collect in the generated levels, but the track you're listening to. Consequently, softer music tracks, such as “Lights” or “Open Arms” by Journey will be significantly more difficult than “Seperate Ways (Worlds Apart)” and “Don't Stop Believin'”. Also, while the game supports .mp3 and .wav out of the box, you have to get, essentially, pay DLC in order to support some of the iTunes formats - .m4a and .aac.
Enemy types in the game can get fairly monotonous, as there are essentially only 5 types of enemies – three generic types and two boss-types, with four types of attacks. There are also environmental obstacles, like asteroids, but the enemies get old quickly. Also, as you can tell from the screen shot, lens flare can cause the screen to become unnecessarily cluttered, making it hard to pick out projectiles. While you can turn the lens flare off, it drops your score multiplier.
There are also no separate leader-boards by song – only song length. Additionally, while the game supports mouse and keyboard control, it just doesn't work well outside of a dual-analog stick controller. I understand why they included that functionality – but this is probably a situation where it would have been best to say that in the game.
Verdict: Basically, this is a game for people who own controllers which can connect to their computer by USB, like dual-stick shooters, and have a bunch of metal and techno in their music library. Now, that's not a small demographic, and it's certainly enough to support an indy game, but if you favor softer music, are sick of dual-stick shooters, or can't hook your controller up to your PC, then you won't have as much fun with this game.
Recommended Music: Because of how the tempo and volume of the music effects weapon power, this game is best for metal and techno.