Date: 12-03-2010 07:02
Author: Jesse Dietderich

PDC profile: Jesse

This game was so much fun that I found myself playing more of this music/puzzle game rather than writing this review. It has its fair share of frustrations, yet is worthy of a purchase, as you will soon discover.

The Particles Dance

Auditorium HD is akin to other respectable PlayStation Network titles that have originated from their roots as web-games developed in Flash. This particular title was completely off my radar and I had no prior knowledge of it before choosing to review it. I have always enjoyed music that would dynamically change along with gameplay, but this game rewards you with music as you complete the puzzles. The 72 original "Classic" levels in the flash version of the game have been remastered in HD, and then added to 78 completely new "Modern" levels. Each stage has a stream of particles flowing across it in a particular direction, and are tasked with guiding the particles into containers by using a variety of tools specific to each level. These tools make use of the game's physics engine by allowing you to bounce the particles around in different directions, speed them up, swirl them around, reverse their direction, and so on. There is also a puzzle element that is added when certain containers will only fill up with certain color particles, so you need to solve the route which will color the particles correctly and get them to the proper containers. All the while, you are striving to solve these puzzles as quickly as possible. This isn't because you are rewarded points or that you are on a time limit, but because the musical score slowly fades in as you fill the containers up with particles. The satisfaction of solving puzzles and the feeling of creating music is what sold me on this game.

You are the Composer
The game supports both the standard PS3 controller, as well as the new PlayStation Move. I played the majority of the time with the PS Move, but did opt to play a few of the classic levels with my DualShock 3. The result was that the conventional controller gave more accuracy, as you could use the directional pad to fine tune the location of the particle tools, but wasn't as satisfying because you have to scroll through the tools using the shoulder buttons. The PS Move gave me much more freedom, but it did have its own issue with being able to easily select the particular tool you wanted when you had a few stacked on top of each other. This is the only annoyance I had endured during my play through. Yet, at the end of finishing a level, the aggravation would melt away, as I would begin to swing around the PS Move controller, as if I were a composer in front of a symphonic orchestra. The further you get in the game, the greater the challenges, and the more creative your solutions need to be.

My Final Words
This title brings a great deal of entertainment to the table with only minimal cost. It is a game that could be played by people of any skill level as it doesn't require split-second reflexes. The later stages require perhaps a more of an analytical approach to the puzzle solving, but what is a puzzle game if it doesn't challenge you? The colors, the physics, and the music make this a great game, no matter how you play it. This title doesn't have any sort of multiplayer, but I would find it difficult to implement with the way the game currently plays. The game also has support for 3D, which I couldn't review because I lack a 3D television. Regardless of not experiencing the 3D aspect, I couldn't imagine it detracting from how great the game was that I played in good ol' fashion 2D. If you have the funds, you definitely need to pick up this great title.

Cipher Prime originally developed the flash version of Auditorium back in 2008. It was then worked on by Empty Clip Studios to get it ready for the release on the PSN. This title is currently available in North American PlayStation Storefront with an asking price of $9.99 USD. I put in at least five hours in playing through both the Classic and Modern levels and didn't stop playing until I collected 100% of the trophies this game has to offer.

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