hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians
 BLOG ABOUT THIS

Review: Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians

5:00 PM on 12.10.2013 // Darren Nakamura
  @Dexter345

A bit trippy

Genre blending is becoming more and more common as developers explore different gameplay styles. As with puzzle and role-playing, rhythm elements are often folded into otherwise unrelated games to various degrees.

BeatBuddy: Tale of the Guardians puts quite a bit of focus on the musical gameplay. It is sometimes about exploration, sometimes features puzzles, sometimes requires combat action, but is always considering how those affect the overall audio character. Music is the entree here, and everything else serves as garnish.

Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians (Mac, PC [reviewed])
Developer: Threaks
Publisher: Reverb Publishing
Released: August 6, 2013
MSRP: $14.99
Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit

BeatBuddy stars Beat, a mythical aquatic creature whose existence, along with his sisters Melody and Harmony, ensures that music will thrive. Of course, somebody kidnaps Beat's sisters, so he must strike out to save them. The story won't be winning any awards, but it gets the job done and gets players into the game efficiently.

As Beat, the player swims around and can dash in any direction at will. The rhythm gameplay is introduced at a trickle. Beat first meets bass drum anemones, which pulse to a steady beat, sending Beat careening in a particular direction when he nears them, allowing him to destroy certain walls. Next are hi-hat crabs, which protrude damaging spikes until they are attacked. Finally, snare bubbles show up, which activate certain switches, and pop to the beat with a snare's distinctive crack.

Those three basic drum elements set the stage in the levels, each of which features a unique song. The other pieces of instrumentation show up later; bass is provided by creatures that essentially teleport Beat elsewhere, synth noises come from snails that fire plasma shots in the protagonist's direction. The really interesting idea that BeatBuddy explores is that since each piece of instrumentation is tied to a physical entity in the world, level design affects sound design, and by crafting the areas in particular ways, Threaks essentially remixes each song throughout its featured level.

That said, with each level lasting between 30 and 60 minutes, players will be listening to one song throughout. Though the modular nature of the pieces in BeatBuddy mitigates musical boredom quite well, there is an upper limit to how long it takes for a particular piece to get dull when listened to continuously, and BeatBuddy hits that limit occasionally.

Six levels means the soundtrack features six tracks, each composed by a different artist. Though they are unique from one another, the individual songs do not really cause their corresponding chapters to feel much different from one another. Eventually, the rhythm aspect comes into play in a more active manner, with Beat dashing through snare bubbles when they would pop or punching things (while dancing) to the beat of the music.

Past the musical facet, Beat spends most of his time exploring colorful underwater environments, breaking walls, and trying to find a way to get to the end. There is some light combat that functions fine but never really becomes interesting in any way. There are puzzles that cause a few minutes of head scratching but are not particularly challenging or inspired. There are timed events that make me lament the nature of underwater movement. Ultimately, there are other distractions to keep the experience from becoming too stale, but each on its own is far from outstanding.

What is outstanding is the presentation. Though most of the focus is on the sound design, the visuals put many of BeatBuddy's 2D contemporaries to shame, with vibrant, colorful environments made from detailed high-definition textures. Threaks really captured the almost alien wonder found in deep sea organisms. Simply put, it's beautiful. On rare occasions, the parallax scrolling will cause the foreground art to obscure Beat and his immediate surroundings, but it typically is not a huge issue.

Despite the praise for BeatBuddy's incredible art and sound direction, the title as a whole does not stand out as a must-play experience otherwise. The foundation for a great game is built here, but the gameplay ranges from passable to dull. Though it is never an overtly bad experience, the gameplay lacks any truly enthralling aspect to propel the player through. With a forgettable narrative, the only thing that really shines here is how BeatBuddy takes a song and really plays with it, both musically and physically within the environments. For some, that may be enough.



THE VERDICT

6

Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians - Reviewed by Darren Nakamura
Amicable - A presentable but unmemorable time. Focusing on the bright spots helps, and I appreciate the effort, but I won't be playing this repeatedly.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Darren Nakamura, Associate Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Dexter345 Tips
Darren is a scientist during the day. He has been a Destructoid community member since 2006, joining the front page as a contributor in 2011. While he enjoys shooters, RPGs, platformers, strateg... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, 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 *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Could you stop calling Metal Gear Solid V Kojima's "swan song?" He's not retired, for crying out loud.
extatix avatarextatix
Seems rather excessive for a 3ds game. (3ds xl for scale) [img]http://i.imgur.com/DwOtP0s.jpg?1[/img]
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Tried the stealth approach for awhile, time to switch things up. *plants C4 everywhere* I'll probably toss one on the poor schmuck that delivers my copy of MGS V. For taking so long.
WryGuy avatarWryGuy
Just a quick update for folks. Phil/Mike Martin is off the streets and safe for the next month. Thanks to everyone who helped out. You can keep up to on the forums: http://www.outerheavenforums.com/showthread.php?41974-The-Save-a-Phil-Foundation
Script avatarScript
Watching Twin Peaks for the first time. Just yooou... aaaand IIII...
Perro avatarPerro
So the 3DS Dragon Quest VII remake is coming to mobile in Japan, so there's a chance that version will get ported over here. Not ideal but if we get it at all I'll be happy!
The Travisionist avatarThe Travisionist
I'm just waiting for "Mad Max: U Mad, Bro?"
gajknight avatargajknight
Put down the deposit for my new car, will probably be able to pick it up on the weekend. Insurance is pretty good too, sub £1000 which is excellent. Kinda. My mum tried to reverse in 5th gear. She drives an automatic. What a noob. :P
Bardley avatarBardley
We are Diamond Dogs.
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
I get to work to stock and STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STREET DATE SEPT 4 OMG STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STREET DATE SEPT 4 STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS STAR WARS TOYS WHY ISN'T IT SEPT 4?
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Still waiting by the mailbox. Tranq'd a jogger and stuffed them into a locker just for fun. I keep throwing rocks to get the attention of the neighbors and then hiding in tall grass. They look noticeably upset. Probably because I kept them up all night.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Metal Gear or Mad Max? The choice is obvious. [IMG]http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b321/Felth/obvious%20choice.jpg~original[/IMG]
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Quickpostmortem My wife´s dog died yesterday . Rest in peace Diamond Dog . [img]http://i.imgur.com/uVT3HlF.jpg[/img] Here's to you, Malu Rest forever here in our hearts The last and final moment is yours That agony is your triumph
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Xbone journey continues! I thought I would like Dead Rising 3 well enough as a huge fan of 1/2, but I must say I find it's emphasis on hard drama laughable and the game fundamentally disingenuine. Guess I'm moving on to Forza Horizon 2.
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
I dig the feature in Until Dawn where, if you have the Playstation camera, it will record you briefly during jump scares for you to watch later. It's a really neat use of an underused peripheral. Too bad I'm dead inside and never react to them.
Shinta avatarShinta
[img]http://i.imgur.com/oZ7CQJa.jpg[/img]
nanashi avatarnanashi
Fallout Shelter: Impossible to Learn, Easy to Master.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Not saying this is the case, but Kojima has gone on record as being a huge Mad Max: Fury Road fan. Konami decided to release MGSV on the same day as Mad Max TVG. They're trying piss on Kojima's lawn, man.
ooktar avatarooktar
Downloading Phantom Pain. ETA, 16 hours. Just in time for lunch tomorrow.
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
OH WOW. Talk about a complete about face. After slogging through the horrid beginning and slow ass swap sequence this game picked up exponentially. So far, I'm enjoying the hell out of it now. All if forgiven. Thank you based Kojima.
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

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 -