Wednesday , 24 April 2024
PSVR2 GamesReviews

Beat the Beats Review

Rhythm games is something that’s hard to break into with Beat Saber and Synth Riders on the scene. Beat the Beats is the latest title trying to punch through that barrier and become one of the main contenders in that bracket – but, can it land that knockout blow?

Release Date: February 27th 2024
Developer: Parallel Circles
Publisher: Parallel Circles
Price: US $19.99 / CA $26.99 / €19.99 / £15.99
Reviewed On: PlayStation VR2
* Code Provided For Review *

PUNCH, DODGE, BLOCK

When it comes to Beat the Beats, the game will have you punching blocks, dodging obstacles and blocking. This makes it hard not to mention and compare it to Beat Saber, as it essentially carries the same premise, but, instead of scoring by chopping blocks, you will be scoring by how precise the punch you land is. However, for me this is where the comparisons stop, as Beat the Beats mixes things up more outside of the basics – and for me is the first rhythm game that feels like it has the possibility of mixing it with the big boys of the genre.

As mentioned above the gameplay has three main elements, though it does then offer jabs, hooks and uppercuts as types of punches – which are indicated by the way the block comes at you. Straight on is a jab, curving in from the side is a hook and coming in from above is an uppercut. All of these are easy to differentiate, so you will never be caught off-guard by the blocks movement on what is required. The dodging is indicated by a large red arrow coming at you, that will have you either leaning to left or right as the arrow flies by your head. With the blocking being shown as bars coming at you, that our will need to put your guard up against to break.

Merging all of these together and the great song mapping means the game smashes the most important part of this genre; having a solid sense of rhythm. Once you’ve had the one warm-up song of your session, you are soon instinctively hitting the notes to the beat without really noticing.

The other staple of the genre is getting those high scores, as you would expect successive hits is going to build up a multiplier, but unlike most others in the genre this will not restore your health. With Beat the Beats five mistakes could end your run, but clearing a segment will recover some of your health bar. When it comes to difficulty, as you are getting further and further in arcade mode and unlocking more albums, this does gradually increase, while also unlocking B-Sides for the earlier songs to offer more of a challenge on those.

However, for me this is one downside for the game, I just feel all the songs should come with the set difficulties or even modifier options to add an extra challenge – as it being set per song feels a little limited. Also, outside of Arcade mode it feels a limited as well, with extra options of Quick Reaction and Daily Mix. Quick Reaction is more of a mini-game, that will have you hitting buttons as quick as possible, which just didn’t resonate with me. Then Daily Mix will provide you with a longer stage that merges several songs to give you a challenge and also challenges you to be top of the daily leaderboard – which can be fun, but I just find me playing Arcade mode more than anything.

One element outside of the gameplay mechanics I absolutely love is how the team have used haptics. With the haptics in the Sense Controllers giving you indication when landing the punches and the headset haptics simulating the large red arrows passing by your head.

SIMPLISTIC AND CLEAN

Parallel Circles have kept the whole aesthetic of Beat the Beats as clean and simplistic, meaning you are never distracted from the target you are looking to hit, dodge or block – keeping you focused and ready for your next move.

Add to the visuals a great selection of tracks that are easy to box too, given the energetic soundtrack that spreads across six different albums. This cements the solid rhythm game feeling, that as aforementioned starts to feel instinctive. However, the game doesn’t come with tracks from popular artists, but the songs it does come with are great tracks for what the game offers.

COMFORT

85%
THE VERDICT
Summary

Beat the Beats has the potential to become one of the names mentioned with the staples of the rhythm game genre. With the mix of punches, dodging and blocking to the energetic soundtrack nailing all the aspects needed to make it a great. Add to the this the boxercise really giving you a workout, especially if you put your all into the punching and dodging. However, as we all know with games in this genre the post-release support will make or break if the game sticks around – with updates being essential to keep the game fresh and people returning. I personally would love to see some track-packs from big-name artists make it into the game, as this sort of support does make rhythm games more appealing to a wider audience.

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