0-D Beat Drop Review (XBLA)
Posted by Jim Cook, Nov 16, 2009 23:21
Puzzle games where your job is to drop three or more blocks of the same color together are quite common by now, such that any new entry in the genre must do something different or relegate itself to obscurity. 0-D Beat Drop fortunately manages to do something unusual, introducing rhythm game mechanics to the formula. Far from being just a gimmick, this adds some real flavor to the game and makes it worth considering at its 800 Point/$10 price tag.
At its core, this is a simple game to learn. You’re given a series of colored blocks to rotate and stack on a field, just like Tetris or most ’match three’ puzzle games. If the screen fills up to a certain point, you lose. There are two major differences however, the first being that merely stacking three or more of a color is not enough to make the blocks disappear. Instead, you must ’drop’ them in sync with the music’s rhythm; time it right and they’ll crash down, vaporizing all connected blocks of the same color. Failure simply results in a regular drop where they connect with those pieces.
Fortunately, you get two indicators as to when it’s the right time to do a special drop. The first is the music itself, but you also get a visual meter that waves up and down; hit the button when it’s in the red area and you’ll do a successful drop. It’s entirely possible to get an elaborate chain of blocks removed from such a drop, if you have set the stage up right beforehand. These chains are particularly important in the various versus modes, which are a major part of the game. The game only includes a modest number of tracks to listen to, and they’re joined by a pretty simple list of modes: Standard versus play, four way survival battles, team versus team play, time attack (where you try to reach a certain point total as fast as possible), and task (where you go for things like X number of chains in a single drop). The different modes are fine, and the music would be a problem except for one major feature.
Specifically, you can add your own music to the game. Music from the Xbox 360’s hard drive or certain compatible USB devices* may be loaded, at which point it will be analyzed. Once analysis is done, simply play the track via your Guide button menu and the analyzed data will be used to let you play this game with your new music. Not all music is really ideal for this kind of play, but it still adds some welcome variety to an otherwise limited track list. You will probably need to read this game’s manual (built in) for best results, but it’s not hard to learn from there.
As a mostly competitive puzzle game, online play is supported along with local multiplayer. The local modes seem to work well enough, and an AI of varying difficulty is included. However, online play seems to be deserted already and this is a shame; 0-D Beat Drop seems like it would be quite fun in groups even with people you don’t already know, and I can only hope the player population grows.
While a fairly simple game, 0-D Beat Drop offers just enough variety in modes and features that it’s worth a look. It’s an enjoyable ’versus puzzler’, and the ability to add your own music is pretty nice. It may not be to everyone’s tastes, but I think most people that try it will like it, and with that in mind I encourage you to give 0-D Beat Drop a try; it earns its 800 Microsoft Points.
*: In theory, any USB device with MP3s on it, including MP3 players, is probably supported. In reality I had to try a few different ones before simply loading MP3s onto a typical USB drive (not a music player, just a data storage device) got it to work. I suspect this is more an issue with the Xbox 360 itself rather than 0-D Beat Drop, but whatever the case it did take a while to get the music transfer to work.
Rating: 0.0, votes: 0