Since the days of Audiosurf, music games have always intrigued me with how they will turn out and of course how well they integrate my music. My Steam library has quite a decent proportion of music based games, including Sequence, Kickbeat, Alpha Muse, Symphony, and Retro/Grade, which all have quite a bit of time put in to them. Each of them explores music through different game modes but always bring that great beat to a game as well as an interesting challenge and most of them bring a twist to the music you love. So when Beat Hazard Ultra hit my Steam library, I knew this was going to be a game I would keep coming back to over and over and over again.
Beat Hazard Ultra uses your music to create an Asteroid’s like space shooter that you must fight through to get the top score. You start off the game with not many options, pretty much move and shoot. Enemies drop power ups which raise your score higher, make the game easier, give you more weapons to use or give you cash to spend on upgrades. You start off with access to the superbomb only, a devastating shockwave that protrudes from the player and destroys almost all enemies on screen. Every time you start a new game you are given a couple of power ups to help your score. These can increase the volume and your power, making your fight a lot easier. There are also score multiplier power ups to increase you score bonus and cash pick ups which can be used later on to buy perks. Each time you finish a level, your score gets added to your global total which lets you level up. Each time you level up you get a point to access a certain perk, ranging from mini missiles and ultra beams to better multipliers and more pickups at the start of the game. You then have to buy these perks in a separate menu, with most being able to be purchased multiple times, each time you purchase them makes the perk stronger. This all sounds great and like a fun old time but the best part about it all is that you can access your own music to create your own levels.
When you load up the game it uses your music to create a menu song, picking a random song each time. You can then easily navigate through your music files and choose which song you would like to see the pretty flashing lights and kill the enemies to. Of course picking the song doesn’t just mean it is in the background. Each song effects how the game works. When a song gets slower, the shots fired by yourself and the enemy are slower and when it get’s faster, there are more crazy lights and your weapon gets a lot stronger. However having a faster song means more bigger bad guys and bosses. Every now and then you will encounter a boss fight which is more often then not a large version of one of the smaller enemies but with a lot more health and a lot more arsenal. So although you might like listening to dubstep a lot and feel like playing it as well, this game will make your experience a lot harder for it. If you aren’t into music thought (…..?) the game offers a selection of challenging songs on their channel so you can play along to their soundtrack. Another great feature of the game pictured above is the multiplayer feature. I have not played a lot of this mode but when I have, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. The game features controller support, which works really well, so I hooked up my wireless receiver for my 360 controllers and played along with a friend, and man can that get chaotic. Sometimes it is hard to see where you are due to the amount of lasers on the screen but if you follow along carefully enough you can easily get through the multiplayer mode.
Although Beat Hazard Ultra has no story, it doesn’t need one for me to keep on coming back to this game every time I get really in to a new song. Each time you play through this you have a different experience and can always strive to get a better score on your favourite songs. Having my own music combined with customisable layouts of perks and trippy lights makes for a fun experience every time I open this up. Although I definitely need to play more multiplayer, this game has satisfied my music gaming needs time and time again.
Now you can enjoy Beat Hazard Ultra as well! I have one copy of Beat Hazard Ultra to give away to fans of Vitamin Games. All you have to do is like this post (and share it and comment if you want, it’s not going to hurt your chances of winning) and I will randomly select a winner next week before my next review. Good luck!