Beat Hazzard, Aural Mayhem

beat-hazard logo

 

So this game isn’t new, but it is still a ton of fun… as long as you are not prone to seizures of any kind.  Then don’t fucking play this.  You will die.  Beat Hazard is a game that lets the player shape their experience in a unique and interactive way.  It’s mot new, either.  It’s been available on Steam since 2010, but no matter.  It just got a new DLC in April, which I have yet to purchase.  But since this game is never the same and it’s been such a rush, i will have to get the DLC and play some more.

Beat Hazard is a game with a new spin on ancient retro games such as Asteroids.  In fact, the concept of the game is pretty much Asteroids. But the twist is that you pick the soundtrack, and each level is as long as the track you pick.  So, if you pick something long like Stairway to Heaven, prepare for a long session.  So you are this little spaceship and you fly around the screen zapping enemies.  Usually a level starts with you dodging or shooting asteroids, and until you get some good perks, you’ll be starting with nothing but a peashooter.  But start killin’ dudes and you swiftly power up your weapon.

Getting modifiers makes the ending score bigger by the number of the multiplier. Duh..  And there is a cash powerup that can be used to buy perks.  The important ones are the VOL and POW power ups.  Then there are the mega bombs and your all important “extra lives”.

Now, the reason the VOL and POW items are so important is because they tell you how many dudes you can zap at once.  With both low, you can’t really do much.  Get your volume up and the music is loud and your gun starts shooting kaleidoscope plasma.  Get your power up and you get a wider spread.  Honestly, I got it all the way up and “Beat Hazard” flashes on the screen, and that is when shit goes down.  At one point, my weapon launched scintillating rays of plasma half the width if my goddamn screen!  It was a glorious spray of destruction that looked like Super Duper Saiyan Goku firing Kamehameha at Kao Ken times 10,000.  And it is just as much fun.  Dudes explode as soon as they come up on screen.  The screen edges, which wrap around, so flying projectiles could zoom around the screen until you nuke ’em.  Then there are the Superbombs.  Click your left mouse button to fire, but press your right mouse button and unleash a payload that decimates everything onscreen.  It even does significant damage to bosses, but that would be a waste. Why?

Well, it all has to do with your music.  I have found that the most dangerous music to play in this game is soft music like soft rock from the 90s and dubstep.  Yes, I have tried, like, everything.  Also anything with acoustic guitar solos where the guitar is the only thing you hear.  Generally, anything without a beat.  While the enemies will take spawn cues from some mystical element of the music, which makes their spawns similar from one song play to the next, the low-key nature of the music leaves you sputtering out a minuscule stream like you’re nervous at a pee test.  I have never been as white-knuckle twitchy as when I put Total Eclipse of the Heart through this game. I mean fucking seriously!  So, since the game is called BEAT Hazard, the better the beat, the harder you’ll fight.  And Dubstep? Shit, Skrillex fucked me up with those beat drops cause I would be going strong and then sudden beat drop, no ammo.  FUCK!

Also noteworthy, the bosses are HUGE!  They take numerous superbombs, but if you need those to beat a boss, you might be listening to Bonnie Tyler again.  There is this klaxon that sounds and then this massive fucking enemy lumbers onto the screen and you are all “OH SHIT!” and have to scramble to kill it.  And be quick about it because those other guys don’t just wait until you kill it.  They give you a 20 second grace period ( about ) and then shit goes full force.

beathazsnake

This boss gave me flashbacks to my childhood nightmares about the Junglebook.

The DLC’s allow you to add perks that do any number of things from starting with full beat hazard, more cash etc.  There is also a DLC that makes your game compatible with .m4a files and iTunes, but I felt like that should have been in there from the start.  The most recent DLC for this game came out in April and allows players to get mutiple ship that they can customize and some other neat stuff, too.  Overall, this game is a ton of fun and will have you playing your favorite music and experimenting with your favorite songs in new ways.  I have 12 hours clocked on this game and most music I listen to is 2 – 5 minutes long.  If you like your music collection and just want to waste some time, this is a great title to get.  And for $17 on steam you can get the game and all its DLC’s.  So go fucking play it.

So what about this game drives me up a wall? OMFG the goddamn visuals.  I have 12 hours clocked on this bitch, but no more than an hour in a row.  Even if you don’t have Photosensitive Seizures this game might give you a headache you won’t soon forget.  It reminds me of that episode of the Simpsons where they watch that japanese robot cartoon.  You could easily rename this Super Seizures Song Spaceships and no one would notice.  Or care.  Still a ton of fucking fun, but I almost want to wear a damn welder’s mask.  Sheesh.

 

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