Game of the week #9/2011 – Beat Hazard

It’s been a while since writing the last “Game of the week” report and the reason for this is simple. I was playing lots of AAA titles during the last weeks and I just don’t wanted to give reviews on games thousands of websites also report about. So, this week I’ll introduce you to a title that uses the classic gameplay schema of the good old “Asteroids” combined with a little touch of modern music games. Well, actually, it is an “Asteroids” game but it differs from its predecessor. The name of the game is “Beat Hazard” and its ingeniousness comes from a very simple component, the level design, or better said, the way how you experience the level depends on the music you chose.

It’s pretty similar to a game like “Audiosurf”, you chose the music. The game calculates the level design depending on your currently chosen title. If you chose a quiet song the level is going to be a relaxed one. If you chose a thrash metal song or some techno music with a fast beat the whole things turns out a little bit more hectic. A pretty cool feature is that the fire rate of your space ship you’re controlling also depends on the current mood of the song. So if you enter a boss battle for example and the music is getting slower your fire rate will be low, too.

In this case the game also gets a little tactical and claims some planning. The easiest way to survive things like this are mainly kiting, but in the matter of a boss battle you can only try to “hide” as good as you can. It was also curious to see that pretty normal songs like Top 40 stuff turns out to be much harder than the fast and brutal metal songs I’ve tried. Classical music is an absolute no-no because you’ll die of boredom by playing with this kind of music. Everything up tempo is fine but as soon as the beat rate drops the game also gets some kind of lame.

“Beat Hazard” is a blast to your eyes. I can’t remember any game being that full of colours and flashes and explosions and things appearing on the screen. It’s weird during the first ten to fifteen minutes, but if you’ve managed to finally get into it and if you’re not suffering of epilepsy you sure can handle this game. I always find it a good thing when you are able to put something of your own into a game and “playing” your own music is definitely a lot of fun.

Links: Official website

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