#538 Amplitude

Posted: 3rd May 2020 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

865th played so far

Genre: Music
Platform: Playstation 2
Year of Release: 2003
Developer: Harmonix
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

I’m playing Amplitude a bit out of order – I should probably be playing Frequency first, but it’s one of those thigns where it didn’t work out that way today. I guess it makes sense to keep doing them backwards though, as we’ve played Harmonix’ bigger, more successful later games first – when we played both Guitar Hero and Rock Band, both series they created. Those games obviously build on what was set up in these games, which will make for an interesting comparison.

Our Thoughts

Although those instrument games look similar to Amplitude, they actually play quite differently. Instead of jamming with different buttons, you have to switch between lanes, pushing one of three buttons at the right time as you go along. Do it for enough time and you finish the lane, letting the associated instrument play on its own for a while as you move to another lane. The dynamic track adjusts as each instrument comes in as well, which makes for a neat experience that feels more impactful than the instrument games do. There’s a buzz to getting all the instruments going at once and hearing the full track, but I also got my favourites to get going – vocals matter more than a second guitar (and often gets easier).

The entire thing is, of course, rhythm based, but feeling the track come in quite obviously makes the flow feel a lot more natural. It feels possible, if not easy to be succesful and while getting full marks isn’t easy, getting high enough marks felt achievable quite early on.

There’s one place where I really moved away from the defaults though. The three lanes are selected using three shoulder buttons (or rather, two buttons and a trigger). They may sound nice so it’s easy to connect to all of them, but it’s quite difficult to really keep track of that. The alternative, using square, triangle and circle, works a lot better even if it’s not necessarily as quick to switch. It works well enough for how I played.

Final Thoughts

I think that for how I play, Amplitude is not just better, but is actually a more fun game than the Guitar Hero/Rock Band series. It’s more immediate, gives better feedback, and the variation gives you a chance to succeed at most times. It’s been a lot of fun as a game I’ll keep around for later.

  1. […] library in reverse – first the Rock Band franchise, then early Guitar Hero, recently Amplitude and now it’s time for their very first game. I’ve seen how the different games […]