Review by HalfManHalfDuck
A Rhythm Game: This Time For Any Genre Of Music
Rhythm games. Love them or hate them, they're everywhere. Almost all of them have one flaw though; you are stuck with whatever songs you are given. But when Audiosurf was announced, it was hyped with features people had never seen in most rhythm games before it; automatic track-map creation, online high scores for any song, exiting and involving visuals. Now that it's out, you can see and play this as a very fun game... But it has its flaws, some of which have also never been seen in games before it.
The mechanics behind Audiosurfs gameplay is basically Tetris; You have blocks moving towards you, and you have to get them to match up. The difference is, is that you aren't stationary; you are zooming down or up a track, designed to bump and twist to the speed and beat to the song you have fed to it, with exciting visuals all around you (Tunnels during fast parts, explosions and other artifacts) You control a car with your Mouse/Keyboard, hitting into the right blocks, and avoiding certain types depending on what mode you are playing on.
The biggest 'must-have' reason for this game though, is the ability to play any song you choose. The game uses a very complex aglorhythm that creates a track from any song you give it. Unlike some games that also do this, Audiosurf can make your song a Visual Experience, not just a track that goes at the same speed;
Slow parts slowly go uphill and the blocks you'll get are blue and give few points, and when the speed picks up, you'll reach the top of the hill, and go zooming through a tunnel. The blocks turn red and orange, and you'll have to think fast to rack up the points.
While this is a very fun experience, some gamers may find that 'Too Easy', although the online high score boards are very challenging to beat... For those gamers, there are some very complicated modes, where you have to think hard about what color block to get, whether you should get the block that paints them all the same color, how you're going to get rid of all the mismatched blocks you've piled up and which blocks you're going to use your 'grab block' move on and where you're going to move it. For most casual gamers though, the 'mono' mode works just fine (Hit coloured block, avoid grey blocks).
Unless you're going to play on the hardest setting in the game though, you can't 'lose', like in other rhythm games. You just lose points, which is a great idea; Even the worst player will have achieved a score!
Audiosurf doesn't attempt a story, which is a good thing; The game makes no sense aesthetically so any story would be very unusual.
There are three modes of graphic level in this game, none of which have any unpleasing edges or jagged parts;
Can run on almost any computer with a great frame-rate. Looks slightly basic, but still has the largest visual effects and the basic gameplay.
The standard setting. This is the setting most people will be playing on, and it looks very pleasing to the eye. The blocks have more detail, and the background effects look great.
This mode is for the people with advanced computers for gaming. It won't run smoothly on most family computers with the stock graphics cards..
The detail in this mode is stunning. The blocks glow, and there is constant movement in the background.
The multiplayer is the reason you'll want to replay this. There are online scoreboards for every song you play, and I have yet to find an unpopulated scoreboard for a properly tagged song of mine. The competition is fierce, and if you get to the top of the scoreboards, you will get an email announcing your dethroning when it happens.
There is also a two player mode where there are two cars; player one controls one with the keyboard, player two controls one with the mouse. It's a co-op mode, so you're still just competing for the scoreboard.
The only problem with the scoreboard is cheating; anyone can rename a song, and use it to get a highscore on another song. These scores get deleted very quickly however, as simply hovering over that score shows that they're using a comepletely different song, and just pressing the 'report' button informs a moderator very quickly.
This game is a lot of fun, and for just $10, it is definetely worth it. Unfortunately, this game is yet to be commercially availiable in stores, so the internet is the only way to buy this game (renting it is impossible)
If you don't like music in general however, this game is not for you.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: AudioSurf (US, 02/15/08)
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