Mobile platforms like the PSP make the perfect ground for experimentation in new genres and gameplay styles. Music mixer games are gaining more and more popularity, and they're becoming a lot more sophisticated than what we saw in the first products of this genre. Beaterator, one of the latest games of this type, came out for the PSP and made a small sensation in the gaming crowd with the innovation it brought, as well as its fresh vision.
In Beaterator, you can create various looped pieces of music, concentrating on the beat aspect of it as the name of the game implies. Of course, since the focus is on loops, you shouldn't expect to be able to do much in terms of genres like rock, as the style of the game is more suited for hip-hop and electronic tracks. You can combine several tracks to create one complete piece, and you can see them represented in a visual manner on your screen, accessible through their appropriate buttons on your PSP.
You can then pick one loop from each of the tracks, and combine them or rearrange them to create entire new tracks – you have the possibility of running up to 8 loops at the same time, in order to create music as varied as you want it to be. Of course, it's still a game, so don't expect full-fledged audio editing capabilities – apart from what it offers in terms of mixing, Beaterator is still aimed at delivering an experience that's accessible to a large crowd and not just audio enthusiasts. That said, those of you who consider themselves a bit more savvy in the area of audio tech than the regular person will surely enjoy some of the features Beaterator offers, as it's not as limited as the other titles in the genre.
Graphics and System Requirements
Beaterator looks very nice and refreshing. It's done in an animated art style, with a disco/funk theme applied all over the game. The interface has been designed to be extremely easy to use, and you can immediately see which button corresponds to which track, allowing you to easily switch between them and manipulate the set any way you see fit. The game could use a bit more information on the screen, such as some statistics about the tracks being played, but you can still perform more or less fine without that.
Those of you who decide to run it on their PCs should have no problems doing so, as the game is Flash-based and therefore not a strain on the system at all. You can play it for a few quick rounds before you go to class on your netbook – though if you're going to go portable, might as well get the PSP version.
Speaking of that, we mentioned that the game is also available for the PC – and while it's fully playable and enjoyable there as well, we really felt it was missing something special that made playing on the PSP such a unique experience. If you want to truly see this game for what it is, go for the PSP.
Beaterator will probably not be for everyone. Think of it as more of a sandbox game aimed at experimentation and free style of play, and not in the traditional limited gameplay style, and you should be able to enjoy it a lot more.