November is a month where people channel their inner creativity. They celebrate the time of fall; it’s bright yellow, red, and orange colors of the leaves. They celebrate the types of food that will be displayed when big families come together, and are thankful that they have each other. It’s all creatively designed to draw everyone together.
So today, being Tuesday, November 23rd, the anticipated game that is all about being creative, and channeling that inner artist, couldn’t have been released at a better time. Japan Studio’s Beat Sketcher is an interactive musical painting game. It was made for the use of the PlayStation Move and the PlayStation Eye, and was released today in the PSN store. I made sure I got my download as soon as it was available. The demo, honestly, did not showcase this amazing game in the great potential that it clearly has, after I had dabbled with it the first few minutes. The game begins with the process of explaining how far, or how close a person should be in front of the PlayStation Eye. It then explains how bright the environment the player is in should be, and the calibration process for the PlayStation Move. Once the player is set up, the process of unlocking all of the menu options, and then progressing into a tutorial to teach you the main idea of the game takes place. When the player has passed onto the tutorial, the player is taught basic lines and shapes to show how accurate the Move is, and to also show what to expect in the Challenge mode.
The tutorial shows that the idea of Beat Sketcher is to sketch to the music being played in the background. In a sense, the player is making music much like a DJ. You are started off with a beat and the tutorial will display a line for you to follow. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. The player will have to draw the line in the same speed, and be as close to accurate as you can be to the guide line that you have to trace. This determines your score. The scores are ranged from “Bad”, “Good”, “Great”, “Excellent”, and “Cool”. It sort of reminds you of Parappa The Rapper’s score tactic, doesn’t it? To know when to start and finish, the line that you have to trace starts with starting circle. This is where your PlayStation Move glowing ball is to sit. A second circle appears, closes in, and overlaps onto that first circle to indicate when you should begin drawing. Remember, you should follow the same speed, and stay as close to accurately straight as that line is to determine your score. It sounds like a lot to do, but that is what poses the challenge. Each challenge has a different beat, and each stroke that you make has a different tune. These are the basic controls, and idea of the game, in which, the tutorial finally makes clear with the last lesson. You are now ready for the real thing!
Once the tutorial has been passed and the player is declared ready to play the game, one could only imagine what to do first. I took the initiative of trying out the Challenge mode. The first challenge was for me to follow the speed, and stay close to accuracy of drawing a green clover:
This was actually a pretty good challenge, and the music in the background was very upbeat. The tutorial mentioned a life bar that you actually have when doing challenges. If the player does a “bad” stroke, the life bar goes down a notch. If you do “good” to “excellent” strokes, the life bar goes up! And based on how well the player does his or her strokes, points are counted up and totaled at the end of the challenge. Then, a medal is given to the player. Plus, the player had the option to save the picture to their image gallery. Which you can then choose to save, and share with friends, family, and fellow gamers. During these challenges, I found it to be a little hard to keep still without bobbing my head along with the music.
This has been the only challenge I have tackled as of yet, but so far my impression of this game is pleasing. The game is going for $9.99 on the PlayStation Network store. I would say that it is a game for those hard, casual, or beginner gamers, who do not mind getting artistic everyone once in a while. Also for those who just want to get away from playing tough games for a bit. I have no doubt that this game is clearly going to be a favorite for friends, and family, or for just solo leisure fun!