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Amplitude Impressions


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#1 of 17 OFFLINE   Ben Seibert

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Posted March 29 2003 - 01:04 PM

I bought this today, and being a huge fan of the first, I must admit I'm a little disappointed. It's certainly a great game, but I don't think it quite measures up to the first. I have only played a few hours and am still trying to organize my thoughts, so my opinion may still change the more I play.

The highway track is terrible. Tracks are laid out flat and next to each other, and just like Frequency the highway twists and turns through a trippy environment. To go from the last track to the first is nearly impossible, and its harder to judge the distance from one track to the next one you need to go to, which is indicated by an arrow. Powerups seem harder to see, even though they have beams of light form above highlighting them. The multiplier has turned into a score doubler, which doubles the point value of the measure. The score multiplier can now go up to 8x. The freestyler powerup now transports you to above the track, and seems harder to control and understand. Instead of picking the backround, each city, made up of two or three regular songs, a boss and a bonus song, has its own backround. On the last stage, lightning strikes in the backround whenever you hit a note, and seems more seizure inducing than anything from Frequency.

The songs, which were what I was most worried about, are all playable, though I hate the songs by Quarashi and Slipknot. All music is in DPL II, and soudns great. The freqmaker is now a generic extreme sports create a player, which much less room for customization and creativity. One thing that was cool was that your now 3d freq plays the instrument of whatever track you are on in a window on the right side of the screen. Since I found it to get in the way of seeing tracks on the side, and it doesn't add anything to gameplay, I turned it off.

Online play is improved greatly. There is now a 'Remix Repository' where you can download remixes which are all checked for quality. A ranking system and symbols for difficulty completed let you play opponents that match your skill level. Many people are reporting various bugs, but so far I haven't encountered any.

Overall, I would still recommend it, but you should pick up Frequency first.
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#2 of 17 OFFLINE   Morgan Jolley

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Posted March 29 2003 - 04:32 PM

Played it today (FINALLY).

I love it. We (me and a friend, who are both amazingly good Frequency veterans) played through to Stage 3 on Insane. The game is REALLY HARD on Insane. He didn't bring his memory card with him, so I couldn't play any other songs on other difficulties (we wanted to get as far as possible within the day). We had a blast, and some songs were REALLY fun.

Unfortunately, the tracks suffer from the same thing as the Frequency tracks: twists/turns/curves make the game harder to play. You can't see that far ahead when the track is continuously curving, but its still doable if you're good.

The freestyle powerup is a godsend. Gets you out of a few bars in a song, looks cool, and gets mega points (when combined with a x8 combo and multiplier/doubler). Used many of these to finish some tough songs.

The multiplayer mode is great, too. The Duel mode is surprisingly enjoyable. My friend and I are both extremely good at tough combos (plus the only songs available were POD, Garbage, and Quarashi, all of which are slow) so we had a good time going head-to-head, plus allowing others to try to outdo our skills. We tried other stuff, but there was a problem with the multi-tap.

We also played Frequeny a lot, and I can say Amplitude is in some ways better, harder, easier, and worse. Overall, a worthy sequel, and I recommend getting it (I hope to soon).

#3 of 17 OFFLINE   Sean Eldridge

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Posted March 30 2003 - 06:00 AM

Quote:
To go from the last track to the first is nearly impossible, and its harder to judge the distance from one track to the next one you need to go to, which is indicated by an arrow


The trick is to get really good, so you can clear the tracks one after another all the way across without missing one. You then get like a bar or two to get back to the other side with no notes.

Quote:
The freestyler powerup now transports you to above the track, and seems harder to control and understand


Like Morgan said, you want to have at least some multiplier to use with the Freestyler. When you get it, go up and down, left and right on the left analog stick while holding one of the note buttons. That's how you score big points there.

Quote:
The freqmaker is now a generic extreme sports create a player, which much less room for customization and creativity.


You unlock quite a bit as you play(new heads, bodys, legs, hats, glasses, headphones, decals). I'm on the last level of brutal and I'm sure there is still more for me to unlock. I found the it to be pretty complex.

Anyhow, I obviously have played this game too much since Wednesday. But I can't help it, I'm addicted!Posted Image

Sean

#4 of 17 OFFLINE   Ben Seibert

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Posted March 30 2003 - 07:42 AM

Played it for a few hours last night, and I'm liking it a lot more. I still think Blink 182 and Papa Roach do not belong in the game, the string of notes on one side for the guitar and bass parts is impossible. I still think the old freqmaker was better, even with unlockable parts. You could make nearly anything. Here, it's easier to make a good looking freq, but they aren't nearly as cool looking. Freqs aren't as much of an identifier like they were in the last game. I miss the neutralizer in multiplayer though. Online play seems to be really improved, and I really love how you can choose the amount of powerups.

And I have a nice new sig. Posted Image
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#5 of 17 OFFLINE   Sean Eldridge

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Posted March 30 2003 - 08:48 AM

Quote:
the string of notes on one side for the guitar and bass parts is impossible.


What configuration do you use?

Sean

#6 of 17 OFFLINE   Ben Seibert

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Posted March 30 2003 - 09:00 AM

Shoulder buttons. I wouldn't imagine using my thumb on that one.
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#7 of 17 OFFLINE   Morgan Jolley

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Posted March 30 2003 - 09:26 AM

I got good at some of those faster straight sections from Danger Is Go! by Powerman 5000 in Frequency, so they're not bad. Haven't played all of them in Amplitude, though.

#8 of 17 OFFLINE   Ben Seibert

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Posted March 31 2003 - 10:56 PM

Alright, the tournament at OCGN is now up. Anyone who plays online should join, because I need more FreQs to fill up the positions, because right now at OCGN we have almost no Amplitude players. Here's the link for the tourney: http://www.ocgn.com/...ment.asp?tid=20

If you are able to help me with the rules it would help as well.
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#9 of 17 OFFLINE   Sean Eldridge

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Posted April 01 2003 - 03:31 AM

Can you only start on the 7th? That's the last day of my term, and I'd expect to be pretty busy.

Sean

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   Ben Seibert

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Posted April 01 2003 - 08:14 AM

No, the date is flexible. If it's OK with you and your opponent, you can play whenever you want (within reasonable limits).
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#11 of 17 OFFLINE   Morgan Jolley

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Posted April 01 2003 - 10:32 AM

I wish I had a Network Adapter, I'd definitely join.

This game kicks ass.

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   Sean Eldridge

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Posted April 02 2003 - 04:39 PM

Well, the tournament appears to be full now. I'll have to get in on the next one.

Quote:
I wish I had a Network Adapter


They're readily available around here. Are you broke, or can't find one?

Sean

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   Morgan Jolley

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Posted April 03 2003 - 09:17 AM

I'm broke, plus I have 20+ games to buy first.

Ok, so I'm stuck on SlipKnot on Insane. Beat that song, and I only have 6 left to go before I get the hidden song.

#14 of 17 OFFLINE   Ben Seibert

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Posted April 03 2003 - 10:12 AM

Stuck on Slipknot on insane. The double notes on the guitar track are killing me. I figured out how to beat The Rock Show though, it was simply my left index wasn't fast enough or didn't have rhythm, the other notes were fine, so I started using the square button.

EDIT: Tournament is now 32 slots, so there's no excuse not to join now.
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#15 of 17 OFFLINE   Steve Y

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Posted April 04 2003 - 09:36 AM

Here are my impressions!:

I enjoyed the first Frequency but found the collision detection too harsh for my skill level - i'd be getting into a groove and then for no reason start missing notes.. it had a far too mathematical edge for me. For me personally it crossed the line from challenging into frustrating. Amplitude makes hitting notes more fun because you don't miss when you're playing well. It just "feels" better.

I also prefer the first-person view because now I can see the notes coming... the "overhead" perspective in Frequency I found too unforgiving... it was harder to plan ahead. (I'm very glad that "amp" includes both settings for those who prefer the original)

Amplitude is far more fun.. You spend more time opening tracks and moving to another track quickly than cursing the illogical misses and waiting in terror for the "bip!" of missed notes and the inevitable "booooo!" (right up there with the "YOU LOSE!" (from 4-Wheel Thunder) in video game sounds that make me want to toss something across the room)..

The custom mode is far easier to use. I like how phrases are easily identified, and also the pitch control is a nice touch. It wasn't bad in Frequency; it's just better here. You can more quickly and easily design an entire song.. whereas before it might take hours developing every single note along on the tunnel..

Some of the music is aurally offensive (the usual rap-metal subjects)... but some is amazing and cool. The game looks so beautiful that I usually don't care.

The freestyle mode, in my opinion, has been improved in every respect. I found it simple to use, cool to watch, and better-sounding. (particularly the scratching)

Some criticisms:

A. The game is far too easy on mellow and normal, and too much of the tracks is cleared ahead of you. While there is the added bonus of tracking how many bars you clear along a "full mix", on mellow and normal the game (particularly on the first few levels) feels too much like a glorified CD player.

B. The music in Amplitude doesn't match the note capsules as neatly. While I love the fact that your current track is raised higher in the mix temporarily, in some cases the notes you hit on the track seem to have no tight corresponding musical sound in the song. This is not always the case, but the music "Frequency", while simpler overall, had therefore more carefully designed and corresponding track lines.

I MUCH prefer the new flat-highway structure. Sure, "it doesn't look as cool as a tunnel", but it makes more logical sense to my brain. It was too difficult watching all the tracks on the ceiling and freezing up when it came time to switch (left or right? up or down? did i see a free track up there?).

Amplitude will get more play from me overall, but I'll still give Frequency a regular spin... Posted Image Posted Image

steve

#16 of 17 OFFLINE   Morgan Jolley

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Posted April 04 2003 - 12:09 PM

Well, finished Amplitude today. What do I have to say?

OMG the last levels are hard.

It was fun, and I'll still play some of the songs (just like Frequency). I prefer the flat road because it's easier to switch tracks, but the tunnel was better for long combos. I also sort of liked the original game's 8-bar system for the tracks (8 bars to a section of a song) over the 1/4 length tracks, but oh well.

Oh, and the green bars are there for no real reason. They rate how well you're doing at unlocking the bonus song.

#17 of 17 OFFLINE   Joseph Young

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Posted April 07 2003 - 08:04 AM

I agree with Steve Y's comments about Amplitude. While I never reached Morgan Jolley veteran-god-status with the original Frequency, I wasn't half bad at it and was pretty darned proficient as the hardest difficulty setting. But one some of the final tracks in Frequency it just stopped being fun.

Amplitude is more forgiving, but stays fun throughout, even on 'Insane' mode. The collision detection with the jewels is much more sensible in Amplitude, yes, even on the final tracks in 'insane' mode.

Onto the songs...
A mixed bag for sure. Frequency's songs were more to my taste personally. I'm not a real big rap metal fan, and boy did they heap that on! I really like the funk, soul, rap, electronic, and pop stuff, but the rap metal is just silly, sort of a Hardcore-lite. Not really my bag. But right on, diffrent strokes i guess.

I will be playing both games into the forseeable future. They're both pretty amazing. If you liked Frequency, there is really no reason *not* to own Amplitude.

Joseph


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