Just Shapes & Beats
Just Shapes & Beats is an action rhythm video game developed and published by Canadian indie team Berzerk Studio. It was released on May 31, 2018 for Microsoft Windows and Nintendo Switch, February 24, 2019 for macOS and Linux, May 10, 2019 for PlayStation 4 in the US, and May 30, 2019 for PlayStation 4 in Europe, Russia and Australia. It was also released on June 30, 2020 for Google Stadia.
Why It Rocks
- Fun and addictive gameplay.
- The controls, despite being simple, are incredibly easy-to-master, fluid and responsive. which makes the controls neither limited nor poor.
- The story, while lacking dialogue, is surprisingly interesting and engaging. You don't need words to appreciate the characters in the game.
- Impressive, beautiful and fluid graphics with a simple yet effective art style.
- Everything flows together seamlessly, with nothing looking particularly out of place.
- This style makes damaging obstacles incredibly obvious, so nothing tries to cheap-shot the player with what looks safe but isn't.
- This game features some cool bosses, especially Annihilate, Barracuda and Close To Me.
- Tons of replay value.
- In Story Mode, when you lose 3 chances, you can continue infinitely from the start. This game does away with limited lives and implements a superior system in its place.
- The game's cinematics are absolutely beautiful, amazing and fun.
- Cool soundtrack, featuring several different genres of music from several different artists. In addition, levels are synchronized to the songs, so they are part of the gameplay experience.
- After finishing story mode, you can unlock achievements. Some of these achievements unlock bonus songs in other game modes These achievements can including things from dashing a certain number of times (or clearing a song without dashing) to helping your friends in multiplayer challenges to constantly moving to the beat without taking damage and so much more.
- On that note, there are other game modes aside from the main story.
- Playlist: This mode lets you select levels to beat in any order you want, and you have infinite chances to beat the levels, including checkpoints.
- Challenge: In this mode, each challenge is comprised of two levels and a boss. For each level, the player is given three songs and can choose one from the given pool of three. The boss level is entirely decided by the RNG.
- In these modes, there are ranks on each song to mark how well you play. You get an S rank for beating a song without taking damage, an A rank if you beat a song while taking damage but not dying, a B rank for dying only once, and a C rank otherwise.
- You can play 2 difficulties in Playlist mode and Challenge mode, if you want to give yourself an extra kick in terms of difficulty. The extra difficulty is implemented in a bevy of different ways depending on the level.
- Awesome and satisfying ending.
- You can play online in public or alone and you can also play the challenges infinitely.
- The game is decently-priced at US$20.
- There is a level of Mortal Kombat in the playlist, and players view it as one of the hardest levels in the game for an extra kick of difficulty!
- There was an update in the game, you can play 4 levels of Shovel Knight and one of those is a new boss. The songs from Shovel Knight were specifically remixed for this game.
- You can get infinite Beat Points.
- This game frequently gets updates for bug fixes and content. All of it is free content, and none of it is paid DLC.
- Many bonus songs were added, including the aforementioned Shovel Knight remixes.
- The option for a Hardcore difficulty was included as part of an update.
- Several levels were slightly changed, sometimes making them easier and other times making them harder or removing a cheap area where the player can use cheese to avoid certain obstacles.
- The story is short, for how simple it is.
- Many levels can get very difficult. While some players enjoy this difficulty, it can be excessive for others.
- In addition, levels can be inconsistently difficult. One example of this is Termination Shock, which is one of the earlier levels in story mode but also one of the hardest.
- Or also, if you play Annihilate on Hardcore difficulty it can be extremely frustrating!
- Sometimes, the gameplay may induce seizures which makes this game very risky for epileptics. Luckily, the game warns you about this before it starts, and there is an option in the settings to minimize seizure inducing scenes.
- In all bosses, there is no checkpoint, meaning if you fail you have to start from the beginning. This is offset by boss battles giving you six hits as opposed to three in normal levels.
- The Antagonist scene when he arrives in the tower and then breaks his head with the triangle is really disturbing.
- Speaking of story mode, in online mode, sometimes you have to wait a long time. There are also a few bugs associated with online play, but those are rare.
- On Nintendo Switch, When you press pause, the frame rate can go a bit slow, Fortunately, when you release pause, in a second go to fluid.