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AudioSurf (PC) Review

Audiosurf was a triumph. I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS! It's hard to overstate my satisfaction. Pun aside, Audiosurf is a technical achievement. Using something as simple as a music synth in something as complex as a game is a triumph indeed. Not to mention the fact that its highly addictive gameplay is just one of the uses for Audiosurf! It includes a ton of variety in the gameplay, plus it's graphically astounding!

AUDIO

Audiosurf is like an mp3 player on crack. Load up your favorite song, and listen to it while playing an awesome game. It's somewhat hard to rate Audiosurf on its audio, because the audio is endless! The only way to rate it is to rate The Orange Box Soundtrack that came with it, and that is some awesome music. My favorite song has to be "4000 Degrees Kelvin", which was a song I spent HALF AN HOUR looking for! Why didn't they just name it "The Do Do Do Do Do Do Song"? It would have saved me a lot of time! Since the game comes with TOB Soundtrack, you have all of your favorite songs, ready to synth and ride along at any time. It features an in-game file browser, so you can easily look for your songs without any annoying pop-up. Plus, it has a link to TOB soundtrack right on the first page of the file browser, so you don't have to go through anything to find your music! Also included is a link to your iTunes music, right under the link to TOB Soundtrack, so you don't have to go through anything difficult to find THOSE songs, either!

VISUAL

Trying to rate the graphics in Audiosurf is like trying to rate Seth MacFarlane's hilarity: brilliant. This, coming from someone who has an integrated chipset, and had to run on lowest settings. Even on low, the graphics are astounding. Trippy effects play out in the background, while the road frantically dips up and down rhythmically. I just love going slowly up a hill then rushing down into a party of notes. The "cars" (or blocks) are quite beautiful.  It's obvious that Dylan Fitterer put a lot of time and effort into making his dream a reality. Not to mention, the game is mod-able, so the graphics can change as well! AudioSurf boasts shader 3.0 support, though it can be easily tuned down, as mentioned before. So basically, the graphics are astounding. The game is moddable, so you can change any graphics you like, and you will be blown away by the polish put into the effects.

GAMEPLAY

"Holy crap! MOVE! Left! Left! Right! Jump! NOOO!"

Ah yes, the frantic bashing of the keyboard keys as you deftly maneuver past blocks to get to the colorful ones. It gets rather frantic, having to dodge every single block you do not want, and then trying to move past some bad blocks whilst trying to get to some good blocks! It's amazing how quickly the game processes the song, transforms it into playable blocks, and then loads the level! Audiosurf is indeed quite addicting, though it could feature some more elements—such as invisible blocks. In addition, there are a variety of racers(if that's what you should call them), making for a lot of different gameplay options. For example, there's the "mono" type, which turns every block into one of two colors: Grey (the bad), and hippy (the good). The "dual" type of racer adds TWO racers onto the field, for multi-player or ambidextrous surfing.Yet another example is the, ahem, Eraser Racer(Awful pun intended), which lets you choose a block color and eliminate it! Dylan also had the foresight to allow for three different difficulties. When playing on the casual difficulty, the background is white and calm. On pro and expert, however, the background is as black as night, with a black street and bright lights. It really gets you excited to be playing.  As you can see, AudioSurf offers a LOT of variety, which is not missed.

STORY

Unfortunately, Dylan did not feel the need to implement a story. I think it may have been a nice addition--maybe racing against people to get more points or something. Though I do see why Dylan didn't add in a story--it's an MP3 player game, so why do you need a story? Though a story would have been...interesting, it would just feel out of place and wouldn't fit with the game.

REPLAYABILITY

Hold on, let me play just one more game before I write this. Elevator music cue!

Thanks for holding. The replayability is amazing. It's like an entirely new game every time, as new songs are being put onto the "AudioSurf Radio", a neat little utility that hosts music for you to play. Thankfully, this music is free, and is, most of the time, good-sounding (I'm not a music reviewer so don't ask me to review music!). Also included is the ability to install mods, though an in-game mod browser would be highly appreciated! In addition, there's online leaderboards, which motivates you to play again and again in order to "just beat that one guy"! It lets you add friends directly within the game to compete with, and when you start the game it automatically finds your friends on steam that have Audiosurf as well, and adds them. It's completely seamless, so you don't even know it's doing it! Plus, I absolutely love how Audiosurf lets you play most any music file. Unfortunately, it does not have support for .midi's, which is rather disappointing, as I would love to play .midi's. In conclusion, Audiosurf features almost unlimited replayability--though some contests would not be missed.

OVERALL

The game is brilliant. The graphics are astounding, with trippy hippy-blocks trying to lead you down the path of awesome sounds. If you have not purchased this game, buy it NOW. There is no excuse for any music lover to not buy this game. It's a mere ten dollars, and Dylan deserves all of it. I'm surprised it's not a top-seller, because it's so original! Now, it may not be game of the year quality, but it's still pretty fun.

"AudioSurf (PC)" is on sale February 15, 2008 and is not rated. Action, Family, Puzzle.

Oct
28
2008
Josh Coffey

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