BEAT HAZARD ULTRA
PS3 (also on PC)
Damn we’re mooshy! Tearing up recalling those 8-bit days when solo
people crafted entire games, rather than ‘teams’ of 50 fucking
million. Andrew Braybrook, John M Philips, Jeff Minter...
Why this stumble down memory lane? Well, Beat Hazard Ultra
was developed by one dude – and we daresay programming a PS3 is a
mite tougher than telling a C64 what to do. Steve Hunt, respect!
BHU’s a full-on twinstick shooter not a million miles – or
even 10 miles for that matter - removed from Super Stardust HD:
a liberal chunk of Blasteroids with several R-Type-like
bosses and sundry other shootable greeblies inserted. Where
originality kicks in is that it’s mated with a lightsynth. Plop your
fave tunes PS3-wards and shoot along to them! Got 500,000 songs?
That’s 500,000 unique levels. Hmm, we should try John Cale’s '4’33”'
and see what happens...
So, stars pulse in beat, whilst attack waves and even your shooty
powers ebb and flow with the music’s urgency. The kicker is each
song’s level plays identically each time, so high score chasing is
Visually, BHU will give your retinas an extreme workout. The
OTT “wow, I’m freaking out!” vibrancy can be toned down and,
amazingly, even amped up if severe ocular explodination’s your bag,
baby. At times such onscreen mayhem makes chaos seem quite
civilised. It can reach overload, which is where careful perks
application assists. Boing-back shields, homing missiles, smart
bombs and/or super-powerful mofo beams may save your spaceship’s
arse (or rocket holes, or whatever spaceships have as arses) before
Stacked with options – solo, multiplayer, on/offline - the only
extra thing we’d love is a stabbable slow-mo replay button, as
sometimes it’s nice to know just WTF actually destructed you!
BHU delivers breathtaking arcade bliss. Fuck it, they’re not
memory tears, they’re tears of joy!