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Sound Shapes

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Description

Sound Shapes is a 2D platformer where the environments and the challenges are built in harmony with music. The player controls a yellow blob with a beady eye that can jump around and cling to walls similar to Super Meat Boy. It is however able to always stick to walls permanently and also hang upside down. Next to movement, controls include jumping, speed up, and unstick. The goal in the game to complete levels based on platform jumping challenges and avoid all red elements in the environment.

The twist is that all levels are built up around soundtracks by famous musicians. Levels starts with a very basic sound, but when the character moves through it notes can be collected that open up more elements of the soundtrack. The animation and level design is changed dynamically to pick up on all the musical elements. Some of these are merely aesthetic, but other influence the fundamentals of the environment. A certain sound causes an element to glow, bumping the character. A vocal sound can provide a temporary platform until is no longer sung, a large bass can fill up the environment with a mountain of red etc. Elements from the lyrics are also used. For instance when the word "turn" is sung, it can cause an element to turn, and "break" causes an element to fall apart. As more notes are collected, the later parts of levels get progressively harder because of the amount of elements to take into account. Threats and opportunities become apparent through sound to determine the timing of actions, rather than only relying on the visual elements. When dead because of a red element, the character immediately respawns. There are checkpoints to save progress. It also incorporates puzzle elements where items can be moved around and platforms can be manipulated.

The main campaign consists of five albums with three to five levels each. Environments often have a different theme adapted to the general atmosphere of a song. Some of these are city rooftops, a factory, an office, an 8-bit dream world, a frozen wasteland, piloting a spaceship or swimming through water. The artists contributing songs include Beck, deadmau5, I Am Robot and Proud, and Jim Guthrie. Songs are not entirely linear; they are based on variations of arrangements and often different for each game session. Additional game modes are included after completing the game. These include Death Mode where a certain amount of coins needs to be picked up with a time limit in each level, and Beat School where a sequence of beats needs to be recreated.

Players can create custom levels through the Edit mode. It offers a grid-based music sequencer that also acts as a level editor. Included parameters are tempo, key and scale type. For the Vita the touch pad can be used to place items in the sequencer. All art and audio assets from the game are available to remix and mash up. Levels can be shared with other players and downloaded from a central community hub. Further assets such as sound and terrain packs are available through an in-game music shop as commercial DLC. The game is offered for both platforms with a single purchase and community creations are available regardless of the originating platform.

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The Press Says

Jeuxvideo.com PS Vita Aug 22, 2012 17 out of 20 85
Jeuxvideo.com PlayStation 3 Aug 22, 2012 17 out of 20 85
Gamesbeat PS Vita Aug 10, 2012 83 out of 100 83
4Players.de PlayStation 3 Aug 13, 2012 83 out of 100 83
4Players.de PS Vita Aug 13, 2012 83 out of 100 83
Retro Spirit Games PlayStation 3 Feb 14, 2013 8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars 80

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Contributed to by Sciere (268235)