Beat Hazard Ultra - Quite possibly the most fun you can have with your music.
Beat Hazard Ultra - Cold Beam Games
Price: $1.99 [App Store]
Played On: iPod Touch 4th Generation 8gb.
This game was originally released on the PC as Beat Hazard. Soon it found itself on the Xbox Live Indie Game section, and then got an update adding in new graphics, new bosses and enemies, and so much more. It's also on the Playstation Network. But we don't care about that.
No, this great game is now on it's rightful place, the iTunes Appstore. The Game is honestly tailor made for iOS devices.
Beat Hazard Ultra plays like a game of Asteroids. Only in this game it's like, Asteroids on E. Your bullets glow brightly with the beat of the music. You have two things affecting your bullets. Volume and Power. Volume makes your bullets more... glowy. They have a better reach when the volume is up. Power makes them more powerful. Power shows up as red circles, Volume as yellow circles. Get them up to the max, and you are in Beat Hazard. When Beat Hazard mode is on, you also begin to shoot powerful beams from the very center of your ship, besides the other bullets from each side.
When you play, you choose a track based on what you have in your music library. A song that is fast paced and quite loud, will make the game fast paced and your bullets brighter and more powerful than if it's quiet and slow paced. Heavy Metal Music really works here. Most regular enemies and asteroids will be dealt with easily. However, there are different kinds of enemies and different bosses. For your average 3 minute song, there's usually at least one boss. Sometimes there are multiple bosses in a single song. They range from the easy (Bigger versions of enemy ships) to the annoying (the bosses shaped like a sea-star), to the demented (The Centipede boss). Thankfully, those bombs will come in handy as they make you invincible for a brief period of time and spread out killing mobs of enemies.
When you kill enemies, you can get one of the following, Volume, Power, Point Multipliers (they are green circles), or Cash (in the form of 10 dollars).
The multipliers help you boost up your score. You want that in the beginning, as when you reach certain amounts of points you get to unlock one perk. Unlocking the Perk is but half of the puzzle. You have to use cash to buy and upgrade the item. That way, you can unlock power ups such as Ultra Beam, Reflect Shield, and Missiles. (I recommend getting those reflect shields first.)
Beat Hazard Ultra for the iOS is usually played with two touchscreen controls. One stick to move the ship around, the other to fire your weapon. Tapping above or below each stick activates a power up.
There is also a one stick mode, where you only control the ship's movement. The ship will auto-fire on an enemy, and makes the game a lot easier than using two sticks. Especially since it's easier to select a power up with them on the right side of the screen.
There's also a survival mode, a boss rush mode, and a chill out mode. The first two modes will play your initial song, along with the songs after it. It's a continuous mode for both, getting consecutively harder with each wave. Chill Out Mode lets you play without worrying about dying too much.
Once you beat a song on a level, your points accumulate into a bar which fills up the more points you earn. You fill up the bar, you earn a perk and a rank up. You can also brag to your friends about your score which will allow you to send an email from your iOS device to any recipient you choose.
I do wish though that it had a global high score table for each song you play. I'd rock Coldplay's Paradise, no doubt.
There's also a visualization mode, where your iOS device flashes with bright objects like beams and such. Think of it as Winamp Visualizations on your device.
The game gets a bit laggy if there are too many bosses on screen, a problem in the higher waves of the Boss Rush Mode. And I usually set down my visual intensity to 50%, because it's hard to see at 100%, much less at 200%.
Also, a warning. Those who suffer from epilepsy should not play this game, since it has a lot of bright lights. The game also warns you before you get to the main menu.
This version also lacks multiplayer, which is present on the Steam (PC) and Playstation Network versions of the game. Perhaps it will be added later, but for now, you're playing this by yourself.
A added bonus though is the inclusion of online radio stations built into the game such as Sky FM top hits. However, not every station seems to be working.
In conclusion, I give this game a 5 out of 5. This is the reason you own an iOS device and put music on there. It's pretty much a rave in the palm of your hands.