Boom Beats Review — Pleasurable
Warning: Gamelion’s Boom Beats can make a person bipolar. You may be blissfully enchanted one minute, and the next thing you know, you are throwing your PSP out your window.
Boom Beats is a rhythm game which is very similar to Dance Dance Revolution. Of course, you won’t be stomping on your PSP (but you will have thoughts of it) to play this game. You are only pressing four buttons to the rhythm of the music. Boom Beats does a good job implementing a control scheme; instead of using the four directional buttons, only the left and the up buttons are used, and the other two buttons are O and Triangle. Seems like a simple game design, but to think of it, it’s actually almost genius.
The comfort level of playing the game with such control placement is magnificent. It is hard to blame the controls for any mistake you are making. Timing is essential for this game. Button icons move upwards toward a thin line at the top of the screen. As soon as the icons touch the line, you must press the corresponding buttons. Missing them outright hurts your “Energy Bar.” This bar serves as a health bar.
The Energy Bar is equally divided in two. Missing the timing makes the red half of the bar fill out to the left, while good or perfect timing keeps the green half filling to the right; i.e., once the green bar disappears, the other half of the bar starts to fill with red. If the red bar fill its side completely, Game Over! There is also the Boom Bar, a bar that keeps on filling as you approach 25 perfect rhythms. Once filled out, you have an option to activate the Boom Effect by pressing X. During the Boom Effect, the line thickens, making it almost impossible to miss out buttons. The scoring system is divided in two, the “score” and the “percentage.”
The score is the accumulated number of points per level. Perfect timing nets good score, while late and early presses acquire lower points. Chaining the multiplier helps the score a lot, too. You must, however, miss nothing in order to add to your multiplier. Missing even one during a chain will reset the multiplier back to x1. The percentage is based on the number of successful presses versus the totally missed-out buttons.
One important factor for a game like this is the music. Some of the tunes are really good, and some are mediocre but still passable. Surprisingly, the music is just one component of this rhythmic game. The visual flair in this game makes your gaming experience subliminal. Once you are hitting the right notes and banging your head with the music, your PSP screen emits wonderful neon lights and explosions. The game is basically all about chasing high scores and improving accuracy percentages. However, I find myself playing the game just to experience psychedelic effects!
There are 14 tunes to choose from, level-locked at first. There are three difficulty settings: easy, medium, hard. Playing in easy mode unlocks the next level, but only its easy mode. Playing the medium will unlock the medium difficulty of the next level and the hard setting of the current level. You might ask, why do that? The difference between easy and medium is a LOT. I spent hours in completing two levels in medium difficulty! It’s frustrating, but it’s doable. I just get overwhelmed by faster scrolling of the button icons.
The repetitive nature of this game is countered by great music, powerful graphics and challenging gameplay. This is a game that you can pop out while waiting for someone or riding a bus or train and still make that span of time well-wasted. Hopefully the developers will update the game with additional tracks, because this game is so addictive, it’s almost a drug.
8/10 (Headphones recommended)