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Thumper (PC, PS4, VR)

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  • 26-10-2016 10:04pm
    #1
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,184 CMod ✭✭✭✭




    I'm a big fan of rhythm games - when you get into the beat, there's nothing quite like a good music game. Very few get it exactly right though - a Rez here, or a Rock Band there, years between really really good ones.

    Thumper gets it very, very right.

    The developers at Drool are out to get you. They have made intense obstacle courses for your scarab thing, full of surprises and traps. Sprints to each checkpoint are often desperate affairs, the hunt for high scores abandoned in favour of simple survival. It often punishes anything short of perfection. And yet the game is surprisingly fair, lightened by mechanics that make the whole thing much more approachable - such as bonus health for the brave and optional systems that can lighten the workload.

    Each level is a marathon broken into dozens of shorter sprints - these are wild, unwieldy things, each with their own themes, repetitions and twists. The music isn't a single song as such, but more a constantly pulsating, abstract soundscape that determines the flow of the game. Yet for the lack of obvious hooks the game makes perfect sense as a rhythm game - far more so than, for example, the titles that allow you to input your own music - and nailing a tricky combo can be insanely gratifying due to the visceral nature of the feedback (hitting a perfect turn never fails to zing). It also understands the power of a good lull before hurling you back into the ****.

    This is all tied together by a confident visual style that becomes busier and more nightmarish as the game progresses - weird hybrid tentacle and vines creep closer to the track, forcing you to focus on the turns ahead. It's the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey by way of some dodgy peyote and Tron.

    I haven't played it in VR. I don't know if I could take it.


Comments

  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 10,187 Mod ✭✭✭✭Andrew76


    Your post and watching a YT review cost me €19.99! :D
    Played a little last night, up to 1-11, really good. Can see myself playing this alot!


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,703 ✭✭✭✭K.O.Kiki


    I am curious about this, wonder if it can give me the same feel of synesthesia as Rez did 10 years ago.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,184 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate


    Andrew76 wrote: »
    Your post and watching a YT review cost me €19.99! :D
    Played a little last night, up to 1-11, really good. Can see myself playing this alot!

    One of the great thrills of this game is going back to earlier levels and breezing through sections that seemed confounding or insane earlier :pac:


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 10,187 Mod ✭✭✭✭Andrew76


    One of the great thrills of this game is going back to earlier levels and breezing through sections that seemed confounding or insane earlier :pac:

    That's what I'm looking forward to - getting good enough to keep a run going and not stop/start like it is now (understandable as I've literally had a single go at it). The visuals and sense of speed is great. It also made me want to dig out F-Zero GX and play it again. :)


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,184 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate


    Andrew76 wrote: »
    That's what I'm looking forward to - getting good enough to keep a run going and not stop/start like it is now (understandable as I've literally had a single go at it). The visuals and sense of speed is great. It also made me want to dig out F-Zero GX and play it again. :)

    One thing I'd recommend is getting well used to the mostly optional blue gates and 'thumping' mechanic, which I don't think the game quite communicates the importance of when it introduces it in level two or three. When you hit a beat and there's high gates ahead, hold up to smash through them, and then hit down to smash into the next beat as well. It's important for high scores, but when you're playing mere survival too you can gather sometimes very welcome extra lives when doing so (not to mention a second or two of supremely satisfying feedback). Can be a source of relief in particularly long stretches of turns and other barriers :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,084 ✭✭✭✭Kirby


    Not sold. It just sounds awful.

    Rhythm games need two things to work. Accurate, instantaneous feedback.....which this has......but it also needs to sound good in order to be satisfying.....which this really doesnt. It sounds like 7 angry chimps swinging around a bunch of cats with bells on their feet.

    I clicked around a good few different levels hoping it would sound better but it doesn't.

    Doesn't do it for me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 663 ✭✭✭SomeSayKos


    This is easily one of my favourite games ever made.


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