The Sound Walk
Move through the stages hitting the appropriate [arrow] keys to dodge or hit incoming obstacles in time with the music; think Tomena Sanner minus some colours and the funky end-zone dance. Each time you miss a beat or get hit, the composer stumbles, the screen dims a little more, and he loses some of his life. You can regain life simply by stringing together a series of correct key presses, but if all your life runs out, you'll have to restart. Fortunately, at certain points, you can use the [arrow] keys to guide a bird to eat glowing dots! Why? Well, firstly, why not, and secondly, it fills up your Soul Power which, when activated with the [spacebar], makes you temporarily impervious to damage.
There are three difficulty stages, Dream, Nightmare, and Dementia, but only the last two grant achievements, which are necessary to unlock the final stage. The first two also feature guides; the arrows you need to hit are displayed below the obstacles. Handy, since the game demands a fairly precise amount of timing, and it'll take some trial and error to achieve.
Analysis: We are too easily won over by anything that even remotely resembles The Nightmare Before Christmas. I was a little suspicious that The Sound Walks' faintly familiar look was a ploy to win me over through nostalgia but, happily, it's definitely got its own vibe happening. Creature designs are weird and striking, and the mood set by the vaguely discordant soundtracks is only enhanced by the way the screen gets darker the more you fail. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, mind, but gosh that's pretty.
But while the dreamscape aesthetic and thumping soundtrack is undeniably appealing, somewhat less so is the nagging feeling that the game could have used a bit more polish. The obstacles you face on each level change according to your difficulty setting, but the music does not, making it too hard to rely on the beat of the rhythm itself. The game is extremely graphic intensive, and the slightest burp from your computer can cause the game to hitch and start missing notes and hemorrhaging points so hard it can be impossible to recover from at higher difficulties. I also wish the narrative had been implemented better; the various places you go and the creatures you encounter are visually striking, but don't appear to represent anything in particular. This means that while the game is interesting, it doesn't feel particularly meaningful, and it feels like the game misses out on the chance to tell a story in a really clever way.
Just because it doesn't measure up to what I personally wanted out of it, however, doesn't mean The Sound Walk isn't good. "Huh, that was cool," is just as valid as "Wow, that was amazing", and while The Sound Walk doesn't quite reach the latter, it easily reaches the former. If you've got the fingers for it (and the computer), it's a weird and satisfying little ramble through another world set to a catchy beat.
is it just me, or is the syncing in this game terrible. I'm normally good at this type of game, but I keep dying in the training mission.
The syncing IS terrible. It took me three or four attempts at the training level to adjust to how they expected you to "keep rhythm." And what's more, the game lags so terribly on my computer that it is rendered entirely unplayable. I'm not saying my computer is the greatest, but I've played more complex games than this on it with little to no lag. On the whole I was very disappointed, especially because I love rhythm games.
I liked it a lot at first. Later, not so much. I wanted to watch what was going on *above* the arrows at the bottom but I'd get flustered and forget what to do for each obstacle and have to follow the arrows again. And then my fingers would grow 3 sizes so that even though I hit the 'right' key, I would also hit at least one 'wrong' key' (*nods* Yup, that's my story.... etc., etc.)
I will probably re-visit this one now and then. Especially if it's ever possible to go slower than 'Dream'.
Haaa...I can't even play it. When I tap the arrow keys, nothing happens. Well, I scroll around the window, but that's not what I want. And clicking the game or using scroll lock don't help, either.
My computer is by no means slow, and my internet isn't TERRIBLE, and I literally cannot play this game at all. It's soooooo frustrating. The syncing is way, way, way, wayyyy off. :(
This game is so much fun!
The music and pulse are perfect. My only complain (and it's kind of a big one) is that it's nearly impossible to recover when I make a couple mistakes in a row.
By the way, there's a way to fix lag issues: when you are on the difficulty select screen, you can click on the top right corner to turn the "fx off". Fixed my lag in a cinch!
I didn't think the syncing was that bad. It was more of watching the arrows. It was a little annoying at first to ignore the action above, once I got the hang of the rhythm I was able to watch the movie. I thought the songs were very pretty! And the atmosphere was amazing. Very enjoyable game for me :]
That lag is a massive problem when you need perfect rounds to unlock the last chapter. Kind of ruins the game.
Well, you're one of the lucky ones then, Alabaster :(
For me, the game syncs fine for a little bit until I make my first mistake, then because of that annoying shift in the music, that makes it harder to hear, the game slows down and the monsters start appearing later than they should. :/ I can still barely play through it, because the game syncs to the music and not the visuals, but every time I mess up the monsters appear later and later and it gets really hard to figure out the proper timing, especially because every time you get hit the game goes "lol see if you can play a rhythm game without the music for a second ;)"
That just doesn't work at all.
The timing makes no sense relative to the music. If you try to hit the keys on any thing fitting got the beat of the music, you will lose.
You can only play this by only looking at the arrows. Forget about the music.
Alabaster, if it's more of watching the arrows, then you are confirming that the syncing IS terrible. It's supposed to fit to the music. Otherwise this kind of game is pointless.
This has got to be one of the worst rhythm games I've played in a long time. The lack of sync in the game and music prevented me from even completing the training. I personally love rhythm games, but this was a pretty bad failure. The concept was great, the graphics were beautiful, and even the music was catchy, but you *can't* have a rhythm game without sync! When you don't, the entire game just falls apart.
The syncing is awful, you can even see it on screen, in some places the arrows are noticeably too close together. I'm also noticing on the 3rd chapter in particular, my crow doesn't always respond to what I'm pressing... Also, why isn't my combo going above 1 even though I'm hitting everything just fine?
This game is terrible. I see no music, no syncing, no buttons, no nothing! Just a bar with "0% loaded" under it. This must be a horrible prank!
(Just kidding, but seriously, it won't get past 0%.)
Game syncs mostly fine for me, I play on a 2yr old MacBookPro. An above poster is correct though it does unsync sometimes when you make a mistake.
The GUI fails because you're too busy looking at the arrows sometimes to see the visuals above. Once you get the rhythms semi-memorized it is possible to play nightmare mode and just use the music as cues.
The rhythms can be difficult because of syncopation and break beats. This actually makes the first level more difficult than the second and third for me. I just missed one action on the second and perfect on the third (excluding the soul pieces).
Also, anyone else get the crazy optical illusion of shifting visuals after playing this game? The rolling background in this game really messes with you vision.
The game was perfectly synchronized for me.
The first time I tried level one, nothing I pressed had any effect on the baddies (though it did give me negative points for trying). I restarted the game and it fixed. Nearly the same thing happened this one time I attempted level one on "Dementia", except only a few keys registered.
If you're having trouble, maybe just try again. It fixes itself, I suppose. However, it's pretty hard to play while watching the monsters/cute bunnies: still pretty difficult to time.
Once I started watching the screen 'stead of the arrows, I realized that I was high-fiving bunnies, not slapping them. Initial anger at the game relieved.
I'm still aweful at this game though; I never was very good at rhythm games.
Usually games lag somewhat on my Mac compared to my PC.. I tried it on my Mac earlier today and it lagged just a little, not much but not all key presses registered..
Just now tried it on my PC and it lags terribly, I can't even manage the training section properly.
Wish I could have played it, the visuals are beautiful.
I think a lot of people are confusing the usage of the word "syncing" here.
While the game does run smoothly with no lag issues for me, the rhythm and beats itself DO NOT sync with the arrows. Instead the LIGHT in front of your character syncs with the arrows and when you press your keys at the right moment, the different beats that correspond with each key gets added onto the underlying soundtrack. It's almost impossible to play the game by listening to the original composition itself.
I want to try it so bad, but my screen keeps scrolling! How do I stop this?
Although, having read the comments above, maybe I should just give up...
The syncing works fine, but when I type the up or down arrows, the whole screen moves. How do I stop that?
Never mind, just ctrl - until the screen was small enough. Pretty cool game. Quite hard in the dementia mode, but do-able.
I enjoyed the music, but I do agree that the syncing is wanting. I used a combination of music and visual cues to know when to hit the key. Another gripe is that sometimes I will hit the key in time and it won't register.
On the other hand, you can unlock an achievement by failing 20 times. I certainly can do that one!
Unless your computer has lag issues (which it sounds like most people do), there aren't any syncing issues:
The problem is actually that the drum tracks aren't the kind that should be in a rhythm game. CCCplay got a little too creative musically, and filled these rhythms with "off beats" and 3/8 pauses and other crazy stuff like that. When you see that the arrows aren't evenly spaced, that's because the intended drum beats aren't evenly spaced -- which means it's rather unpredictable and makes for bad gameplay.
The arrows and the drums match up perfectly (sans lag), but the drums are a little too complex for a game. The funniest thing is that there are more 'off-beats' on level 1 than in any other level, even the bonus.
Oh, but despite this, I had a lot of fun. The visuals were very impressive, and the music was enjoyable. During the more manageable parts of the levels, it was very fun to fight/dance your way through hordes of enemies, looking very non-nonchalant about it, in time to some kickass music.
Terrible. Using the arrow keys scrolls the screen. That by itself makes the game not worth playing to me. You can fix it if you reduce screen size though. Once I got past that obstacle I ran into what others are calling synch problems. If you don't make any mistakes (or very few) you probably won't notice it. But if you make a mistake the music and the graphics get off slightly. So you end up having to hit the keys off-beat to the music.
FINALLY earned enough achievements to get the lost chapter and WOW it is difficult. It would be nearly impossible on dementia mode with everything stuck together in quick succession. Since our character is really bad at recovering, he'd basically fall over and over.
One mistake = dead.
But I still really dig the music, even if the game mechanics are a bit iffy.
well, i don't know if it's just my computer or whatever but for me the synching was totally off which, as others have pointed out out, kind of spoils it for rhythm game which and is a shame when it looks and sounds good. I don't think it's just the synchopation, time signatures and offbeats. I'm a musician and, whilst I'm generally not the great a gamer I'm always pretty okay at music games. When I tried to play to the rhythm I lost. when I watched the arrows I won. I was looking forward to being able to feel the rhythm and flow with the game, but studying the arrows and hitting the beats out of synch is not enjoyable. Sorry.
How does one earn back their soul? Well, certain platinum blonde vampires will be shocked to learn that all it really takes is punching a bunch of ducks in the face and high-fiving some rabbits.
Did I just catch a Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 6 reference? Because if so, that was awesome. :D
As for the game itself, it syncs up fine on my computer (I use a Dell that's a couple years old) and I really like the music in the Mechanicastle level. Kind of wish I could unlock the MP3s as a prize!
Eeeeehhhhh. I, too, am infuriated by how the arrows are consistently (and perhaps purposefully) off beat. It's akin to playing DDR with the arrows from one song and the music from another. My fingers(and I suspect this is a common thing) keep beat instinctively, which means as long as I'm listening to the music I'm missing arrows.
As well, I dislike the visuals. The arrows are at the bottom, but all the interesting things are at the top. I can't trust the beat to get cues, so I have to glue my eyes firmly to the arrows; so why even bother putting anything up there at all? It doesn't matter if it's nice, I can't SEE it.
So what I end up with is a game where I have to play in silence and disregard anything interesting visually. In this mode, it's a terrible DDR clone.
The actual art itself is nothing special. The end of level background is kind of neat, but that's only one screen. Everything in a level seems like it's just odd for the sake of being odd; the animations are really low quality and everything is just a silhouette so there's not much else to judge on.
The music itself is alright I guess, but that doesn't do much to save it, especially if I can't listen to it if I'm interested in actually finishing a level. I'm really unimpressed. *shrug* Oh well.
Like Reece, the game will not load for me.
The general consensus seems to indicate that I'm not missing much however.
I am playing this on a pretty fast computer. The sync is slightly lagging on "nightmare", but when you turn off the arrows in "dementia" it works fine.
Until the last level (secret one) where the sync goes waay off, especially on "nightmare". I can pass it on 99% by keeping slightly ahead of rhythm, but it's not really satisfying.
Re: the actual game
I think the visuals and music are impressive, and the sync issues are managable (I guess the premium ad-free version works much better). However various shadowy enemies/obstacles/rabbits/whatever aren't really that great when it comes to visual cues on when to hit something (especially since the to-hit distance varies so greatly between types, which I guess is a part of the challenge). I have a good sense of rhythm so I had no trouble reaching 100% on the first three levels by following the beat, but someone who prefers relying on visual cues probably has great troubles with this game, especially on "dementia". Fourth level on dementia is pretty insane and unsatisfying though - it's impossible to discern what is what in all that jumbled mess and the beat goes too fast to rely on it, especially with the sync issues.
Still, I enjoyed the game. But I guess I see where all the hate is coming from - on slow to mid-range computer the game is probably unplayable.
I disagree with you completely on the subject on off beats. I immensely enjoyed the fact that the game didn't rely on same old 4/4 beats all the time. In fact, I wish more rhythm games would raise the difficulty by adding interesting beats instead of simply speeding things up ad nauseam.
thanks so much for your advice! turning off fx really solved any lag issues for me :D and the game IS quite fun. woo!
Am I the only one twisted & sick enough to...? OK, I admit it. I can't get enough of the picture of your guy being tormented endlessly by demons! Pretty messed up, huh? I love the game, but have the same issues with lag everyone else complains of. One mistake, & not only does the audio dim, but you can't do anything but stumble into the next obstacle. Could use a "downgraded" version i.e. no background/not moving background. Too much fro slow computers to handle! Great game either way.
I fixed my little lag issue by using a computer with all the new upgrades & all the Flash stuff. Yay, this game ROCKS now that I solved my issue! I'm working on the achievement for failing by using Dementia mode all the time =)
Well, I noticed a few things...
1) Your composer seems surprisingly strong. I generally get the impression that one with no soul who is teetering on the brink of death is wasting away, but he can punch giant (& irate) demons in the face! Strange...
2) He's pretty brave for one who sold his soul for success & is battling to get it back...
3) It makes sense to high-five a bunny, but in the other levels besides 1, the bunny replacements are much more grotesque & look more like "punch" objects to me...
4) It looks to me like in the 'you win' screen, you have...a tail?
5) Why in the world does punching, ducking, & in general, hurting the dignity of the demons, help you recover your soul? I mean, really. Wouldn't they be all the more determined to get revenge for you making fools of them?
Great game, even if my skeptical mind sees logical hiccups as actual 'things'. Dementia is nearly impossible, since it never responds to what I press, even though I have my syncing down!
6) When you're playing as the crow in Shades of Tartarus, isn't there a voice in the music saying things along the lines of "There is no heaven" & "There is only this place"? Pretty demonic, gave me the chills.
Hint for Dementia:
WHEN THE NEXT THING IS AT THE RIGHT EDGE OF YOUR SPOTLIGHT, PRESS THE KEY!!!
This game would be nice if it were not for the MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF LAG.
*tries Spazz's suggestion*
I UNLOCKED THE LOST CHAPTER YESYESYES!!!!
Sorry, it's just I had been trying for an age! Finally! But that thing's hard. I always get stuck on the part where there's a big string of many different commands. Also:
That's a very famous piece of composing in the Lost Chapter, made easier for those, like me, who can play it on the piano! Teehee.
W00t, time to go pwn the Lost Chapter. Later! =D
OH YEA MY SOULS BACK HAHAHA
sorry about that. Really happy. It gave me the same picture, which I was not pleased with. I wanted a new picture, perhaps an epilogue? Something special, to say "Congrats! You're gonna die soon, but you'll have a soul & a chance at Heaven! Nice job, & enjoy the afterlife!"
But no. Same picture of me with a tail.
Oh well, See you guys later!
Wow - finally got the game to load, and it's a tricky one to master. I guess it adds to the challenge, but it's quite frustrating when the music becomes really hard to hear when a hit or stomp is mis-timed. You've also got to be on par right from the start, because once you lose timing it's really hard to regain it.
Oh well, back to the training...
Love the music and the graphics.
When i play this game im having fun then i miss 1 note and then the lag comes and i dont play this game anymore because I HATE!!! LAG!!!! >:O
For some strange reason that only any computer that I touch will know (I swear, if I touch a computer, it becomes sentient and/or possessed by a very irate demon), just before the first arrow/thing, a "poison effect" hits-the composer just keeps taking damage, no matter what happens, even if there is no enemy!
I just realized what's happening-my computer (also possessed, by the way) is thinking (yes, thinking, or pretending to think) that the blobs/rabbits/demons/birds are striking when they are at least halfway across the screen from me!
Never mind my NEWEST post. My demonic computer randomly switches around the hit box for the enemies, so even when I just press all the arrow keys as fastr as I can for the entire thing, I STILL get hit, although I do survive. Curse this ability/curse of mine to make demons possess any computer that I touch!