Top Critic Average
The original Amplitude broke this ground over 10 years ago, but the world just wasn't ready. Maybe in 2016 people will be more open to the idea of finding the music inside themselves.
Amplitude is a good time whether you are playing alone or with friends, since the game adjusts to whoever's playing. Single-player is about being precise and focused, asking that you use your power-ups wisely and mantain your streak. Harmonix has also included a little treat — FreQ mode. In this mode, it's basically like you're playing Frequency again. You can't play online, but the options in the local play are robust. Four-player free-for-all quickplay encourages competition, using your power-ups to attack other players. Cooperative and team-based play offer further options for enjoying Amplitude with your friends, and it's really fun to feel like you and your friends are making your own music.
The new game is full of fantastic modern electronic tracks. Sadly there are no big licensed artists to be found, but there are plenty of Harmonix favorites like Freezepop and Symbion Project. My favorite tracks include Perfect Brain, Dalatecht, and Crystal.
Improved lane-hopping controls and fun multiplayer make this a blast to play, but it's as an interactive music album where new Amplitude really shines. You need to experience it.
Suffice it to say, Amplitude may not be a perfect game that includes every single thing a fan of the previous games could want, but it certainly met my high overall expectations. It's not often that I find myself "buying in" to a crowdsourced project, and rarer still that I would spend more than the typical cost of a game on one, but I'm definitely pleased with the result of doing so this time around.
Amplitude manages to be both a throwback, and as relevant as ever. This feels like a Harmonix with the shackles off, free to unleash their creative side onto the rhythm-action genre once again. With its initial simplicity, mesmerising visuals, and a great marriage of music to game mechanics, Harmonix have given the world a better Amplitude. One that is simply a superb title.
It's nice to see that Harmonix can still keep the beat going, even after the commercial success of Rock Band 4. Amplitude may not be as big a game as that is, but it's still a terrific experience, whether you go it alone or bring some friends into the fray. The soundtrack, while more "indie"-based, is a blast, and the gameplay delivers all the goodness we've come to expect from the brand. Now then, how's that HD port of Frequency coming along…?
Amplitude is a pseudo remake, funded through Kickstarter, of the title homonym of PS2 released in 2003, which laid the foundations for music and rhythm games to become massive in the West.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Easy to pick up and play, Amplitude is a must-have for gamers who love rhythm/music games. Local multiplayer and various difficulty settings make Amplitude excellent value for money, though a lack of online multiplayer or additional DLC hurts long-term longevity.
Amplitude is a solid remix of the original that should win over longtime fans as well as new players who want to explore a fresh version of a game that brought Harmonix into prominence. The track list could have been fuller in terms of quantity and genre variety, but the gameplay remains challenging, crisp, and energetic. Put on a pair of quality headphones, and Amplitude is worth every note.
Amplitude hits both highs and lows, but is the kind of score-hunting, high difficulty challenge that rhythm fans will love if they're looking for something fresh. A solid revival for a pillar of the genre.
As a faithful fan of both FreQuency and Amplitude, I'm satisfied with the reboot Harmonix has so lovingly crafted, but as a much different product than the loud, raucous Amplitude I fell in love with as a teenager. I won't keep returning to this Amplitude like I do the 2004 version despite enjoying the soundtrack because it lacks the same kind of replay value for me, but as its own being it absolutely stands on its own feet as a music title evocative of games like Rez or Child of Eden. If you're looking for the next evolution of classic rhythm gaming, this is it...let's just get some additional tracks added into the fold in the future.
Amplitude is a labor of love, polished to a beautiful shine and put into fans' hands by a developer that truly cares about the experience they are offering in revisiting this cult classic. Despite its clean exterior and simple, yet fun gameplay, I fear many will be rather quickly turned away by the steep difficulty curve and a track list that is only good, not great.
In the end, Amplitude isn't quite the masterpiece that many had expected. The idea of a concept album for the Campaign mode is good, but the execution has too many interruptions that prevent the concept from being fully realized. Also, the idea for song unlocks is good considering the game only has 30+ to choose from, but some of the unlocking requirements aren't good incentives to keep playing. On the other hand, the gameplay is fun and interesting for the rhythm genre, and the song selection is very good for fans of electronic music. Fans of rhythm games should check it out.
Controller incongruities aside, Amplitude works as both a look at what rhythm games used to be and as testbed for some interesting new ideas (even if they don't all work). It doesn't offer a new instrument you can pretend to play or change how we think about music games, but it doesn't have to do any of that. It's content to give you a solid, lasting sense of satisfaction from pushing buttons in the right order and hearing some good music.
Amplitude is a fascinating rhythm'n game, that focuses on hardcore electronic music. But it gives the player the somewhat unsatisfying feeling to have to catch up with music, rather than "creating" it.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Amplitude won't take over your Rock Band party nights, but it might be quirky enough to give you a few evenings of trippy, challenging button mashing. If you enjoy music games, give it a try.
In order to keep this already long-winded review from balooning further, I'll simply sum it up at this: while Amplitude doesn't do much in the way of innovation, it does offer the strongest gameplay in the franchise thus far in terms of challenge. However, the weak track selection, questionable visual design choices and semi-botched implementation of the franchise's best gameplay methods add up to a very lackluster experience. I would be upset if I backed this on Kickstarter, not because I didn't get a good game out of the deal — which Amplitude certainly is, for sure — but rather, that the game doesn't seem as inspired as the labors of love that preceded it, which causes this particular pony to look like it's not even capable of doing its one trick nearly as well as it used to.
Amplitude hasn't got the high-profile tracks or acts to make it as a blockbuster music game, but it has got the gameplay chops, the visuals and the soundtrack to make it as hypnotic, score-attack arcade game. On that level it's still a little short on long-term appeal, but as accomplished and horribly addictive as anything Harmonix has produced.
Amplitude brings the series back in a great way, featuring all the arcade rhythm action that players will remember from the 2003 classic. However, the song choices here are woefully inadequate compared to previous offerings, dragging the whole thing down quite a bit.
This is a game clearly made for long-standing fans, and made by a passionate team that strived to recreate the gameplay experience of the original on modern hardware. In that sense, Amplitude is a total success. The way that the game draws you in with its psychedelic visuals, how your brain switches off and your fingers become one with your DualShock, the satisfying way that the tracks disintegrate when you clear them – it's all here. If you can forgive the game's problems, you're left with a very solid rhythm game, and an experience that's as fresh today as it was 13 years ago.
Overall Amplitude's return is an enjoyable one, though the game's campaign set-list has just as many tracks that would clear the dancefloor as fill it. Thankfully, the additional tracks that you unlock through play are much stronger, and will particularly appeal to fans of indie game soundtracks and their composers. However, fans of the original will likely still hanker after more variation to the included styles and genres no matter how hypnotic the action is.
Looking and playing very similarly to the 2003 original, the new Amplitude packs a thumping good progressive electronica soundtrack which suits its slick and nicely polished gameplay perfectly. Where the game does fall a little flat is in its lasting appeal. It doesn't take long to beat the campaign and unlock almost all of its tracks, and once you've done that, the leaderboards are the only place where a long-term challenge can be found.
While some more star power in the soundtrack would have went a long way, and the way Harmonix artificially pads the game's length with its song unlock requirements is ridiculous, Amplitude remains an exciting blend of rhythm action and electronica that does well by its predecessors.
Amplitude is a game trapped in the PS2's past but brought back through the developers' passion. There really isn't any innovation in this version, but it's not expensive so a lot can be overlooked. This game works best at a college dorm party or somewhere with lots of friends. But there's little more to do once everyone has gone home.
Despite its improved HD veneer and tweaked controls, I just didn't find the Amplitude of 2016 to be as addictive or long-lasting an experience as the Amplitude of 2003. I had some fun with it for as long as it took to play through its hypnotic campaign and unlock all its tracks in the quickplay mode, but the samey soundtrack and meagre selection of modes meant that I had little motivation to return to it thereafter. Committed high score-chasers will probably stick around in an effort to top the online leaderboards since the challenge is most certainly still there, but for everyone else Amplitude will likely feel like a commendable cover of a classic, but a mere cover all the same.
Amplitude is a labor of love on its creator's part. What it has to offer is a testament to Harmonix's mastery of the genre: Its simple yet deeply challenging gameplay and psychedelic graphics have been honed to near-perfection, and each distinct part of every song carries its own, faithful patterns and challenges. The critical flaw is that there's simply not enough content to go around.
In the end, though, Amplitude is a bit of a disappointment. It plays well enough and it's awfully slick-looking, but the lack of a diverse array of songs really puts a damper on the experience. And this isn't merely subjective; as starkly different songs result in drastically different note patterns on the tracks, and even how the tracks are set up, this lack of music variety impacts the gameplay as well.
Amplitude is a competent rhythm game that should provide lots of fun at parties, but the hamstrung tracklist is a severe detriment to its longevity. Harmonix was able to preserve the classic experience, but may have gone overboard in its effort to do so.
So, overall the gameplay of Amplitude has been quickly and easily transported to the new generation, with some nice new touches added in by Harmonix. Gamers who loved the original will be re-addicted quite quickly, but one thing will nag at the back of their mind the whole time, and that is that the songs brought in the new version of Amplitude are simply not up to par with what we've seen before.
Amplitude does a solid little job of bringing back a Harmonix classic in mechanical terms, and it can be a fun distraction in small doses, but it just doesn't provide enough to sustain itself or its audience. With an expanded setlist, more genres outside of generic electronica, and some actual memorable songs, this could have been something special.
Amplitude has the potential to be a great game, but the lack of innovation of the formula and the rather lackluster tracklist keep the game from ever being more than simply ‘okay’. For its retail price there’s a decent amount of content, but there is simply no incentive to invest a lot of time into it in a single session. Perhaps if Harmonix ever decides to expand upon the experience with DLC or a potential sequel Amplitude could be what it aspires to be, but until then the game could be classified as a nice callback for the fans.
Amplitude sadly missed the mark. It feels bare, awkward, and incomplete. There isn't a ton of content and the song selection won't keep players hooked. Maybe this is one Kickstarter the gaming community should have passed on.