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Game Review: Beat Hazard Ultra

Of course this site started off purely as a music site and has spread over into my love of games too. Now games that combine the two have my interested piqued from the get go. Everyone knows my love for Audiosurf and Rhythm Zone which play your own music collection on the PC which is where Beat Hazard originally game from. Finally making it over to the console market, Beat Hazard Ultra has been given a good polish up and is vastly improved as a result.

Beat Hazard Ultra’s is a relatively simple twin stick shooter but by using the music on your playstation (and not sadly from an external hard drive which I tried to plug in via USB) the enemies that appear revolve around the music you’re playing. If there’s a nutty guitar solo in a rock track, expect the screen to flood with plenty of enemies to take down. During the quiet moments expect a few meteors to fly about. It’s not just the enemies that are effected either because early on in the game, so is your fire power. This is changed by collecting power ups which increase the volume of your weapons (it’s ability to shoot further) and its power to shoot more. If you have both on full pelt at the right time you’ll trigger a Beat Hazard where a huge enemy will pop out.

Central to the game is the XP and perks section. Beat Hazard Ultra is all about the score and as you level up from your score being converted to experience points, each time you level up you can unlock a new perk to alter the game which you can then buy and equip a certain amount. Most perks are upgradable with money found as power ups in the game. These range to adding extra weapons to your arsenal or improving your current ones, adding score multiplier rainfalls and unlocking insane difficulty levels. All add significant replay value.

The controls are very well done although a little heavy to get used to at first but after two or three songs you’ve got it and everything is smooth from there, such is the graphics which are fit inducing if you stare too long! There is multiplayer but I’ve yet to test it out.

Positives

~Endless twin stick replay value if you have a large music collection

~Good game mechanics

~Potentially endless value for money

Negatives

~Online leaderboards appear broken

~Not a wide selection of enemies

Conclusion

Although the game itself is very basic, adding your own music is still genius and fresh hours in. I’d like to have seen a lot more enemies and that’s really the big downfall as I hope the online leaderboards will become for me what the leaderboards for say Audiosurf, Turba and so on have become – a constant fight to stay on top.

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