LifeisXbox’s Beat Souls review | When a rhythm game releases I get a fair share of people messaging me what I think about it. I’m lucky to have a group of Xbox friends who go and buy all of them so we can fight for the number 1 spot on the leaderboards. My reflexes and patience are good enough to reach acceptable scores but some of my friends are real monsters with rhythm skills. When I saw the review proposal for Beat Souls I was instantly intrigued. Originally created by ZOO Corporation, Beat Souls is now ported over to consoles by the lovely people from Eastasiasoft.
Most Memorable Moment
Finally surviving an extremely fast and hard to beat stage gives a wonderful feeling. While Beat Souls starts slowly on the normal difficulty it becomes a straight (fun) nightmare on extreme mode. I love beating stages against impossible odds so all of them are memorable moments.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion from the writer.
What we Liked!
- Rhythm gameplay | Let me correct something first, the gameplay doesn’t really work together with the music. It has the principles of a rhythm game but it doesn’t use the beat. Instead, it uses a visual guide to get a rhythm going. That was a refreshing experience for me and something I had to teach myself to beat higher difficulties. You have to train your eyesight to look for movement patterns, easier said than done. You have to do two things, collect two types of souls (kinda like hitting notes in Guitar Hero) and dodge skeleton walls or jump over floor hazards to keep your character alive. The result is an addictive gameplay loop that only results in eye fatigue. (more on that later)
- Replay value and content | Considering the price of €10 Beat Souls has a lot of content, especially if you compare it with Taiko no Tatsujin that recently released on Xbox for €50. Maybe not a fair comparison but the difference is clear. Beat Souls has four cute anime girls as characters (not much difference in gameplay), lots of difficulty options, an endless mode and enough different songs. The real replay value comes from how stubborn you are as a gamer, as the higher difficulty modes face a deep learning curve.
- Responsive controls | As Beat Souls really demands lightning-speed reflexes from the player I was happy with the responsive controls. You can easily move your anime character right or left to avoid obstacles and you control the soul catcher with the R1 and L1 buttons. Jumping is done by pressing the A-button. Memory muscle jumps in quickly so after a few stages the controls are second-nature.
- Song selection | Beat Souls High-speed cyberpop songs miss that magical touch from some other rhythm games. The selection of music is decent but a bit boring too. I missed memorable moments as literally all songs are pretty much bland. While the gameplay hardly uses the beats of the music it is still a missed opportunity to increase the overall quality. The bpm of the music still gives an indication of how hard (or fast) the stage is going to be though. My favorite music came from the last unlockable character as she featured some rock sounds!
What we Disliked
- An overload on visual information | My, oh my… I was tired after the first sessions of Beat Souls. Eye strain happens fairly quick as there is so much flashy going on, an epilepsy warning is in place here. My eyes had to process too much information at the same time and the entire screen moves and flashes with colours. Looking at strobe lights is easier than looking at Bear Souls screen. Characters look adorable but the player will hardly notice them as they are lost in the hell of flashing and strobing effects.
How long to beat the story | About 2 hours is required to unlock all stages.
How long to achieve 1000G | About 3 hours
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