You are currently viewing an archival version of GF!

Click here to return to the current GamesFirst! website.

Questions? Suggestions? Comments?
Contact us at:


203369-mock.jpg (12194 bytes)
Due November for PS2.

frequency_4-01.jpg (11451 bytes)Generally the purpose of a preview is to get players hyped up for a new game and to whet their appetites for more. Harmonix has put out an interesting title that attempts to add a new wrinkle to the music mixing game genre, but the preview for Frequency failed to get me tuned up for more action. It appears as though the game has lots of promise, but it’s hard to see the title having more than a passing interest from just the promo alone.

The demo disc provides a tutorial, two easy and two hard levels to play in solo gameplay. The final disk will add sixteen more levels and will include a "remix" section, multi-player, and online play with up to three people. However, none of these other sections are accessible on the demo. These options will be something to check out on the release, but the solo gameplay, while fun, doesn’t really have a lasting appeal.

frequency_2-01.jpg (13024 bytes)Using your d-pad to rotate your "mixing board" 360 degrees, you simultaneously attempt to copy the provided patterns with either the L1/R1-2 or the symbol buttons to activate things like drums, synthesizer, bass, and vocals. When you mess up, your energy bar gets depleted, and if you miss too many of the cues, you lose. The object is to not only complete the patterns and activate the songs, but to keep the music going as seamlessly as possible. The better you get at this, the more points you obtain. If you finish the sections of the song and have a high enough score, you get a little bit of freestyle time. However, once you finish a level and the "you won" flashes on the screen, that’s it. You must go on to the next level and play a new song. While there is some satisfaction in finishing a level, I never felt the elation that generally comes with kicking some booty on a game. It was fun, but not really all that intense or nerve wracking. Just interesting.

The graphics are fairly simple in this game. The "tunnel" that you are rotating through is meant to be like the inside of a computer/data link and you have flashing lights, movie screen with a performer’s face on it, blocks that look like Lego cityscapes, and psychedelic swirls that make you feel like you’re flipping between 2001 and the 60s.

scrndump_14-01.jpg (13729 bytes)So where do I see some strong points that would make me check out the full version? First, I’m curious how multiplayer and online gameplay would be handled. But other than curiosity, I might be compelled to pick up the game because of the great musical selections the game uses. The demo boasts songs by The Crystal Method and the Dub Pistols, with the full version promising tons of more great new songs (by such artists as DJ Qbert, Juno Reactor, Orbital, and Fear Factory). And here’s the kicker—you can play it like a CD in your home stereo. Now games sell for more than your average music CD (understatement), but the music is good enough to at least rent this game when it comes out.

While this demo left me with more questions than answers, I will at least be interested in checking things out when it gets released. I guess that means that although I have reservations about how ultimately satisfying the game will be, the demo did its job in making me curious to find out more. The music is definitely a draw. Yet I am hoping that this latest offering will attempt to push the boundaries of the music genre game, and give us something more meaty and challenging than just a "follow the leader" style music lesson. We shall see.

Monica Hafer