Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Sound Shapes

Music makers will dig PS Vita's Sound Shapes

10:31 AM on 08.28.2011 // Dale North

Platformers?  Love 'em. You can't make enough. Platformers of any type appeal to the gamer in me. But upcoming PS Vita game Sound Shapes also speaks to the musician in me. It's slick platforming and musical creation. You can create music that actually becomes the levels that you platform in. After spending a bit of time trying both sides of this game out and then seeing how they come together, it has moved up to be one of my most anticipated titles. 

Sound Shapes creators say that it is both a 2D platformer and a musical instrument. Several games have attempted to mix musical elements into gameplay, but this one goes a step beyond and gives the player total freedom to create a sequence that actually becomes the level. It's not some kind of abstract thing where some somewhat random musical cue will sound after being triggered, either. In this game you're platforming to "play" the music.

The platforming side plays out with a little rolling ball...thing that sticks to all surfaces. The problem is that all the surfaces are small, and that there's always danger (any platform or obstacle colored red) nearby. As the player, you want to avoid red, but look for other environmental pieces to come in contact with. Each one touched initiates a new sound to be played, triggered in its own time in a 16-bar musical loop. You want to come in contact with all of the musical elements so that you are able to hear every bit of the intended composition. The goal is to come in contact with all the musical elements while surviving challenging 2D plaforming levels

What's really cool about Sound Shapes is that the physical placement of each of these musical elements directly corresponds to their musical placement on a 16-step musical/beat grid. That wasn't apparent to me until I saw that each dot on the musical grid was placed exactly where the musical element was in the game stage. In this editor you are able to plunk down dots that trigger notes from several musical instruments or drums, and it gives you just as much creative freedom as any musical sequencer would. Musicians will be impressed by the level of musical freedom provided here, as there's really a full-featured music making program within the level editor.

Your music becomes a level when you throw in background patterns and foreground obstacles, platforms and more. The Vita's touch screen lets you plunk down any object from the menu, while the back screen lets you use multiple fingers to move and resize any object freely. At any time, a soft button on the touch screen can be tapped to try out your level. 

Using these tools I was able to compose a short loop of pretty music, add in a solid beat, throw in some platforms and obstacles, and then try it out for myself. That's great about Sound Shapes is that level design can be approached from either the musical or platforming side. Those that are musically inclined will get a kick out of how robust the tools are for creating songs, and then they can make a level around the song, but those into making a deep, challenging  platforming can just as easily focus on the level design tools, with the music taking a back seat. Either approach is going to make a stage that looks and sounds cool, and will most likely be fun to play through. 

Sound Shapes will take full advantage of the Vita's online connectivity. Uploading and sharing of levels will be supported. You could even take someone else's song or level, remix it and then re-upload it. 

I think it's apparent that I'm more excited about the musical side of Sound Shapes than the platforming side, but this title is looking so good that I think any fan of either music or challenging platforming action will be pleased. 

Dale North, Former Dtoid EIC
 Follow Blog + disclosure DaleNorth Tips
I am Destructoid's Editor-In-Chief. I love corgis. I make music. more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Sound Shapes

  Jun 11

Massive sale on PSN keeps good times rolling for Sony

More hot deals than can shake a PS Move controller at

  May 14

Dubstep comes to Sound Shapes

And some '80s sounds for good measure

  Dec 19

Sound Shapes is getting a free holiday sound pack today

Includes five new Christmas-themed instruments

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Indivisible exposes why forced diversity and its proponents keep failing

Steam Controller Review

RAE - Back in Town

Thankful it's ov

Half - Life 3 FINALLY 100% confirmed...maybe.

Surprisingly... I'm *really* enjoying Fallout 4!!

Where the Hell is Breath of Fire?

Comments of the Week - バーガーベスト, ですよね?

My Month in Games - November 2015

Cblogs of 11/28/15 - Lonely Thanksgiving, Gatchaman Crowds, and more

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Batthink avatarBatthink
Flegma avatarFlegma
Bought my first full-priced physical 3DS game ever - New Style Boutique 2: Fashion Forward. I'll try to write a post on the previous game at some point before doing the same with NSB2.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
How do you guys manage to buy all these games at day 1 with such huge backlogs?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Guys if I were to do a thing, how many of you would watch my thing because I was thinking of doing a thing but I dunno if people really like that kinda thing so I just wanted to know if you liked that thing because I'm thinking of doing a thing, you know?
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Bayonetta 2 is 40% off in the EU Nintendo eShop today. If you have a WiiU and don't have this game you are a horrible person and I want nothing to do with you. You can amend your errors by buying it. Xenoblade Wii is also 50% off as well.
El Dango avatarEl Dango
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Protag shipping is best shipping. [img][/img]
El Dango avatarEl Dango
My dreams are really weird and scary, so I hope it's okay if I let them be dreams.
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Finally played the last two Shantae games. Risky's Revenge wasn't bad, but Pirate's Curse was damn good.
Flegma avatarFlegma
Memo to self: spend your time cleaning before wasting ten or so hours on a cblog you'll end up just scrapping because you're incompetent and incapable of writing on the subject.
Is there an occupation out there for people who want to give up and not worry about shit for a while until they can recompose themselves before going back into society?
Parismio avatarParismio
That test was pretty raw. Some decisions cut deep, some I didnt care for at all. But im satisified with the end result.
Lawman avatarLawman
Torchman avatarTorchman
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
People are having serious anthropological discussions about video games and here I am reminding people that they have one more day to get a dumb card I painted:
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
I just finished this thing here: I'm mostly happy with my results, altough it lacks some stuff like Skyward Sword or Sonic & Knuckles [img][/img]
techsupport avatartechsupport
While I am glad I only paid $15 for it, I bought J-STARS VS+ for one specific reason: to drink some beer and kick ass as Yusuke and Hiei. And in that regard, it delivers. Beer not included.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
We can be so weird sometimes. You can easily move on from some of the stuff you might want to remember forever, but then sometimes you just can't let go of trivial things. What's up with that?
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
I'm in the mood for some feel-good music. Hit me with your best feel-good VGM, people! [youtube][/youtube]
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
My "Thankful it's over" post is done. Editing it tonight, posting tomorrow. Will there be more last-minute entries? Will Pixie be merciful to Twilight Princess? Will Zetta add words to his entry? Why is bear driving? Who run Bartertown? Stay Tuned!
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -