Just Shapes & Beats
Just Shapes & Beats' excellent soundtrack spawns intricate levels in a stylish aesthetic that is sure to challenge even the most dedicated players.
Just Shapes & Beats is an inventive, creative, and memorable experience. It takes a simple concept and does so much with it, causing each level to feel wholly special, even if the lag issue can sometimes dampen the moment. The story mode is a joy to play, and the online mode offers hours of entertainment, as well. That said, the relatively small amount of content and grinding required to unlock extra songs may turn some people off, but if you can get past that, you will find a great time waiting.
I never knew I wanted a bullet-less shoot-'em-up that was dripping with rhythm game style, but that's exactly what Just Shapes & Beats is. It's a thoroughly unique game with a myriad of options that can be played in a variety of ways. It's awesome.
Just Shapes & Beats is one of the most passive aggressive bullet hell shooters I’ve ever seen, and an interactive Fantasia (that’s more accessible and interesting than the actual one made by Harmonix). It’s a trippy, insane adrenaline rush where every move and beat is superbly choreographed. Although it came out back in May, now’s a good time as ever to revisit Just Shapes & Beats to establish it as one of 2018’s quiet sleeper darlings.
I can’t say Just Shapes and Beats is a bad game, just is a game that’s not really for me. I prefer my rhythm games to be a bit more tactile in nature. If the core gameplay looks compelling to you, there’s certainly a lot to get out of this game here. A pretty sizable soundtrack, even a co-op mode with both local and network support. There’s a total of 39 songs, though you’ll have to unlock a good amount of them. There’s a challenge mode that tasks you with clearing two songs and a boss, and you earn in-game currency based on your performance used to unlock more songs. The playlist mode is basically just a free play, no string attached mode. This is the Hardcore Edition of the game, which also adds a Hardcore difficulty to both the Challenge and Playlist modes. This mode makes each song quite a bit harder, and changes up the experience quite a bit for each song. If the normal difficulty gets a bit too mundane for you, this should spice things up a bit. I don’t think I could personally recommend this game, but if the idea of it sounds appealing to you, it might be worth the $20 asking price. The story only takes a few hours to get through, but if you enjoy the gameplay, there’s tons of replayability to be had.
Even though I didn’t get heavily invested in the challenge, I think just about anyone will enjoy Just Shapes & Beats. The story is a must-play that has some truly incredible moments, making for an easy recommendation to just about any type of player.
Overall, it’s extremely hard for me not to smile while playing Just Shapes and Beats, even when some of the boss battles are absolutely kicking my butt. With some experience under your belt or simply some practice through remembering the major patterns in general all levels can be conquered, just some are definitely harder than others. An absolutely game-changing revelation I had while playing in Online mode, and would watch players who were obviously much more experience than I was, is that in many cases life can be easier simply staying still if you know the right spot in the right map. If done successfully this can mean simply hitting the button to dodge periodically rather than trying to move and keep track of everything going on around you. It takes some practice and discipline but there’s no arguing with the results they got. If you enjoy great music, a load of surprises, and just a bit of craziness Just Shapes and Beats is a unique and very worthwhile experience on Switch!
Just Shapes & Beats isn't bursting with content, but the execution, level of polish and number of options here makes it well worth picking up.
Just Shapes and Beats is gaming filtered into its purest form. While E3 may have treated us to immense cinematics, bigger worlds and even bigger promises, it’s great to be reminded that not every video game needs to be this. Sometimes it’s enough to just be able to sit down, pick up a controller and play.
Just Shapes & Beats is highly recommendable if you have the means.