The lights are on
"A mysterious entity is absorbing and corrupting your music before your very eyes. You must battle through your own song collection, discover items, customize your ship and fight boss enemies to liberate the Symphony of Souls and reclaim your music!"
The new Indie game called Symphony is addicting. My first time playing it I remained at my computer for a good 3 hours straight, delving deep into my collection of music that I had gathered over years. It was genuinely fun to have my favorite songs become interactive. Imagine loading up some awesome Persona 3 & 4 OST, putting it on the hardest difficulty, and letting lasers and ships fly! :D
The difficulty of the game depends on what setting you choose AND what song you pick. A slower beat song will be easy-pickings, but a fast beat song even set on low difficulty may chew you up and spit you out in a horrific manner. It can get pretty intense with some rounds, and the sheer number of enemy ships on your screen can get a little overwhelming. The enemy types vary from difficulty to difficulty with (what I like to call) Elite enemies making appearances when certain sections of a song pick up. The Elite enemies require different tactics to defeat them, and usually their lasers and weapons have to be dodged in a specific manner. Occasionally, a Demon may show itself, and the player must defeat it before the song is finished to quell the corruption over his/her music. Defeating a Demon liberates notes for the Symphony of Souls.
Also, the customization of your ship is handled quite nicely; it's nothing amazing, but it is simple and easy to do. At the end of every song, there is an item (usually a weapon) that you can buy with your points (Inspiration and Kudos). Your ship has four main mounts for weapons, two in the middle and two farther out on the wings. You can even adjust which direction you'd like your blasters/canons/missiles/ect. to shoot. It's interesting to try and test certain weapon combinations to see which is the most effective on hard levels. As far as I can tell though, there's no way of organizing and accessing your items in an actual list for an easy way to upgrade them. In other words, to be able to purchase improvements for your weapons, you have to go back to the song you originally unlocked them at. This could be performed with ease, only if the music analysis put more effort into categorizing your folders correctly.
The game employs lovely splashes of colors and effects that result in a very visually appealing experience. However, sometimes the colors and movements on the screen can be so thick that it's hard to spot enemy missiles, especially when the layout turns the same shade as the missiles themselves: red. Whether the developers really wanted it that way or not, it's a type of artificial difficulty that could be easily remedied by having the missiles change into a color more noticeable against a red background.
Although you may unlock all the difficulties and get the Symphony of Souls before you reach the very final song on your playlist (which seems possible from what I've seen, but the pacing is quite good), this game lasts as long as your music collection lasts. This game may be nothing earth-shattering and it may have been done before, maybe in better ways even. But, it's a fun way of sitting down and enjoying your music in a different way. If you don't know of any other productive activities that you could be doing, Symphony is an entertaining distraction and a good way of eating up overrated, precious free-time.
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