Home | News | Reviews | Previews | Hardware
Score: 94%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Harmonix
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Miscellaneous/ Rhythm

Graphics & Sound:
Amplitude is then next 'level' of gaming for Frequency lovers out there. The 'Freqs' - characters that act as your avatar in the game - are now 3D, and are highly customizable. At the beginning of the game, you have a good number of choices and tweaks to make the Freq of your choice, but as you progress through Amplitude's levels, you'll gain new characters and customization items to trick out your Freq. (Believe me - there's a lot to choose from...) As for the game itself, the tracks are quite beautiful - in a techno disco sort of way. There's a futuristic 'neon' feel to the tracks and there are monitors scattered throughout the tracks that are playing the music video for the song you're playing. The tracks are quite beautiful, but you'll have to watch someone else play to be able to appreciate them. If you're playing, you'll be too busy trying to keep the rhythm going.

As good as the graphics are in Amplitude, the point of the game is the music - and Amplitude doesn't hold back there; you'll be playing tunes by David Bowie, Blink 182, pink, P.O.D., Run-DMC, Garbage, Quarishi, DJ HMX, Weezer, Slipknot, BT, Papa Roach, Manchild, Symbion Project, Akrobatik, Game Boyz, Komputer Kontroller, Herbie Hancock, Mix Master Mike, Production Club, Chris Child, Mellissa R. Kaplan, Cosmonaut Zero, Dieselboy, Logan 7, The Baldwin Brothers Mekon, Roxanne Shante and my favorite - Freezepop (which I discovered when I played Frequency). The tunes are great, with songs such as Baseline, Boom!, Cherry Lips (Go Baby Bo!), Cool Baby, Dope Nose, Everyone Says 'Hi' (Metro Remix), I am Hated, Kimosabe, King of Rock, M-80 (Explosive Energy Movement), Nitro Narcosis, Out The Box, Push, Respect, Robot Rockerz, The Rock Show, Rockit2.002, RockStar, Shades of Blue, Spaztik, Subculture, Synthesized, Uptown Saturday Night, Urban Tumbleweed, What's Going on? and Super-Spr0de. If you don't know the songs, don't worry about it; it's good stuff.

If you liked Frequency, you'll love Amplitude; it's a natural extension of Frequency - more better goodness... If you haven't played Frequency, go play it! Now! No, seriously! It's an excellent game. It would be possible to jump straight in to Amplitude without playing Frequency, but Amplitude has some very difficult parts in the higher levels.

The general idea behind Amplitude is that you're in a flying craft (of some sort) that flies above a track with multiple lanes. Each of these lanes is populated with 'dots' that are either on the left side, the middle, or the right side of the lane. In order to make a score (and thereby progress), you have to use the corresponding buttons on your controller to 'shoot' the dots at the correct time. The dots represent part of a song and that part is played when you successfully shoot the dot. Shoot enough of them on the same lane without making a mistake, and that lane will continue to play until the end of that section. Then move to the next lane and do it again. Make too many mistakes in a row and you'll run out of energy and lose that try. So... try, try again...

In addition to this simple sounding formula, there's different power-ups that help you on your way and multiple modes to choose from, including Solo, Duel, Remix Mode, Multiplayer (up to 4) and Online Modes. If you like these types of rhythm games, Amplitude can be quite addictive.

As I mentioned above, it is probably a wise move to play Frequency before trying Amplitude. There is a training mode in Amplitude, along with several different modes of difficulty. Even so, Amplitude definitely has some insanely difficult tracks at the higher levels. This is, I suppose, appropriate, since the highest level of difficulty is called 'Insane'. The four difficulty levels are: Mellow, Normal, Brutal and Insane. Mellow is not a breeze, and Normal is a bit harder. Insane, however is quite truly 'insane'.

Game Mechanics:
The most important thing about a rhythm game is that the rhythm be correct. That might sound weird to those who never had the problem, but if you ever play a rhythm game that is slightly off so you have to either lead a bit or hesitate a bit to get credit for making the hit, you'd agree that it hurts the gameplay immensely. Luckily, Amplitude has perfect timing - although it has some rather interesting rhythms at times. The online play and remix depository is a nice feature, but I prefer playing with an adversary in the same room.

The only part that left something to be desired was the remix mode. I enjoyed the way the remix mode was handled in Frequency better, and still have a couple of my remixes saved to a memory card. I liked the fact that I could play them with the jukebox feature in Frequency, something which seems to be unsupported in Amplitude.

All in all, Amplitude is an excellent game and a nice addition to any rhythm game lover's library... not to mention the 'must have' sequel to Frequency.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

This site best viewed in Internet Explorer 6 or higher or Firefox.