Sony has unleashed the next great PS2 game, “Amplitude,” the
sequel to the hit “Frequency.” Sony Computer Entertainment reworked
the gameplay and tweaked it into a game that not only defines what
its genre should try to do but transcends it. Music/rhythm games
have tended to be niche titles at best, with “PaRappa the Rapper”
and “Dance Dance Revolution” as noticeable exceptions. However, the
ingenuity and entertainment found in “Amplitude” sets the game
apart from its competitors.

“Amplitude” enables players to build their own music tracks from
over 20 licensed songs. Following small circles on the screen, the
player shoots the circles using the PS2’s shoulder buttons, and
jumps from track to track in an attempt to build the entire song.
If the bass and drum lines are built, they will continue to play,
enabling the player to move onto another part of the song like the
vocals or guitar.

Power-ups help to make the process easier, but as the difficulty
increases, the patterns become harder to follow and the choice in
attacking the song affects the score. Because of the different
difficulty settings and the various ways in which to build each
song, the one-player game offers a lot of replay value.

Graphically, “Amplitude” is one of the most unique looking
titles on PS2. The images are surreal and the colors are vivid, but
these visuals can cause a distraction from the main gameplay. The
audio is outstanding, featuring the music of such diverse artists
as Weezer, Blink 182, Run DMC, David Bowie and Papa Roach among
numerous others. Also, the building of the tracks causes only
certain parts of the song to be audible creating interesting
musical variations.

While “Amplitude” is a great one-player game, the true strength
lies in its multi-player modes. It offers various options of versus
and cooperative play and, like its predecessor, features online
play. As one of the few PS2 titles to incorporate online
capabilities, it is truly worth getting. The game may be confused
for a glorified version of the old “Simon,” but it really is
something far more complex and entertaining. “Amplitude” is more
than just a genre title, and stands as one of the best games
released for Playstation 2.

4 1/2 Stars

 

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