Tag Archives: Rhythm Action

Laserlife review

Laserlife offers an intriguing experience of rhythm matching analogue stick waggling, hypnotic visuals and a peculiar story and perspective. It feels more like an experiment than a fully fledged idea, one that makes for an entertaining couple of hours but is severely limited when it comes to replayability.

You are some form of alien intelligence with no previous knowledge of humanity and humankind, however, you have advanced technology that allows you to search through the memories of deceased creatures and retrieve physical items from those memories. Coming across a long-dead human astronaut floating in space, you activate this memory machine and guide two beams of light through three distinct stages to bring into existence an item that represents the memory you accessed.

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It’s an odd setup that makes the initial levels a fascinating and compelling experience as you figure out what’s going on and quickly master the art of guiding your two beams of light. There’s no handholding beyond a few subtle commands popping up on-screen telling you to match the beat with the triggers as you guide your beams of light pass through targets with the analogue sticks, but it’s a fairly intuitive set of mechanics. Each level is split into three stages: the first has you guide your beams of light through targets, hitting the triggers to a beat to collect points; the second has you simply hitting targets and the third has you dodge barriers. Through them all, bright colours and otherworldly patterns fill the screen, slowly forming images linked to the memory you’re currently accessing as well as representing the neural pathways of the deceased astronaut. it’s a tremendously eye-catching affaire.

It’s all reminiscent of Child of Eden and Rezed, with its surreal, neon aesthetic, rhythm matching mechanics and theme, and tunnel perspective. The story is what really sets it apart but it doesn’t come together as well as it should. The items you materialise from the memories represent the memories from a human perspective but hold no meaning for the alien race you supposedly are, so why they’re so significant in understanding what humanity is isn’t clear. Largely though, it doesn’t matter, it’s still an interesting, short story.

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However, it’s all over very quickly, offering only a couple of hours worth of content. Higher scores can be achieved for those plagued by the knowledge they missed a few targets or beats, but replaying levels can be a frustrating and even painful experience. The positions you have to move each thumb stick to in order to guide your light beams, pushes your thumbs to the most extreme angles the Xbox One pad offers, and having to hit the triggers at the same time to hit the beat can stretch the hand a little too much. Moreover, the triggers just aren’t best suited for digital actions of on and off, and are more suit to analogue. Fortunately there’s no score barriers to stop you progressing, so once a level is complete you can freely move on to the next.

Laserlife is an ambitious title held back by some challenging controls, lack of synergy with the story its trying to tell, and an overall forgettable ambient soundtrack. It looks spectacular and the fundamental mechanics are on the right track, but it’s not polished enough in its current form.

Thanks to Xbox and Choice Provisions for their support 

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Guitar Hero Live playable at E3

Activision and FreeStyleGames have confirmed that the latest iteration in their Guitar Hero series will be playable on the show floor of E3 this year with more hands on content and further information on the 24 hour GHTV mode that lets you play along to a continually updating list of music videos.

We’ve been working super hard on Guitar Hero Live for years, so we’re so stoked to show people more of the game every chance we get and to give fans a chance to play it themselves – that’s why we’re bringing Guitar Hero Live to E3 and letting you get hands on,” said Jamie Jackson, Creative Director and Co-Head of FreeStyleGames. “Five years is a long time. Not only has technology changed, but we’ve had years to think about what makes Guitar Hero so much fun to play and also to talk to fans about what they loved most about the original game. We’ve developed an awesome new experience built from the ground up and we are integrating new technology and techniques that just weren’t possible back then. GHTV is a huge part of that and comes with a bunch of new songs, of which we’ll announce more next week. See you at E3!

Guitar Hero will be coming to consoles in August of 2015.