Tag Archives: DDR

[Video Game Review] [Music Games] VOEZ – Rayark’s beautiful FREE Anime music game on iOS & Android


[Video Game Review]
Music Game VOEZ for Mobile Devices
Rating: 5/5 Stars & Honorable Mention
Publisher: Rayark Games

VOEZ. The musical tapping game seeks to revolutionize music gaming and mobile gaming.

Previously known as Project V, earlier this week Taiwanese game company Rayark Games released their much anticipated project Voez. Many had been anticipating the game for the better part of this year. I just happened to browse through Apple’s iTunes Music / App store and the Editor’s Picks section was raving about the game. It looked good enough the pictures drew me in with beautiful artwork and graphics.

Essentially, this game is Tap Tap Revolution on crack, well actually more like TTR’s rich, sophisticated, too-cool-for-school cousin that everyone wants to be like. As mentioned in the video review above the game combines elements of DDR (Dance Dance Revolution; a game I used to compete in tournaments for), Beatmania (an offshoot of DDR; CRAZY popular throughout Japan and Asia), and Rock Band.

As soon as you open the game you can tell it is certainly made/influenced by Asian music arcade games. From the slick presentation, the opening anime movie sequence complete with soothing Engrish lyrics to the opening menu and tutorial the game feels too good (and professional) to be true, or free!

The best part of the game however is the gameplay and the music. While most music games, especially for mobile devices have simply cheesy original music or borrow a small helping of “real songs” that usually suck (I’m looking at you Tap Tap) all the songs in Voez feel like they were ripped straight out of Japan’s newest release of JuBeat or Beatmania IIDX, the artists have certainly put in work to create some truly stunning songs. Though most of the songs appeal to an audience that likes anime or has played Japanese music games before (much of the songs are in Chinese or Japanese, are dubstep or happy hardcore) the quality of the songs is so great you might like them even if you don’t like the style of music.

Better still, are the amazing graphics of the game. Everything feels crisp on the playscreen and because the screens are loaded all at once, even lower end devices can play the game fairly well. Like Rock Band or Guitar Hero, you are in command of lines of notes that scroll to a horizontal line at the bottom the screen. You tap the notes as they hit the bottom of the screen in time to the music, maintaining your combo and trying to do as best you can. As you tap the notes radiate a beautiful diamond shape in rainbow colors (if you were exactly on beat) or in gold if you were pretty close to exactly on time.

However, it’s not that simple. There are different note types, some you simply tap, others you must swipe (like unlocking your phone screen), some you must slide your finger across the screen and others you must “freeze” your fingers in place and slide them as well. Not only that, but on some songs (like my favorite “Refel” by Sakuzyo) the actual play grid will shift and move as bass drops hits or during dubstep bass womp rolls (like in “Flame Dark”).

The degree of technicality involved, and how precisely the notes appear, even in timing with the vocals of each song is impressive. Each time you play you want to do better and like most Asian music games, you feel an intense sense of accomplishment when you ‘full combo’ (FC) or perfect a song without missing a single note. The leaderboard is full of players from Asia and America who have FC’d every song. Not only that but your taps can be “Perfect Perfect” or “Perfect Good” meaning if you get more notes tapped exactly on beat even if you miss a few, your score will be higher than someone who full combo’d the song but was not quite as on beat as you. Getting better seems impossible but each time you play you get better as you learn where the notes fall and how the grid shifts.

Voez Review and Rating:

Graphics: 5/5 – Beautiful graphics that are hard to believe are in a free game. From the anime-inspired artwork, the Beatmania/DDR-esque song selection screen to the playboard, this game would fit right in in an arcade or on Xbox Live Arcade / Playstation Network.

Sound: 5/5 – From the menu selection to the songs, its all top notch. The songs are addictive and on iTunes for purchase. Best are “Flame Dark” “Platinum” “Keep You Safe” and “Refel”

Gameplay: 5/5 – The gameplay is addictive and easy to learn, but tough to master. You will find yourself looking for songs in your difficulty range to perfect, and each day you play you will do better and better, which feels great.

P2P/IAP 4.5/5 – While the song selection is very good, you start the game with maybe 1 or 2 songs. After a few rounds of play you unlock keys, which unlock songs but you can’t take them back. I unlocked a few songs I later regretted. Aside from the 2-3 the game gives you, you must buy the rest ($0.99 a song, $4.99 for 6, about $20 for 35 songs, etc.). I ended up buying about 8 songs. In fact, if you don’t buy any the game gets repetitive rather quickly

Summary: Overall, VOEZ is awesome game that should delight music fans, anime fans, or anyone looking to try something new. The game is both exciting and relaxing and is simply a joy to play. It is quite easy to lose an hour trying to best your scores or simply admiring the beauty that is this game.

 

 

 

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[EDM Origins: Techno Music] Ellen Gee – Movin’ On (Extended Moon Mix) // [Dance/EDM:] Neon Trees – Lessons In Love (feat. Kaskade) & TCS Vs. Level 42 – Lessons In Love (1985 Re-make SideChain Remix)


[Eurodance / Techno:] Movin’ On (Extended Moon Mix) – Ellen Gee

Once again letting my nerd/gamer geek flag fly, in today’s origins post I will be highlighting “techno” music. The first track I’m highlighting, is Ellen Gee’s Movin’ On (Extended Moon Mix)“, best known for its inclusion in the Japanese music-and-rhythm dancing simulation game, Dance Dance Revolution 5th Mix. This somewhat rare song, was featured on only one version of the game and for a LONG time was only available in its 1:30s length form (all DDR songs are cut from their full version to make them more playable and less exhausting). DDR sampled MOST of its licensed music through a Japanese DJ/mix series called Dancemania that was hosted by Toshiba-EMI, along with a lot of original productions from Konami (the publisher) itself. Some of these original productions actually made the video game singers into real stars/artists (ex: Naoki, beForU, dj TAKA, Paula Terry, Riyu Kosaka, Aaron G., Des-Row, DJ TaQ and more…For more info about DDR, see below:


[Dance / Electronic:] Neon Trees – Lessons in Love (Kaskade Remix)

Next up, we have two songs of the same name, but both good in their own right. Neon TreesLessons in Love (Kaskade Remix)” remixed by the legendary, on-of-a-kind, kaskade, featured on his EP Fire & Ice. The song is a great combination of electronic sounds and alternative rock feel.

Our second “Lessons in Love” comes from TCS vs. Level 42 with their re-make of the 1985 classic rock song of the same name, remixed by EDM artist/producer, SideChain. Check it out above!

About Dance Dance Revolution:
Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) was a revolutionary arcade game, that later expanded into the console market (on Playstation 1 and 2, but subsequently almost every system of its time), where players would step on a dance mat (or metal dance pad at the arcade) with arrows on the ground. As the music plays (much of it was Japanese pop, eurobeat, techno, dance music, but DDR was known for having a little of everything), arrows rise on the screen and once they reach the top, the player must step on them. The game became wildly popular in Japan after its initial release in 1998, eventually made its way overseas and had quite a cult following in America as arcades imported Japanese arcade cabinets and people around the country met up specifically for “DDR seshs” and even tournaments arose, with prizes in the $1,000s or more for those competing in national and international tourneys.

[Video Game Music Origins:] [Geek Pop / J-Pop] Freezepop – Singles // [NONSTOP MEGAMIX] DJ Tiësto, Activision, Lady Gaga & Adamski


(Original production for PS2 game Harmonix’s FreQuencyScience Genius Girl DJ Hero 2’s deadmau5 Megamix feat. Kaskade Second Feature, DJ Tiesto’s Megamix in DJ Hero 2: Freezepop’s popular music video for TENISU NO BOIFURENDO As a gamer (when time permits) I can’t not highlight music inspired by, from and featured in video games. In fact, there are several games of days past that I can solely attribute to accentuating my love of EDM (electronic dance music) [for a list of good music video games check below].  SSX 3 OST – Emerge (JUNKIE XL Remix) – Fischerspooner

SSX Tricky and more notably SSX 3 on GameCube featured a wide variety of artists including many British EDM acts as well as hip-hop. This game was the first to introduce me to artists such as, The X-Ecutioners, LCD SoundSystem, Audio Bullys and Jason Nevins’ remix of N.E.R.D.’s “Rockstar” with a soundtrack that featured a lot of electronic and UK house music.

Underground sleeper-favorite, blur, a racing game released by the makers of Geometry Wars on PS3 and Xbox 360, had an incredible EDM-filled soundtrack as well. The game sadly went under, probably due to a lack of a good marketing, but its concept was revolutionary, combining the weapon firing elements of Mario Kart with the sports-car inner-city racing thrills of Need For Speed Underground or Midnight Club, blur was way ahead of its time. Check out the blur soundtrack starting with Spank Rock’s “Bump (Best Fwends Remix)

[AMPLITUDE SOUNDTRACK]

Notables: Shades of Blue, Everyone Says Hi, Cherry Lips] For this feature I am highlighting a song out of the Playstation 2 series of music games, “FreQuency” and “Amplitude“. Revolutionary for their time, these games combined elements of rail shooters with music production, where the player would control tracks (such as bass, drums, vocals, FX, etc.) and by successfully tapping the notes the actual tracks would play and be added (or skip or get silenced if you mess up) as you successfully clear the stage. Someone playing S.C.G. by Freezepop in Rock Band

Freezepop was a well-known band through the games alone where they contributed some original music productions that could be called sci-fi techno, trance or just early EDM music. They also created another song called Super Sprode for Harmonix’s sequel to FreQuency, Amplitude, a fan/cult favorite music game that was way ahead of its time. With the song-creating elements of the first game and online interactivity Amplitude is known as one of the greatest music games of all time. There is currectly a KickStarter campain to create a sequel to Amplitude for PS4.


EDM giant deadmau5’s Megamix featuring House legend Kaskade Next, from another popular, but also sadly defunct music game series, comes a stunningly-good megamix of songs by DJ Tiesto featured in the game DJ Hero 2, also produced by Activision. This game was very similar to their other music series, Guitar Hero but featured an actual turntable peripheral used to play the game, scratch and cut-up audio tracks. Though the game was immense fun, it’s very mainstream songlist, huge jump of difficulty from Hard to Expert (much harder than in GH) and lack of support for online play and DLC (though there was a lot of DLC upon first release) led to its eventual demise. DJ Hero by far however was not the first game to use a turntable peripheral, neither was Guitar Hero the first to use guitar add-ons. These medals below to KonamiJapanese video game publisher who’s BEMANI music video game series (started back in 1998) and the obsession of my life from about age 10-19 with their breakout series beatmania, it’s follower beatmania IIDX, and their most popular series to date, Dance Dance Revolution. Video Games with Popular or Prominent Soundtracks: The entire Dance Dance Revolution series Final Fantasy series (notably VII, IX, X, XI and XIII) Audition (Korean PC free-to-play music series) The entire beatmania IIDX series Guitar Hero (3, World Tour, 4) Pump It Up SSX Tricky, and SSX 3 Grand Theft Auto Series & Sleeping Dogs FIFA games and many other EA titles