Harmonix Launches Kickstarter For New Version Of Amplitude

Posted by Bob Muir on May 6, 2014 in Videogames |

New Amplitude

Before Harmonix took music gaming by storm with Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Dance Central, they were putting out other, smaller games that were no less interesting. One fan-favorite (and personal favorite) was Amplitude, a 2003 sequel to a 2001 game (FreQuency) about “mixing” electronic music by switching between various instrument tracks to fill in the song. It was a direct precursor to Guitar Hero, which would put the focus on one track with more notes (or one track per player in Rock Band), though Harmonix has revisited the core gameplay with Rock Band Unplugged on PSP and Rock Band Blitz on digital platforms. Now, there’s a chance of a full sequel!

Harmonix has turned to Kickstarter to raise $775,000 for a new HD version of Amplitude, with new graphics running at 60 fps and a ton of new music. Depending on how much money is raised, Harmonix may also be able to license popular electronic music to sit alongside their original compositions. Since the original game was published by Sony, it looks like this one will be too, since it is only coming to PS3 and PS4, which is a shame for Xbox or Wii U gamers. But it’s not surprising, and it’s certainly better than not ever seeing a sequel.

My only concern about this new Amplitude are the controls. The original PS2 game used three of the four shoulder buttons to hit the notes. It was somewhat lopsided, but nothing you couldn’t get used to and master. (By comparison, Rock Band Unplugged had four notes per track you hit with the two shoulder buttons and two face buttons, while Rock Band Blitz has multiple control options to hit its mere two notes per track, though my favorite option is just using the top two shoulder buttons.) However, on modern PlayStation controllers, L2 and R2 are designed as triggers. While the PS4’s triggers are very much improved over the PS3’s triggers, they still control fundamentally differently, requiring a longer push compared to L1 and R1, which act as regular buttons. It’s enough to throw timing off, which encouraged me to pull out my PS2 for a recent replay of the game instead of playing it on my backwards compatible PS3.

I’m sure these control issues are something which can be fine-tuned during development (unlike the original game, which can’t be modified for newer controllers due to lack of online patching), but it’s the only thing I’m concerned about for now. Otherwise, this is great news, and I hope it gets funded! The cherry on the top would be including a port of the original game updated for HDTVs (which introduce more lag) and the new controls — make it happen, Harmonix!

Source: Kickstarter

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