Any game that allows me innovative use of my music has me hooked. Following on from where Beat Hazard effectively left off, Symphony takes music generated shooters and gives it one hell of a polishing.
Symphony comes with a collection of music to play through to get you going via its story mode where you are stopping a virus from taking over your music. He’s been turning the music into enemies that’ll swarm, fire bullets and generally try to take down your ship. Your ship is customisable. Initially with forward facing guns, you’ll be trying to complete the tracks and collecting big notes left behind from each fleet of enemies disposed of. These notes dramatically improve both your score and your weapons arsenal. You see the crux is at the songs end, if you’ve done well, you’ll be unlocking all kinds of upgrades or new weapons that seem to be generated from the song itself. That weapon then is attributed to that song and stays open for equipping once you’ve bought it with your note currency.
I always found Beat Hazards stumbling block was its complete lack of variety with enemies and while Symphony isn’t teeming with different types there’s more here than its rivals and it has boss songs too that give things extra drama. As you progress and level up your ship you’ll also be unlocking new difficulty levels too which seem to give you more to shoot at along the way. The graphics are sumptuous and there’s a general retro neon glow that exudes over the whole thing making it warm and inviting. There’s no slow down when things get busy either.
Like Audiosurf, Rhythm Zone and Beat Hazard there’s leader boards for each song and hopefully over time these will populate happily to make things more competitive from that edge. I have only come across one problem so far stability wise and that’s when it scans my music library, mine is quite large and it crashes the game to desktop each time and so I recommend going album by album just to be safe.
~The sole forward facing music generated shooter so auto-leads the genre
~Potentially limitless replay value if you have a big music collection
~Hours of fun customising your ship for your own playing style
~Online leader boards galore
~Keep your importing of your own mp3′s down to small manageable chunks (although its far quicker than Rhythm Zone!)
I hope the community take to Symphony as well as I have. This is certainly up there with Audiosurf, Rhythm Zone and I feel is a step higher than Beat Hazard to make it as part of the big trio of music generated games on the PC. Awesome from start to never end!