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Thread: Beat Hazard

  1. #1
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    Beat Hazard

    So I assume that this is OFN for everyone else, but a game called "Beat Hazard" just recently got a Linux port, so it's new to me.

    It's a shoot-'em-up of the Asteroids variety, but its hook is that the gameplay is entirely determined by the audio properties of whatever music you decide to use for the game. Most obviously, the volume of the music determines both the power of your ship's shots and the speed of the enemies. The game also analyzes frequencies in the music to determine things like what enemies spawn when, and what bosses get spawned, etc. The graphic effects also double as a music visualizer which is extremely heavy on the strobing - I'd personally recommend setting the visual effects down to 50% when playing, but if you want to burn your eyes out, feel free to pump it up.

    Without the music hook, the gameplay is admittedly rather shallow - after you've played it for 20 minutes or so, you've probably seen just about every enemy in the game, but for whatever reason I've been really enjoying it. Possibly just 'cause I'm picking the soundtrack myself, I suppose.

    At any rate, the game's programmed so that the same audio will always yield the same gameplay elements - you'll always get the same spawns at the same time, etc, which means that each song has a pretty distinct flow to it. I played through a number of Fragile tracks without noting much of interest, really, apart from that La Mer was surprisingly hectic. I really enjoyed a lot of Year Zero tracks - Vessel in particular was way cool (Me, I'm Not and The Warning function fairly similarly - lots of speed changes as the electronics pulse in and out). The Great Destroyer was pretty "meh" though. God Given starts out pretty dull, and has a weirdly inexplicable total dead space towards the end, but gets nicely frantic in the middle.

    I've tried playing through the two HTDA EPs a couple of times, those are enjoyable as well. Stepping away from Trent's work a bit, I had a surprisingly great time on Hecq's "Hypnos" suite, from "steeltongued." Venetian Snares' "Hajnal" was pretty epic as well.

    Anyway, I'd be curious if anyone finds any great tracks which happen to work well. I assume some Ghosts and Trent-soundtrack stuffs would be pretty nice.

  2. #2
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    I originally thought this sort of game would be cool. There's another similar one for PC that's a sorta wipeout-ish racer game. Forgot the name.

    It really depends on the kind of music you put into it though, and even then it's a little spotty. I threw some of my own tracks that I made into it and some of them "felt" right and some were just perplexing. In general, it's really hit or miss, and even when Beat Hazard "hits" it feels a little off to me.

    I still want to see someone take this general concept and do something really great with it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    I still want to see someone take this general concept and do something really great with it.
    Yeah, there's definitely a Really Awesome game somewhere in this concept. This one's certainly not perfect.

    Still enjoying it, though. Two recommendations from The Slip: Demon Seed isn't great all the way through, but I loved what happened during the breakdown bit - one of the big worm bosses spawned right beforehand, and it took me about until the song comes back in to kill the thing. Also, The Four of Us Are Dying was pretty great. I'll also recommend Skinny Puppy's Cult and Jahya.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    I originally thought this sort of game would be cool. There's another similar one for PC that's a sorta wipeout-ish racer game. Forgot the name.

    It really depends on the kind of music you put into it though, and even then it's a little spotty. I threw some of my own tracks that I made into it and some of them "felt" right and some were just perplexing. In general, it's really hit or miss, and even when Beat Hazard "hits" it feels a little off to me.

    I still want to see someone take this general concept and do something really great with it.
    Audiosurf is the one you are thinking of. I really dig that one, it works well with most songs I've tried.

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