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Review: Audioshield

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Punching music is a great workout

For the last few weeks, I've had an HTC Vive set up in my living room, pulling it out when friends or family are visiting to show off the wonders of VR. While experiences like Tilt Brush or Space Pirate Trainer draw interest, Audioshield always seems to be the game that people get most excited about trying for themselves.

The idea is simple; load up a song from your PC, let the game generate a bunch of neon paint blob asteroids and then punch your way through the song. Hit blue notes with one hand, orange with the other, or put both hands together to block purple notes. It's a simple concept, but one that had those watching queuing up to try it.

Audioshield (HTC Vive)
Developer: Dylan Fitterer
Publisher: Dylan Fitterer
Released: 5 April 2016
MSRP: $19.99

Audioshield is one of those games that, much like the developer's first game AudioSurf, takes the music on your PC and generates gameplay to sync up with your favourite tracks. In this regard, I was always impressed with the quality of Audioshield's procedural generation. From fast tracks like 'Through the Fire and the Flames' down to quiet acoustic tracks, the game consistently generated note patterns that made sense, were fun to play and synced properly with the song selected. I loaded around 200 songs into the game over a two week period, and not one song had any issues with gameplay generation quality.

So, how is the game itself to play? Audioshield is fully playable with standing room space only on the Vive, requiring just enough room to stand in one spot and move your arms as far as they can. Difficulty is scaled by increasing the range of incoming angles, speed and frequency of notes, as well as the frequency with which the colours switch up which sides they tend to come from.

Motion tracking for both hands was always accurate, the track generation was incredibly fast, the tracks generated were well-polished, and the sensory feedback when playing well was incredibly well handled. With sparks flying in my face and a sense of impact as I punched notes, Audioshield feels incredible to play.

Seriously, I have very little in the way of complaints about Audioshield. The only real issue I have is that the energetic play it encourages quickly produces a very sweaty VR headset, which, when people want to pass it around in a party environment, can get gross pretty fast. While this is more of an issue with the Vive headset itself, it's far more noticeable with Audioshield than any other VR game I have played.

If you're a fan of games like AudioSurf and own a Vive, you owe it to yourself to pick up Audioshield. It's an incredibly polished VR imagining of the generate-music-into-levels concept, and it was only let down by the physical realities of how gross VR gets after energetic use by multiple, sweaty people.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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Audioshield reviewed by Laura Kate Dale

9.5

SUPERB

A hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage.
How we score:  The destructoid reviews guide

 
 
 

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Laura Kate Dale
Laura Kate DaleFormer Queen of England   gamer profile

Laura's gaming journey began in the 90′s when she was given a SNES by her older brother with Mario paint. From that day video games were all she thought about day or night, be it playing them, ... more + disclosures


 




 


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