0-D Beat Drop

Released this week on XBLA is the new ‘rhythm’ and ‘puzzle’ game 0-D Beat Drop. This Tetris meets Lumines fusion comes with the added element of getting rid of coloured blocks to the beat of the music.

In 0-D Beat Drop, the aim is to position the falling blocks in order to prepare to do a ‘Beat Drop’. This makes the falling block drop to the beat of the music, which then gets rid of the blocks in your growing stack. Now in order to perform this action, it is best done after you have stacked as many like for like blocks as you can. As the next piece is falling, you need to line it up with one of the blocks below. As the song is in full swing and the beat is just about to come, you need to hit the ‘X’ button and a Beat Drop is done. If you think this is tricky then there is no need to fear, the controller vibrates to the beat of the song and you also get a beat meter to the side of the screen which rises just as the beat is about to drop.

0-D Beat Drop also gives you the ability to mix in your own songs, using a synchronising system called Beat-O-Matic. This allows you to have your chosen song from your media device to play as your background music. I first thought that it would be quite tricky to get my music to synchronise to the game but it was actually very straight forward and it took only minutes to do.

As your chosen song is being loaded, you can tap the ‘X’ button to add the ‘beat’ you want to the song. Once added, the song is then saved, allowing you to then choose the song from your media device to use the music during a match. This unique feature unfortunately brings me to the negative points I have found. The game only has eight default songs which are randomly chosen for your match. I did think that it was very odd for this game since its core idea is to play to the beat of the music. By having such a limited number of songs, it forces you to upload your own music into the game, which can be an annoyance if you don’t want to use this function. Also you are unable to use previously uploaded songs while battling online, which is a shame.

0-D Beat Drop has the obligatory single and multiplayer modes, allowing up to four players to battle it out. The single player game is broken down into 5 sections. Planet Quest is where you play one-on-one with the computer. Survival Four is you versus three computer players in a battle royale. There is a Time Attack mode and Task, where you have to complete various tasks in order to finish the level. The final mode is Co-op.

In this you are able to choose an AI based on how it would stack the blocks. With every match you win, you get bonus points which then can be used to make your AI even better. The bonus points can strengthen the AI’s speed and accuracy, making your team even stronger. With multiplayer mode, you can play against up to three of your friends in either an all out brawl or in a co-op match.

When I first played the game, I did get very frustrated with getting my head around the concept of the ‘Beat Drop’ and how to unleash its true power, but like with any game, practice makes perfect. If you are still struggling to get the hang of it, you can always watch the computer play against itself to try and get some handy tips. I enjoyed being able to customise not only the music I played, but also selecting one of the various backgrounds, which also change the look of the falling blocks. The unique and quirky twists to a traditional puzzle game, coupled with a good helping of unique features definitely justify the cost of 800 MS points


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