What else can I say but "WE DID IT!" Amplitude officially released today after being crowdfunded by fans worldwide on Kickstarter back in May of 2014. Many fans have been anticipating the release of a new game in the FreQuency and Amplitude series and the time has finally come. I am one of those fans as I have been playing the FreQ/Amp series since the network adapter released for the PlayStation 2 in August of 2002.
Amplitude is a rhythm-action game developed by Harmonix and is the third game in the series. The original games FreQuency and Amplitude(2003)released on the PlayStation 2 and were the beginning to Harmonix's legacy in the gaming industry and to the rhythm genre. The new Amplitude for PlayStation 4 is a continuation of that legacy as Amplitude has far exceeded my expectations.
Never played Amplitude? Check out this video to learn how to play!
The gameplay of Amplitude is pretty simple as in you match corresponding note gems to specific buttons to complete a musical phrase of an instrument channel. After capturing a full phrase the music automatically plays for that channel and then you can move over to another instrument. As you progress through the song you are constantly keeping all the instruments playing to hear the complete song. The challenging part of Amplitude is the transition from one instrument to the next and keeping a streak, which is where the points lie. If you keep your streak you build a higher multiplier to score more points. The leaderboards are a nice addition to the game to keep you coming back to challenge your friends or your rivals.
Single Player Campaign
The most important aspect of any rhythm/music game is the soundtrack and this is by far one of the best soundtracks as far as gameplay, style, musicality, and sound. I distinctly remember the joke of turning your Amp up to level eleven for the original Guitar Hero but if you do that with this new Amplitude you will bust your speakers! The music pumps so loud that you will feel like you are a part of the music and not just playing along to it. The great thing about this rendition of Amplitude is the concept album which tells a story through the single player campaign. You must wake Sarah from her comatose state. It a way the story is terrifying because score too low through the campaign and the patient remains comatose. Luckily the concept album music gets better every time you play through the music.
Fan favorites Symbion Project, Freezepop, Kodomo, Naoko Takamoto, and Inter:sect make a return to the new Amplitude. It is interesting to hear how each artist has evolved since Amplitude for the PlayStation 2 was released. We also have new Harmonix music artists such as Jeff Allen, James Landino, and Noelle LeBlanc who all bring the classic Amplitude feel in a new way musically. The string and vocal tracks were the most interesting additions to the texture of the music. It is also important to note the artists who supported the game enough to get their song into the game. These artists are Insomniac Games, Single White Infidel, Michiru Yamane, and Wolfgun . With a soundtrack that has it all the only thing that can make it better is more tracks to play to from each one of these fine artists.
Visually you will be enthralled by how magnificent the art style is for this game. Every single little detail of the art blends with the music symbiotically to keep you entranced for hours. The background textures dance to the music in an elegant yet organic way. The lighting effects make me want to get up and dance. There is even a part of the art style that goes along with the story but I'll let you experience that first hand.
Four Player Free-For-All Multiplayer battles are intense!
There are a couple of local multiplayer options such as up to four-player free-for-all in which you use powerups against your opponents to score the highest points. There is also a new local team play mode where you can participate in 2vs2 or 3vs1 battles to play cooperatively against the other team for the highest score. The multiplayer aspect of Amplitude is incredible and I highly recommend you teaching your friends how to play this game. The multiplayer battles can be fierce but they are exciting to play.
Work Cooperatively in Team Play for the highest score.
There is something that puts Amplitude on a different level than other games. You are literally building a song from the ground up and each track is separated by instrument. Listening to each track and seeing how it fits into a part of the song really opens up the ears and the mind. Building the music with your friends in Amplitude is even more exhilarating. I say that because even after fourteen years of playing FreQuency and Amplitude I still keep in contact with friends that I have made online. In fact we just met DJ KNAI and Modo for the first time in person this past weekend and it was if we knew each other since childhood. I'm sure there are other video games out there that have this same effect on people but Amplitude just does it for me!
Try Amplitude out for yourself. I feel all gamers will enjoy this game especially if you liked Guitar Hero or Rockband. It is challenging yet fun and once you get into the expert difficulty it is such a thrill ride. There is a free demo on the PlayStation Store so you can try it out and if you like it the game is only $19.99! If you still are on the fence about Amplitude check out DJ KNAI's latest AmpliTuesday below for a second opinion. We feel the new Amplitude is the most addicting rhythm game we have ever played!
DJ KNAI gives his thoughts on the new Amplitude in his latest AmpliTuesday!
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