Hands-On Impressions: Sound Shapes Car Mini-Album DLC

Sound Shapes has been out for six months and has had some minor DLC like 8-bit sounds and such, but Tuesday’s PSN update brought with it the most substantial DLC yet. For $2, you gain access to a new set of levels and two cars. One is more of a motorcycle, while the other is a bad-ass skull. Who doesn’t want to drive a bad-ass skull in a game? These vehicles work shockingly well with the mechanics of the regular platorming gameplay. One might think the transition would be a rough one given how different it is to a control a single creature bit-by-bit compared to fast movements with a vehicle, but there aren’t many issues here.

It takes some time to retrain your gaming brain to accelerate with the Square button, but not too long, and a tutorial stage helps ease you into the new mechanics. L1 and R1 rotate your vehicle, and you can hop out at any time if you need to. Sometimes doing that allows you to get to places you can’t in the vehicle, or it makes it easier to traverse the landscape. Doing that allows you to get all the little goodies in the level and also gain access to a vehicle again when you reach a checkpoint. The level designs are a bit more chaotic than the regular stages and should really please anyone looking to not only have a lot of fun with something new in Sound Shapes, but also come with some incredibly heavy metal music for their soundtracks as well. Like everything with Sound Shapes, the DLC is cross buy-enabled, so buying one version entitles you to the other — making it an even better value if you own the Vita.

CarStage2

In addition to the Car Mini-Album, this DLC includes some new creation elements so that those with a knack for creative stage creation can make even more elaborate stages than before.  There’s also a free update that comes in patch form that packs together six levels made by the community and places into six themed albums with 35 levels total to play. In keeping with the musical look of the whole game, they include liner notes as well to give you some insight into the stages. All you have to do to get this is update the game after launching and you’re golden. This update also gives you offline play for community levels — all you need to do is select a stage and hit a button to sync it to the system. Two dollars gets you a nice amount of new content and quite literally changes the game with the addition of vehicles. If you haven’t spent time with Sound Shapes recently, now’s the time to play it again and make use of not only this DLC, but also the  free update content as well.