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Mini-Review: 1... 2... 3... Kick it! (Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby!)

This is my List. These are the games that have been taking space on my hard drive and my shelves begging to be played. I've heard it long enough and now I'm going to play each and every single one. This is my 1st on the list and it's called 1... 2... 3... Kick it!

Kick it! is based on one of Dejobaan's previous games called "AaAaAA!!! Reckless Disregard for Gravity" I don't think it's supposed to be a sequel or anything like that but a reworking of the game's original engine to turn it into a music game. This is one of those games where you put your music into the game and it creates a fall or flight level based off some algorithms in your music. This game in particular has you falling or flying (which ever your perspective might be) toward the end of the song trying to dodge obstacles, get point markers, shoot oncoming enemies/ blocks and get as close as you can to oncoming traffic to get kisses that equal points and a multiplier for your points. It should be noted that you can't lose. I mean by that no matter how many times you hit walls, blocks, or even get shot, you'll continue to the end of the song.

This game is still in Alpha, so there is a lot of work still being done. In reality, this review should only reflect the alpha version of the game. I don't anticipate this review to be taken seriously there is still much for the developers to do before a final word can be said. Maybe I'll do a second review of this game once it is completed and I can give my final opinion. Anyway onto my impression.

I have played this game before (during the Portal 2/ Potato Sack ARG) so I knew what to expect. This time and the last time I played I felt a sense of boredom. I saw this to be a game where you fall past simple blocks to gain a score with your music in the background and in a sense, I was right. There is a tutorial as well as three game modes. Those not familiar with Dejobaan's previous game might want to look through the tutorial (single page of text) but I don't think it's necessary. It's all self explanatory by playing the game normally. The only thing worth noting is that you can rotate the camera with the right mouse button and the middle key. Even so there is only one song where it matters. It's a rework of the Original Portal ending theme Still Alive(used for the Portal 2 ARG). You had to fly through point markers facing a certain orientation to get points. Though it was only one instance that the game changes like this, so I won't focus on it. Everything else you'll learn by playing.

One of my first issues is how to get your music into the game. It's not really explained and after a few minutes of fooling around with the music folder, I figured out you had to drag and drop your music to the Kick it! music folder. Not the most user friendly but it's still in alpha so I can't complain too much. After that there are two difficulty settings that will supply you with your first tries at the game. City 11b the easy level that will get you used to the game. It's simple, most blocks and obstacles are easy to maneuver around and the game plays at a slow pace. I skipped that level soon wanting more of a challenge. I started playing City 12 or aka the Normal/Hard mode of the game. I played this level a few hours. That was an excruciating few hours. First off, it only played one kind of level. One where you were falling with slim blocks and fat blocking hurtling towards you. While collecting point markers that revolves around the blocks. It was entertaining for the first song or two but there was no variety, no spice! No, just that but the game seemed to enjoy making it difficult for me. Often, point markers would pop up directly in front of some blocks. There were no way to get these without hitting the blocks and losing your points multiplier. Even if you were desperate to get points it was fruitless effort. There were even times when I felt tricked because the blocks would spawn one or two seconds behind a point marker, giving a very little chance to dodge the oncoming block. Then my multiplier would dropped and I would have to raise it again. But there were so many blocks around me that getting kisses was a breeze, it would refill within a few moments but making the points you earn feel empty. Almost felt as if there was no punishment for hitting a block, which made me feel like there was no challenge.

I was getting bored quick and by the second hour of playing this I was becoming desperately tired of this game. Not just that but the game didn't feel cohesive to the music. It didn't blend. And ironically the music was the only thing that was still good about it (Only because it was my music) With me getting desperate and starting to regret my decision of starting with this game, I decided to try playing Genome City. It was labeled "Experimental" so I was getting worried. I was thinking in my head if these two other difficulties were horrible, I can only imagine what this has in store for me. I assumed it was going to be like the others only impossible to dodge. As I sighed and I loaded up some random setting into this genome City I was surprised, very very, surprised.

The game almost completely changed in front of my eyes. Instead of boredom I was excited. There were spinney blade things, enemies shooting at me, thin walls I had to squeeze into and what topped it all off is the music was pulsing in the background. They were hiding the real game under the assumption that people would try all three setting! I was about to give up when this last one was begging for a turn. The other two were a sham and a trick and should be completely forgotten if you happen to give this game a chance. There were a few times while I was playing with a really pulsating song in the background and I was dodging blocks and walls left and right I felt like I was the s**t. This experimental mode made the game more interesting. You could increase the size of the blocks with the fatness setting, The color (I think) with the Hue and the complexity of the falls with the Twist setting. I'm still playing around with it to find my right setting but so far I'm having fun just trying out each setting in different ways. The game has seemed to really have opened up to me but there is still this unshakeable feeling that the game is not completed, Obviously still in Alpha. So it isn't. They have issues with the point marker placement. They are put some times in the most inconvenient places. Right on a block or right in front of one. Sometimes there are falls were there are nothing but points floating around. Which is a nice treat every now and then but I've been seeing it too often and it seems like there is more and more missing. The movement speed doesn't feel fast enough to keep up with some of the point marker patterns. Also I don't think the game can handle a song longer than a few minutes that or my music happens to cut off in funny places. All in all the game is still in development, so it deserves the benefit of the doubt. But there is still a lot of slack I see. Some places need tweaking (marker placement) and others just need to be dropped(pointless and boring City12) Though I'll be back to play the game again when it's ready and I think I'll be happy with the results.
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About Shadowdunone of us since 5:00 PM on 06.15.2008

Me? Me equals someone who has been playing since I was a kid. I grew up with Sonic and Mario as my best friends. Though they didn't really get along at the time but they were my tireless companions. Growing up there were lots of things changing for the better and worse but gaming was always the constant, never fading or failing me. There were a lot of things that I learned from gaming and lots of things I lost but after everything I would not be the same person without it. Gaming has touched me in such a way that I hope to touch people in the same way... I mean, er with my words... touching people with my words. Gaming has made a giant contribution to my life and made me who I am as a person and I hope to repay it with my words... or my mouth if it's into that.
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