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Amplitude
Preview By: Josh Fishburn
Developer:  Harmonix
Publisher:  Sony
Genre:  Music
Est. Release:  March 24, 2003
Posted:  3-11-03

For those of you who have played its prequel, Frequency, this one is a no-brainer. For others, here is a great opportunity to tune in to one of the best music games out there. Iím referring to Frequency of course, but I expect the same attention to detail come Amplitudeís release, which is currently slated for March 24th.

Like Frequency, Amplitude features over 25 levels of music from a mix of electronica, rock, and hip-hop artists. This time around, the focus seems a little bit more on rock than it was in Frequency, with songs from more high profile artists like P.O.D. (remixed by the Crystal Method), blink-182, Garbage, Weezer, and David Bowie. When playing the first game, the music all had a sort of techno sound to it. Featuring more popular music should hopefully make Amplitude stand out to the gaming population.

Aside from the new music, there are also other notable changes in Amplitude. The interface, while fundamentally the same, has gotten a facelift. Instead of the activator that you controlled in Frequency, the object you control has been upgraded to resemble a ship or a futuristic car. Actually, it sort of resembles the yellow ships flown in Star Wars Episode 1. It also appears that you are no longer flying through a tunnel, but are playing on a more flat board. Switching between tracks still works the same way though. Hitting the appropriate buttons as the blue gems pass will complete the tracks that eventually form the song. Also like Frequency, there are powerups tied to some of the tracks. In addition to the Auto-catcher (automatically catch a track) and multiplier (multiplies your score) there is now a slow-motion powerup that slows the music down and makes it easier to pick up the more difficult tracks.

Along with these gameplay changes Harmonix has beefed up the online mode from Frequency, giving Frequency fans a lot to be excited about. First and foremost, there is now a ranking system, allowing Freqs to get online and really see who is the best. Second, you can upload and download your remixes online, allowing users to judge and share their remixes. Everybody is invited too: Amplitude supports both broadband and dial-up connections.

So, check out Amplitude when it hits stores in late March. Oh, and youíll only have to pay $39.99, as it is a Sony-published game!

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