Amplitude Review

The day I received Amplitude, I sat at my Playstation 2 and played for four hours straight. Through burning eyes, I had finished normal mode. Now, a few days later, I’ve almost completed Brutal, and have only completed about three songs on Insane. They’ve done it again – the good people over at Harmonix and Sony have released another addicting rhythm game for the Playstation 2. The first one was known as Frequency, a game that placed you in a hexagonal tunnel of music. Your job was to press a button as a musical note passed through the corresponding target, causing the note to be played. Various power-ups and difficulty settings made it more interesting…but enough about Frequency.

If it’s your first time playing a game of this nature, I highly recommend going through the training. At first, Amplitude can be very confusing and very frustrating, but go through the training and start on an easier difficulty setting. Amplitude is played exactly like Frequency, where you press the assigned buttons at the right time to release “musical energy.” Advanced training will teach you how power-ups work, how to get them, and how to use them. The rest is up to practice.

After training, you’re ready to tackle the levels. Amplitude is broken up into areas that hold three songs and two bonus songs in each. The first bonus song (or “Boss” song) is unlocked after completing the three regular songs. The second bonus song is unlocked after accumulating a certain amount of points total within the area.

As you complete areas, the areas to follow become increasingly difficult. Towards the end, the songs are considerably more difficult than the ones you started with. This is nice because you’re slowly getting better as you progress. By the time you finish a certain difficulty, you’re ready to start the next one.

Gameplay: 9.5

Amplitude runs and plays flawlessly smooth. The enhanced visuals help guide you through the song while making it more enjoyable overall. Plus, with all the new gameplay modes, Amplitude has definitely evolved since Frequency.

Graphics: 9.8

The graphics are a huge improvement from the first. The backgrounds are more colorful and detailed, the notes are bigger and brighter, and the entire level reacts to your button presses.

Sound: 8.9

No one is going to like every song on Amplitude. Since they tried to appeal to all audiences there’s a wide variety of tunes. Also, on certain songs the audio seems unbalanced; certain channels may seem louder than the others, drowning out the vocals, guitar, etc.

Difficulty: Medium

The difficulty stays pretty constant throughout the entire game. You have the choice of Mellow, Normal, Brutal, or Insane. Pick wisely…even veteran Frequency players may have trouble with Brutal. All it takes is practice, and anyone can master their favorite song on Amplitude.

Concept: 9

Even though it’s the same concept as Frequency, it still is one of the most unique games on the market. It may seem like another Dance Dance Revolution spin-off at first glance but given a closer look one will realize that it’s much different. In Amplitude, you actually make the music.

Multiplayer: 9.5

The excitement and intensity that comes with playing Amplitude online is hard to find anywhere else. Not only do you have to try and complete the song, but you also have to watch your back for attacks from other players.

Overall: 9.7

It’s very unfortunate that Amplitude will not reach as many people as it should. Just like Frequency, it is overlooked for not having guns, babes, or a killer story. Amplitude is one of the most involving, intense, and addicting games I have played in a long time. Anyone with a PS2 should play this game.

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