opus's Sound Shapes (PlayStation Network (PS3)) review

Sound Shapes: Grammy Worthy

Soundtracks are often overlooked in the games of today. Developers often polish their dramatic title themes to a fine point, but tend to leave their in-game soundtracks lacking. To which point they're usually lost to the explosions occurring in the foreground until we tune out and forget there was ever one in the first place. Sound Shapes turns this reality around and takes us on a head-bobbing journey that will remain in our memories as a hum rather than a picture.

Welcome to the Jungle: The Gameplay

The premise of Sound Shapes is simple and tight. Controlling like any platformer you've played before, you guide your shape through a series of Mega Man-esque single screen trials. You command your shape to dash and jump through the obstacles and hazards which have come to life with the soundtracks beats. These challenges require decent reflexes and some pixel-perfect jumps, but failing is never a cause for concern as the player will quickly respawn at one of the several checkpoints you find traversing the stage.

Any Way You Want It: The Level Editor

Sound shapes places a lot of emphasis on getting players to put their level editor to use. It's how it can expand on what it's established by using you as it's conduit of creativity. Just as Sound Shapes plays, simplicity takes precedence. Players are presented with a screen just as they would playing through a level, within this screen you can access a toolbox supplied with sounds and shapes unlocked from the campaign. Adding these items to a level is as simple as selecting what you want and dropping it where you want it. It's placement on the stage provides different pitches and timing, leaving plenty of room for depth and complexity, should the player desire to tune it so.

You can dance if you want to: The Sound of the Shapes

With the title of Sound Shapes there's no secret to what players are getting themselves into, and to our delight it does not disappoint. Five reknown composers each provided their own unique tracks created just for Sound Shapes. Spanning across twenty stages, each of which reaches the heights of bliss as the tracks reach their crescendo in tandem with your with your performance. Wearing a good pair of headphones as you enter Sound Shapes is a reward in and of itself.

Mr. Blue Sky: The Graphics

Sound Shapes is as a delight to look at as it is to listen to. The color palette being reminiscent of a candy store. Everything pops with contrasting colors while each composer applies their own stylized theme to this backdrop. From the crisp pixel art of the SuperBrothers to the quirky doodles of Pyramid Attack, each stage is wholly unique. From the outside looking in, you wouldn't know that you're still playing sound shapes were it not for the player's shape staying consistent throughout.

The End: Epilogue

It's with no hesitation that Sound Shapes receives a thorough recommendation, anyone who appreciates music in any form should jump in. As with any good music, it's simple exterior is inviting and approachable enough for anyone to enjoy. While beneath the exterior lies a work of brilliance that anyone can put to use themselves. You don't have to be a musician to get the most out of your experience with Sound Shapes, the provided campaign makes this concert well worth the price of entry.

2 Comments
Posted by Marmaladebrat

I liked your review and how you presented it. Awesome!

Posted by Keeng

This review is...cool.

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