Playing all the video games - Part 000015

I am continuing with the rather futile task of playing all the video games.

Since last time I've been messing around with the mini games in Nintendo Land and playing through 5 player New Super Mario Bros. U (that game is really fun and chaotic in co-op mode.) But more fun than the Wii U... Super Hexagon! I've sunk hours into that game over the last week - and have just obtained a top 200 time by surviving 2 minutes on the first level.

I also played through the next game on my list, 0D Beat Drop. I quite like rhythm games; Elite Beat Agents, Audiosurf and Guitar Hero games being among my favourites. I also really enjoy block matching games; Tetris, Bejeweled Blitz and 10,000,000 are all games I've enjoyed in the past. However I didn't really get on with the previous puzzle rhythm hybrid game I played Lumines - despite the fact that most people seem to really like that game. Similarly, 0D Beat Drop never really clicked with me either... Like with Lumines, most reviews seem reasonably positive about it - I guess the genre just isn't for me.

Game 000015: 0D Beat Drop

0D Beat Drop is an XBLA exclusive released in late 2009. There is a Quick Look for it here. I played through the standard Planet Quest mode on easy difficulty, (which was actually pretty tough), and then spent a little while messing around with its song import tool. I probably spent around 3 hours playing this game in total before I got bored with it.

0D Beat Drop
0D Beat Drop

The game is your standard coloured blocks fall from the sky, match 3 game - with the added twist that the blocks will only disappear if you drop them on the beat of the background music. Most of the modes have you face off against a CPU, and there is usually a big advantage to deliberately avoiding dropping blocks on the beat until you can build up a big combo - as connecting multiple blocks simultaneously sends a load of junk onto your opponents board.

You need a fair amount of tactical awareness to succeed in these battles - as there are a few nice subtleties to consider. Such as your opponents attacks don't actually hit you until you miss a beat drop. So controlling when you want an attack to land can give you a tactical edge - especially if you have a few combos lined up, sometimes taking the extra junk pieces will likely set you up for something even bigger. However, this quickly results in attack escalation, with the advantage swiftly swinging from side to side with increasing magnitude. I think this was my main gripe with the game - you are often not rewarded for doing well - because the closer you are to failure, the easier it is to launch a devastating attack on your opponent. It is a mechanic which is meant to keep the battles interesting - but ultimately adds just a little too much randomness for my liking.

Battle Mode
Battle Mode

I didn't really find the music that interesting either. This can usually make or break a rhythm game; but I was reasonably impressed with the tools available to add your own music into the game (even if it did seem incredibly hacked together). The in-game music analyser appeared to use some nice Fourier techniques to quickly fit a beat to your music. This worked surprisingly well unless your track happened to change pace midway through; it couldn't really cope with that.

This game was fun for a while and is certainly based around a cool idea. If you like Lumines and Tetris Battle Gaiden, then maybe this is the game for you? However it never really clicked with me, so I doubt that I'll be returning to this any time soon.


The next two games in the Giant Bomb database are 0 Story, which I won't be playing because it is a story driven Japanese game and I don't speak the language - and 0x10c which looks really cool... but hasn't been released yet. So, unless anybody in the community can find me another game which begins with "0", then next time I'll write up my thoughts on 10,000,000.