By RecSpec 3 Comments
The Vita launched in February, and aside from the first month after I bought mine, I haven’t really done anything with it until recently. Poor Vita. Today on the Roulette I’m going to talk about Sound Shapes, the neat musical platformer for the Vita and PS3. I dig out my copies of Uncharted 3 and Dynasty Warriors 7 because of new content, and I go in depth about Stepmania and dancing on a jellyfish. Place your bets!
I’ve been looking forward to Sound Shapes since I first heard of it. The main reason for that was my love of Jonathan Mak’s previous game Everyday Shooter. Shooter is still my favorite dual-stick shooter, always has been. The way the music goes with the game makes it a great experience. As I waited for this game to come out, I thought to myself: if this game can capture just a bit of that magic, it will be something great. This was the launch game I was looking forward to the most, and it finally came out (almost six months after the Vita’s launch). It did not disappoint.
Sound Shapes is a platformer where you’re a ball that can stick to walls, you go through stages collecting coins, and each coin adds another note to the music playing in the background. As you collect more coins, the music picks up and picks up until you hit the next area. The music has been fantastic so far, and I’m excited to see where it goes next. I’ve finished two of the records (sets of stages) so far, and it’s been a real relaxing experience. Things started to pick up near the end, so I’m wondering if the platforming gets tough. Either way it’s a win, I get a neat platformer, or I get to have a fun walk through all of the stages.
I spent a bit of time messing around with the stage editor too. The first thing I noticed going through the tutorial, the switch between designing stages and playing them was instant! That makes it real easy to test things out. To be honest, that’s what I’ll probably do with it. Play with it, make some weird music, and not much more. I doubt that I’ll be able to make a decent stage (mainly due to time commitment), but the editor is easy to use. It also uses the touch screens well. You use the back screen to move and stretch pieces. I’m having a blast with this game so far, and I can’t wait to sit down and really put time in it.
I played the multiplayer in Uncharted 3 again. The big 1.13 patch came out, and I’ve foolishly reset my level (4th Legacy) and got bummed out with the horrible weapon
selection. The default weapons suck, and I found out that you level up slower this time. What did the patch really do? Nothing big yet, a ton of customizable items come out next week. A neat thing is that custom parts will provide buffs for your characters. For example the Highwayman’s hood will give you the ability to call out characters you aim at for your teammates. It’s a neat system, if only they actually did anything for run and gunners like me. There’s a new tournament system, where you wager tickets to win exclusive in-game items. You can buy more tickets with real money. For now though the grind continues, hopefully I can get my Kal-7 back before I get bored.
Back again, I almost have every character unlocked. Once I do that, I can finally start playing the stages just to complete them, like a normal rhythm game. Also, I’m trying to get a Dark Note with the songs “Judgement Day” and “Something to Protect” for Streetpass purposes. That game is still fun, and there are songs from Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy IX for download this month, I’m excited. August 23 is the big day though, that’s when Otherworld comes out, my second favorite song in the Final Fantasy series. My favorite song is Shinra Company, and if that makes it in, Theatrhythm will probably be my game of the year.
Speaking of egregious DLC purchases, I ended up throwing down $38 for more costumes and weapons! Okay, so it was a birthday present, and I shared it off the account I bought it for. But still, that’s a lot of money for cosmetic DLC. They are actually pretty good costumes. The chinese warlords and co. have neat costumes that reference literature to old legends. Seeing Guan Yu, Liu Bei, and Zhang Fei as the three musketeers is pretty cool. My favorite is Yuan Shao as the Emperor (of New Clothes fame). The gameplay is the same as always, but the new weapons do act a little differently, the boat weapon (which has you literally surfing over enemies) is great. I just wish there was more to do.
I’ve been playing a lot of Stepmania recently. Stepmania is a PC game that is similar to Dance Dance Revolution, but you can put whatever songs you want in it with simfiles. So naturally I’m using simfiles from Dance Dance Revolution games. There was a period a few years ago where I had almost every DDR game for PS2, I just had fun with it, and it was a good way to work out. It’s kind of funny how the steps have seemed to evolve over time, sadly though it seems like the music just got worse. Some of the newer songs are meh, nothing that hooks you. And the Extreme 2 set list is still my favorite. To be fair, some of the remixes of popular songs are decent. I had a blast with a remix of Toxic by Britney Spears. Playing some of my old favorites has been awesome.
Another thing that made me think of was how dance pads got worse. I bought DanceDanceRevolution for PS3 that came with the official dance pad. It was the worst! Felt like I was stepping on a blob. My sister and I jokingly called it the jellypad because it was like trying to keep your balance on a jellyfish. I had a nice $70 foam pad, but my most reliable pad was my cheap $20 pad from GameStop. I gutted the electronics out of it, and it won’t connect to anything, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s not about score, it’s just dancing for fun.
The best thing about my recent foray into Stepmania? I can play it on my TV and connecting sound system, so it’s like the arcade! For the record, I’ve played DDR twice in arcades, both horribly embarrassing situations, so maybe it’s not exactly like the arcade, still fun though.
I’ll be at Sukoshicon here in Louisville this weekend, this means cosplayers, overpriced food and maybe some streetpasses. As far as games go, Walking Dead episode 2 is sitting on my PS3, and I'll spend more time with Sound Shapes, and Uncharted 3. I seriously think I might be done with Kingdom Hearts 3D, I finished the Traverse Town chapter, and I have no real interest to keep going. Live A Live is still on my pile too, cursed RPGs.
That’s all for today. Check out my other redesigned blog Really Bad Future or follow me on Twitter for some of the other weird things I do, like creating dialogue for Uncharted 3 characters and remaking Game Gear screenshots. Thanks for reading, see you next week for another Really Bad Roulette!