The new Amplitude isn't an evolution of the track-mixing music gameplay that made the original and its predecessor, Frequency, so popular with rhythm game fans. It's almost exactly the same, and that's perfect. In 2003 I played a game on my PlayStation 2 that involved flying a ship over colourful bands of light representing the various tracks in pieces of music. Shooting the gems on sections of these bands caused the tracks to play on their own for a bit, while I went about activating additional ones. Sometimes the songs would be missing percussion or vocals or guitars. Other times — the best times — everything would be playing perfectly.
That was Amplitude, and so is this.
The music is different. The graphics are more polished. Once the campaign is finished a Freq Mode unlocks, wrapping the music tracks into a Frequency tunnel.
But otherwise, it's more Amplitude. This is exactly what I was looking for when I put down $US15 ($21) on the Kickstarter that almost wasn't back in May of 2014. Not an evolution. Not a reformulation. Not a free-to-play game with pay-per-play tracks. Just more.
I do miss some of the old music — "Cool Baby" and "Kimosabe" defined the original game for me — but in a few months the new game's tracks will take their place, and if not, there's always the return of Symbion Project's "Synthesized" to bring the gap.
Amplitude is now available for Kickstarter backers who pledged $US40 ($55) or more. Everyone else can grab it on the PlayStation 4 on January 5.