In the first few years of the PlayStation 2’s lifespan, two musical rythym games named Frequency and Amplitude were released by Rock Band developers Harmonix. Although both games received widespread critical acclaim, the series fell into obscurity until last year, when Harmonix decided to reboot the series through KickStarter. The campaign was an amazing success, and the fruits of their labours were released last week on PlayStation 4. The only question that remains, is the new Amplitude a sound that will be remembered, or will it be forgotten like the B Side from a one hit wonder on the other side of the cassette?
Like many rhythm action games, Amplitude is simple to learn and difficult to master. After choosing a Beat Blaster ship, the player must ride along a set of pathways that move in relation to the speed of the song. Each pathway represents a piece of the music track, such as the Drums, Vocals, Synth or Bass. When you have selected a track, you must destroy the note gems with correctly timed presses of either the shoulder or face buttons. Once you have cleared a certain amount of gems from a pathway, it will temporarily disappear, and that element of the track will play until the note gems return. No matter which difficulty you choose, the task of ensuring that each track plays perfectly, and obtaining a large combo is highly addictive. In my opinion, this approach is much more engaging than the Rock Band series. This is of course with the possible exception of Rock Band Unplugged for mobile devices, and Rock Band Blitz released on the PS3 and Xbox 360, which were Amplitude in all but name.