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

From Zero to Zen

Finally I am a proud owner of a Creative Zen X-Fi2 MP3 player. As you may know, the jack on my Sony Ericsson mobile is broke and I was not able to listen to music while wandering around or suffering in the gym. Due to the fact that I couldn’t really live like this I decided to gather every single cent and buy me a new MP3 player. A new mobile wouldn’t have made any sense because I do not actually use a mobile phone for telephoning though.

What shall I say, I really like this Zen player. The sound is awesome, as usual by Creative products. It’s easy to understand and to handle and does not include too many useless functions. One thing I am not very familiar with is the touch screen but this is reasonable because it’s my first MP3 player with touch screen.

zazen by Vanishing-S

I listened to different kinds of music from AC/DC to Wolfmother, from Chemical Brothers to The Prodigy and everything sounded well and absolutely clear and in general much better than I personally expected. The X-Fi processor does a great job and does not sounds too artificial or alienates the music. Yes, this player was a good investment and I look forward to my next longer trip by train accompied by the wonderful sound of ZEN…

Def in the end

It started as a small disease and it finally ended in an huge desaster. The jack for my ear-phones on my mobile is broke. This is a catastrophy without measurable dimensions. I do not use my mobile for phone calls or SMS or whatever, its main function is MUSIC. When I went to work, I listened to music. When I was riding the train to good old Berlin, I listened to music. When I was off to gym, I listened to music.

I dread of the thought on my next session in gym without my personal music collection. Damn it, I’ll have to listen to mainstream pop music and have to hear the senseless conversations of brainless muscle zombies walking around me.

It seems as if I has to use my phone for what it was built originally – phoning and communicating. And some SMS. I’ll have to wait for at least this year’s october to get a new phone and till now I am not sure, how to handle this situation. Creative Zen? Phone repair? A new expensive walkman mobile? I don’t f*#@ing know…