Pixel Junk 4am
Genre: Music Editor
Okay first of, please ignore the score attributed to the game at the bottom of the review or the genre classification above. This is a game, if you can even call it a game, which really cannot really be summed up with a simple score. There are a lot of people, myself included, who will hate this, and a lot of people who will enjoy the experience but will wish there was more on offer.
4am allows players to use the Move controls to manipulate different layers of musical tracks in order to create unique piece that can be viewed by other PS3 users. It even allows for twitter and facebook updates. You can probably tell already if you aren’t going to enjoy this. As a social media luddite whose musical talents consist of not being able to keep the most simplest rhythm, I am not in the target audience. If the idea of waving your arm in the air to modify the base line so it can be posted online fills you with antipathy, disgust or dread stop reading here, this 'game' is not for you.
For those who were intrigued (or at least not reviled) by my initial description, there is no way to deny that 4AM does a lot right. The experience is, by design, quite cathartic - avoiding any form of combat or tension. Instead it allows the player to take things at their own pace: go back to a track you’ve created, isolate one of the four layers and manipulated it by rotating, waving and waggling the remote gently until you come across a sound you enjoy that you can then reincorporate into the main piece. The Move controls are perhaps the best incorporated into any game I have played. Everything worked without difficulty although I didn’t really get why I should want to raise my arm in the air to alter my track. Surprisingly even the colour-changing ball on the remote is cleverly incorporated. Each layer of your track is represented by a colour and when you switch to one, the remote will switch to the corresponding colour giving you a visual reminder of where you are and what you have switched to. It may not sound like much but it really did help me from tripping up by accidently switching to the wrong piece.
Even if my brief overview leaves you intrigued, I will still caution that I don’t think the amount of options available will give a lasting experience. At less than 8 Euro this may not be too much of an issue but I would suggest downloading the free version first. You do not seem to get any of the 'gameplay' / editing components but instead you can listen to the output of the current users and I would imagine that you can probably tell from their pieces if you should take a chance here. At the very least you may have the surprise that I encountered of finding tracks created by a player who I only met when we were trying to kill each other in Assassins Creed multiplayer.
Rent or Buy: Download Only
Reviewed by: Jack Gallagher
Story by entertainment.ie | 10:33 | Monday 2nd July 2012 | Games
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