Hearing about Sounds Shapes’ level creator function back in E3 was one of the reasons I became a Vita believer. It ended up being one of the first things I asked about during my time with the game at the Social Club. Unlike say, a LittleBigPlanet, where even though the touchscreen element helps with the ease of level creation on the Vita, the visual aspect of making a level look good is still daunting. Thanks to the quirky art style of Sound Shapes (hi, Everyday Shooter), it’s hardly an issue.
The simplicity also extends to how the level is created. Imagine that your screen is a blank musical timeline and you’re dropping in notes. Using various instruments that double as objects in the environment in the finished product (which you can manipulate even further via pinch and stretch), in the time that it took you to come up with a simple beat, you’ve already created a level. In fact, because you can stretch a level out pretty far (they wouldn’t say how long a level could be, but seeing the screen pass through multiple blank pages means you can go for a while there), you could conceivably create an fairly epic song and with a tap of the button, see that your creation has become a Sound Shapes level as well.
But before you even think about becoming a viral sensation because you managed to recreate the theme song to Super Mario Bros. in Sound Shapes, you really need to play the levels that Jonathan Mak and Queasy Games laid down. As your “tiny little gear thing” (my exact, not-so-eloquent words to the developer as I playing the game), you can feel every little bit of your actions and accomplishments is adding to the level’s soundtrack in a way that you probably haven’t felt in a long time. Actually, maybe never if you’ve never played Rez, so this might actually be a first for you.
If Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3’s big Vita innovation takes off, while we call it, “swipe mashing?”
Check out the rest of our Vita previews here.
Follow me on Twitter.