The Final Say!
Amplitude - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: November 2003
Review Score 9.5/10
Distributed By: Sony
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Amplitude is the sequel to the highly popular game called Frequency that firmly established itself as the only definitive musical game to grace the PlayStation 2. As with all good sequels, developers Harmonix have decided to up the stake with new gameplay features that include online multiplayer fun and of course a variety of new visual musical feats.
The concept behind Amplitude is pure ingenious and is basically a rhythm game that requires the upmost coordination from all gamers if they are to be successful on this title. Amplitude is a game that uses music to its full advantage and unlike Frequency, the gameplay environment has been totally revamped.
You basically control a beat-blaster or a futuristic spacecraft that moves along a musical road and as you blast notes, the music keeps playing. Things start to really heat up when you need to ensure that all aspects of the song continue to play without stopping. By moving your craft over different rows, you in essence, create a song by shooting the right notes at the right time.
These rows are divided into musical categories that match up with the various beats of the songs such as the bass, drums, guitars, synthetiser and the vocals through the use of markers. Once these markers reach the bottom of the screen, the gamer must then select the right button on the DualShock controller to keep the rhythm of the music playing. Once you have completed a row, you can then move onto another section of the song until you have your own musical masterpiece. Be warned however, if you miss a marker, your life force soon drops and once it reaches zero, it is game over. Fortunately there are checkpoints in the game that replenishes your health.
The control system of Amplitude is a little fiddly but after a few attempts, you should have mastered the basic concept of this interesting title. Fortunately, the developers have given the gamers a choice of two different control systems that include either the L1, R1 and R2 buttons or the Square, Triangle and Circle buttons on the DualShock controller to navigate your way through the music. Whereas the X button is used to deploy your various powers in the world of Amplitude. The powerups in Amplitude help increase the fun factor of this game and each powerup performs a different feature such as the slo mo that reduces the speed of the song or free styler that gives you a different perspective on the song that you are trying to complete.
The multiplayer mode of Amplitude is a little strange at first but after playing four different people at once, it is a great addition to the genre. You can either compete against your friends in a normal game to see who scores the most points or dual them in a match of music by blasting different notes to each player. There is also a remix mode that allows players to create their own musical renditions of the songs that are included in the game and you can really create some personal masterpieces from this feature. Amplitude also supports online play, provided you have the official Sony network adapter and of course a broadband modem.
Although Amplitude doesn't focus too strongly on the graphics, the game features a variety of colourful gaming environments that are filled with special effects and colour coded musical notes so things don't become too distracting. You can also design your own "avatar" or character in the world of Amplitude to either personalise your own appearance of to create something totally wild. The backgrounds also feature various music videos to help spruce up the gaming environment but unfortunately many of these features are lost because you are too busy concentrating on the game.
Amplitude also contains a variety of different musical styles that include top names such as a David Bowie, Blink 182, Pink, P.O.D., Run-Dmc, Garbage, Weezer and Quarashi who are just a few of the bands that grace this game and really helps increase the atmosphere of this title. The music of Amplitude is quite simple phenomenal!
Amplitude is a great game and proves that sports, first person shooters and RPG's are not the only games that are available on the PlayStation 2. Be warned though, Amplitude is highly addictive and you will be playing this game non-stop in an attempt to create some musical masterpieces. With awesome sound, sound very interesting graphics, Amplitude is one of the most original games to be released this year. Check it out!
- Andrew B
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