PDA

View Full Version : A Diamond in the Rough: My Random Thoughts and Suggestions


freibooter
04-16-2010, 05:33 AM
I'm normally very careful when it comes to buying games like this without a demo and/or reading some reviews first. I normally wait until it goes on sale after a few months.

What convinced me in this case:
* very fair EU-pricing
* generous on-release-discount
* a clearly dedicated developer that reaches out to his customers

Thanks for all of this, Steve. :)


I'm pleasantly surprised by how good and addictive this game is. It's simple fun and something that I can imagine coming back to frequently.

Of course, people will compare it to Audiosurf, the genre pioneer, and these games do have a lot in common.
Just like Audiosurf was on its initial release, Beat Hazard for PC is still pretty green behind its ears and rough around the edges. With tweak and patches this game can become another classic over time, though.


Some random thoughts and improvement suggestions:


The game is simple but surprisingly addictive, I stopped writing this to play another round. That's a pretty good sign for a good game. :)
I love that the game makes use of the Xbox 360 gamepad's rumble feature. However, it would be nice if we could adjust rumble a bit (it's a bit weak for my taste).
Why does the "back" button pause the game and not the "start" button as it does in basically every other game? Would be cool if we could change that or if both would trigger the pause-screen.
Co-Op - like in the Xbox 360 version - would be nice. One Player on keyboard and mouse, the other on gamepad ... or both on gamepad.
Better support for different codecs is coming, I heard ... that's great. :)
I actually do not mind the music browser as much as other people on these forums. It does its job well enough, looks nice and doesn't break the games "flow".
But there are two things that bug really me:
* Why on earth does the B-button kick me back all the way to the main menu instead of going "back" (i.e. to the previous folder)? :eek:
* No support for Windows 7 libraries. :( I have my entire music collection scattered over several drives but neatly organized in the Windows 7 "Music"-Library.
The design of the enemies couldn't have been more bland. Generic, gray spaceships? I guess this is supposed to be in contrast to the gigantic cloud of colorful fireworks that basically is the rest of the game, but still: meh.
A bit more enemy and gameplay variety wouldn't hurt. Asteroids -> little ships -> bigger ships -> boss fight etc. ... that pretty much describes the entire variety of current enemies.
I understand that per-song-leaderboards like in Audiosurf would have been a huge challenge and that Steamworks probably isn't equipped for that ... but still: that would have been much more useful than the current ones since gameplay and scoring for each song is very, very different. The leaderboards, as they are right now, are less about skill but more about chosing and owning the right song.
While Audiosurf gives you a different level and experience for almost anything you throw at it, Beat Hazard sadly only works well with a certain kinds of songs. It works fantastically well with the included music and genres like punk or metal, but it's borderline impossible and above all not much fun to play it with anything else. Playing it with "The Offspring" can be absolutely amazing, but when even classics like Queens "Don't Stop Me Now" hardly give the player enough firepower, it feels like the game could benefit from some more tweaking. Songs like the original "Super Mario Bros" or "Tetris" soundtrack are a blast to play on Audiosurf but are essentially useless for Beat Hazard, and so is everything else that is even borderline slow. It doesn't always feel like Beat Hazard accurately captures the energy of certain songs.
The gameplay also doesn't seem to adapt as much to the song as the firepower of the ship, at least not enough in my experience.

Mhh ... enough ramblings for now ... time for another round. :)

Berzeger_
04-16-2010, 05:42 AM
Very well said, Freibooter, couldn't agree more.

Syncourt
04-16-2010, 01:19 PM
Pretty much agree with everything there, although I have no problems with the current look of the ships to be honest.

However there are 2 things I would like to add that would really help visually keeping track of your game and stop some important things from blurring into the effects during the super intense flashy bits;
1) Don't allow the crosshair to blur, it should be static above the rest of the graphics (like missiles for example).
2) Upon respawning there needs to be a very distinct respawn sound and a static red arrow pointing out where your ship re-appeared.

Painseeker
04-16-2010, 01:23 PM
I agree with the issue with slower songs. I was playing the Morrowind title theme and got 2 bosses and a huge amount of asteroids and ships with no superbomb drops. And to combat this I had a gun that let off the occasional couple of shots.

HeatSurge
04-16-2010, 01:37 PM
In no particular order:


Selectable resolution (luckily it seems to run matching the desktop res. which is what I'd do anyway, but selectable would be nicer)
Make slower songs playable and balanced somehow
Crosshair not visible enough, make it higher contrast/larger/selectable(multiple designs?)/colorable/sizable?
more formats - ogg, flac at the very least
mouse cursor on menus - this is PC, not xbox360
configurable controllers/controls. Again, this is PC, not xbox360 - and no I don't have the crappy controller - I have a logitech ps clone that I'd like to use instead
better folder display - hard to scroll through large folders quickly


That's about it for now I suppose.

freibooter
04-20-2010, 03:38 AM
After playing this game some (actually: a lot) more and leveling up a bit, a couple of my concerns have been put into perspective.

There are still a couple of songs that don't work with the game at all, but those are a lot less than I thought. Most slow songs just make for a much more challenging but still highly intriguing experience.

But a couple of points remain and I really wish these could be addressed in future updates:


We need a (gamepad-)button to go up in the folder hierarchy! I was hoping "B" would do this instead of going all the way back to the main menu. File navigation would be massively improved by allowing us to switch between folders a bit faster and there are plenty of unassigned buttons to chose from.
I really want to be able to pause the game with the currently unassigned "start"-button (just like any other game)
Unicode support
Windows 7 library support
Adjustable rumble intensity
Per-song leaderboards (like Audiosurf)

Keneticshark
04-20-2010, 10:53 AM
* No support for Windows 7 libraries. I have my entire music collection scattered over several drives but neatly organized in the Windows 7 "Music"-Library.


Seriously? That's...well, a disappointment. Still planning to buy though, but..:/

VikingSven
04-20-2010, 12:15 PM
The design of the enemies couldn't have been more bland. Generic, gray spaceships? I guess this is supposed to be in contrast to the gigantic cloud of colorful fireworks that basically is the rest of the game, but still: meh.
I think they could be made a whole lot better simply by adding some sort of engine flare as they move - same with the player ship

VikingSven
04-20-2010, 12:22 PM
* No support for Windows 7 libraries. I have my entire music collection scattered over several drives but neatly organized in the Windows 7 "Music"-Library.


Seriously? That's...well, a disappointment. Still planning to buy though, but..:/

Share the library (by right clicking on it), then create a symlink to the library, the same as you need to do for network shares if your music is on another PC

freibooter
04-21-2010, 11:12 AM
Share the library (by right clicking on it), then create a symlink to the library, the same as you need to do for network shares if your music is on another PC

That's a pretty ugly workaround though, I'd like to see some native support.
And, yeah, it's also pretty disappointing that not even network drives are supported at the moment.