Amplitude is a video game for the PlayStation 2 created by Harmonix Music Systems (Frequency, Karaoke Revolution), and released on March 24, 2003. The game is a rhythm game much in the vein of Dance Dance Revolution, however instead of focusing on dancing to the music it focuses on creating music.
As you play the game, each track of the song you are creating is represented by a lane in what is basically a very very long, colorful road. There are three columns of "note pods" on each track, and you have to press L1 (for the left pod), R1 (for the middle pod), or R2 (for the far right pod) to make the bass/drums/vocals/synth (and others) start to play. It's note by note, but if you manage to make it to the end of a measure, the track will start playing automatically for a little bit. The whole point is to keep the tracks going like this as much as possible and for as long as possible, to rack up your score and keep you from losing the song, as missing notes or sitting there waiting for a bit causes an energy meter on the left of the screen to go down.
There are also a variety of powerups, such as:
(N/O stands for "Not Online", and M/O stands for "Multiplayer/Online only").
- The AutoBlaster - Automatically finishes a track for you as if you'd hit all the notes required.
- Score Doubler - Rather self-explanatory, doubles all points you get for a bit.
- Slow-Mo - Again, self-explanatory, slows down the song for a bit to give you an edge (N/O)
- Bumper - Bumps a fellow player off of the track they're on, allowing you to steal it. (M/O)
- Crippler - As if the track were a carpet being shaken violently from the other end, a wave effect disrupts an opponent's concentration. (M/O)
- Freestyler - One of the best ways to get points, this takes you above the action with either a DJ-scratching tool or a floating orb that emits techno-ish sounds. Both of them require no effort on the actual tracks, just holding buttons and moving the left stick to create interesting noises and rack up points.
One of the interesting features of this game is the ability to create a "FreQ", a visual representation of you that is quite customizable with unlockable parts and accessories for you to stick on him. During the game, you see your FreQ playing the drums when you're on the drum track, singing the vocals when you're on the singing track, etc.
The track selection in this game involves a lot of techno, since that's the type of song best suited for this game, but it does a good job of the mainstream artists, including Pink, Slipknot, Weezer, Blink-182, and Run-DMC.
The game is quite a joy to play for any rhythm game junkie. The combo system and massive amounts of eye candy create a package that is nearperfect, and one of the more original thoughts to come out of the genre that equates to DDR in most minds.