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loud on planet x review

In 2005, Harmonix and Activision created and released an experimental happening of a video game. It was a video game emphasizing sounds and music. That music would be a playlist of licensed songs in the genre of Rock and Roll,  many of which were quite popular and familiar. The gameplay mechanic would involve a series of colored buttons that the player would have to hit in order to build a score and keep the song going. Finally, it all wrapped around a plastic guitar-shaped controller. This was the beginning of the phenomenon known as Guitar Hero.

Guitar Hero kicked off a revolution in games, creating a multitude of games within its franchise and inspiring competing titles, such as EA Games’ RockBand franchise. This phenomenon brought in thousands of gamers to play and created many competitions. Perhaps, it’s the greatest contribution was the opening of the music world to an entirely different culture. The culture of music and gaming didn’t collide but shook hands and got to know each other. It is because of this that video games, like Loud On Planet X, have been able to happen.

As video gamers have now been exposed to learning more about different forms of music, this has allowed for different artists to be heard and for their stories to be shared. Loud On Planet X, brought to us from Pop Sandbox Productions and supported by the country of Canada, is the latest addition to the rhythm genre of video games, but highlights itself as an indie rhythm shooter. In Loud On Planet X, you aren’t simply just matching music rhythms, but using those beats to blast hostile aliens looking to crash your band. As a rhythm shooter, Loud On Planet X can best be described as a Space Invaders-like game with music.

Loud On Planet X

Loud On Planet X takes place in a new world far from Earth, where musicians wish to find a fresh start and host a massive intergalactic music festival. However, the local alien race doesn’t like your taste in alternative music and wishes to shut the festival down. It is up to players to pair with real-life music artists and defend their show.

The first thing that may strike players are the visuals. The art style certainly has a modern, millennial type of illustration and color, making the game a sight to enjoy. The art style really pops out of the screen, like something seen in a Tumblr post, and lends itself to the creativity and charm of the game. Loud On Planet X looks distinctive and unique amongst the plethora of other indie games out on the market.

Where some indie games fall apart is in its execution of gameplay, but Loud On Planet X succeeds here. The purpose is to keep the song going and stop aliens from crashing your stage. Players can fire lasers to the rhythm of a particular song. That prompt comes from a pink border on the edges of your television screen. The other assigned buttons are where that laser will fire. The buttons are assigned to their corresponding lanes. As aliens come on these lanes, you’ll have to alternate your button presses to keep the aliens back.

The lasers come from music speakers right at the stage. Should an alien reach your stage, they will damage your speaker. Repeated attacks will eventually break your speaker completely and leave your stage open to the aliens. Should an alien get past those speakers and onto the stage, the game will be over, and players will have to start the song all over again.  Every few seconds, players will have access to a power-up to continue their defense. These clever power-ups, all inspired by music instruments and concert tools, will give you a reprieve. Strobe lights, amplifiers, bass boosters, and concert smoke are some of the things that will help you out.

Loud On Planet X

Every few seconds, players will have access to a power-up to continue their defense. These clever power-ups, all inspired by music instruments and concert effects, will allow players to keep the momentum and defense of their stage. Using these power-ups are also important to keeping the score up.

If players hit consecutive bass beats, the screen will slightly change, filing with more color and flow. This means that players have entered the double multiplier for their score, wich is important for getting a higher end rating. When the prompt appears, players can launch a sweeping attack, which not only looks fascinating but will wipe the aliens for a solid 5 seconds or so, which is a precious time in the context of the game.

When everything comes together, the game is fun, competitive, and incredibly engaging. There is an amazing flow that forms between the gameplay, the music, and the visual color palettes. Even if a song ends in failure, there is always that “one more time” level of feedback to keep playing until the song is successful. Each track also feels distinct from each other, as the game encompasses more than just alternative music. Rap, hip-hop, punk rock, a new wave, and synth rock are just some of the sub-genres covered across the game. Each level feels different, making Loud On Planet X a varied playing experience.

Of course, a rhythm game is nothing without its music selection, and the different artists in Loud On Planet X are worth the price of admission alone. Metric, F*cked Up, Tegan & Sera, CHVRCHES, July Talk, and much more are part of the tracklist here for the game. If you are playing, you want to crank the volume up or put on earbuds, as the game is available on mobile platforms.

Loud On Planet X

However, one of the primary drawbacks to the Loud On Planet X is its relatively short length. While the game has a plethora of music tracks to play, the length of the game is generally short. All the track lead to one epic boss fight, five minutes where all the songs get mixed into the five-minute song. However, after that boss fight, the game is over. Anyone that would like to 100% the game, earning three stars on songs, are free to do so, but there are no extra levels or unlocks. This makes Loud On Planet X fantastic for a short time, but not much else afterward. However, those with mobile platforms may have more longevity, as most mobile games are designed to be played in small, quick increments on the go.

Loud On Planet X, despite its short length, is a very solid music gaming experience. Its gameplay is engaging, and its presentation is sharp, but, its music playlist will leave you jamming to the game long after you are done. May Loud On Planet X usher in a new age of rhythm music games, that cleverly think of new ways to keep players in tune.

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