Amplitude HD Reviews
A thrilling variation on the formula that harkens back to genre roots, even if the song catalog lacks the catchy replayability required
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you've wanted to play another Amplitude game for the past generation, then this is going to scratch your itch and then some.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 lacks both the visual and audible punch its predecessor delivered, but the gameplay still manages to be immersive, intense and often enjoyable.
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.
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.
The plastic peripheral-slinging music game developers at Harmonix have returned to their roots with a modern remake of Amplitude.
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.
Amplitude has a great soundtrack and is really addictive, but lacks any real longevity or appeal beyond the first five or six hours of play.
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…?
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 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.