Sunday, 8 May 2011

Reflec beat

Gamespot score:n/a

my score:7.5

(+)Pros:-Comprehensive song list for any J-pop lover,- e amusement card works here and can save progress for more goodies,-great versus based gameplay,-awesome presentation.

(-)Cons:-Level 5 and up songs can be hard to grasp with the addition of arrow buttons,-based on versus and ONLY versus,-bad matchups online.

Gameplay cost:2 tokens

Arcade releases have never really interested me until recently, when the bemani craze took me over. So yup, heres reflec beat, the beami series's latest release, and also my first bemani game. I was intruiged by the songs played when I walked past the machine. I heard 2 songs, level 5 judgelight and super driver. As an anime fan, I freaked when I heard these 2 songs, and thats when my journey into reflec beat began. Being a music game lover as well (djmax,stepmania,guitar hero and rock band are my friends), I jumped in without hesitation. Heres the letdown.

When this was just released, the token cost was preposterous. It cost 4 tokens back then, but after a month or so, it dropped to 2, so it was all good. For a music game here in singapore, the default cost for music games as such were at least 2-3 tokens, or 4 tokens to those really impressive ones. For 2 tokens in reflec beat, you are given 3 stages(like in all the bemani games I have played), and 3 songs of your choice, with the 3 difficulties. Each song is about a minute and a half, the lenght of an anime opening. So multipy that by 3, plus song selection and online connectivity, you get roughly about 5 minutes or so of gameplay.

Gameplay looks hectic,but belive me, its fun.

Reflec beat has a gameplay system very similar to air hockey,only more fun. The whole game is touch screen.You have 3 choices, to play with a friend via local, play with an opponent online, or if neither are available, you play with AI. Relfec beat is a very versus based game, and for that, its great. Every song you pick has a set amount of notes (like in every music game, I imagine), but the notes dont come in certain order like in most games. That means, you cant play the game and perfect a song by pure memorization, the game's main aspect is reflex.

Once the song starts, both you and your opponent releases a bunch of notes, and they flow in the opposite direction. When your opponent's notes come to you, hit them to change them to your notes, and they will be automatically sent back. You also get points for doing so. As you hit notes, they multiply and soon the number of notes on screen can be terrifying. And of course, if you miss, you lose some points, but the missed notes still bounce back to the opponent as your notes. There are your common day variety of notes in this game, pair notes, hold notes and a super speed note, all to spice up gameplay. Finally, the end result of each match is obvious, the side with most points wins.

Thats alot of songs...and is that super driver I see at the right side?

As mentioned before, you can get matched with 3 kinds of opponents during gameplay, local is playing with your friends, and the fun factor is there, since you are kinda competing with your friend. Online opponents are based on luck. If you run into an opponent that is weaker than the AI, then you're defientely in luck, be prepared to do some trashing. If you run into some pro, then good luck to you, since you are the one to get trashed. Finally, if you local (but have no friends to play with) or have no online opponents being matched up with, you pit against the AI, which in most cases, is best.

AI is easily the best opponent to fight against, since they go by difficulty curve. On stage one, they are cake, stage two, they step up thier game a little, and on the last stage, they can be pretty good. The song list in reflec beat can be pretty awesome, for anyone who digs J-pop. When you are dazzled by the amazing in-game presentation, you can choose from a list of pretty awesome tracks, including go-on by uverworld, heart and soul by AAA,one more time by daft punk and many more. Whats more, if you have e amsuement, you can unlock more songs to add to your already awesome song list!

Can you spot level 5 judgelight? Oh, and that hayate no gotoku song too.

Reflec beat is fun and all, but it can be terribly hard when you play level 5 and up songs, when the arrow keys get thrown in. It gets hard tp keep up, and kinda destroys momentum. Those who cant keep up are forced to play low level songs until they can act fast enough on reflex to beat those pesky arrows. Also, since this game is always based on versus type gameplay, one person will always be knocked out, be it your friend or some other noob around the world. The competition is fierce, and if you want to get the most out of your 2 tokens, you have to do your very best. Plus, combine this with bad matchmaking that most of the tme pairs you up with pros, you are gonna die.

Being my very 1st bemani game review, I'm quite pleased. Reflec beat is a good experience, and though Im still quite a noob ( im only level 9 or so), I would say that reflec beat has served me well. Those who love japanese songs will love reflec beat, but may get turned off by online matchmaking. Overall, its a good game, but jubeat is still far superior :).

Happy gaming.