Posted: February 23
This game has a neat premise though it is fatally -- unplayably -- flawed.
I really want to like it. It has a nifty, but simple, premise. I like the idea of marrying the concept of Pong with a rhythm style music game -- each successful hit adding in part of the song being played currently. It feeds into the desire to flesh the music out, and really is one of the only ways to give feedback to the player that they're doing well.
However.... Retro design should not ignore more modern advance. Fake difficulty, such as what might be found on the old NES, should never be acceptable in modern games. Yet that's exactly what happens here. Gaijin settles for screen-overpowering strobe flashes and moving backgrounds to, many times, completely obscure the player targets for half (or more) of the screen. There may be other fake difficulty "features" in BEAT, but my eyes were thoroughly blinded halfway through the first song. (I'm still blinking away the damned afterimages from the photography-quality strobing my eyes took in only about 20min of playing.)
Gaijin could have, and arguably should have, incorporated an adaptive difficulty to BEAT. Something to randomize the patterns of the blocks or speed up the attack, should the player hit certain streak thresholds. Or narrow the width or increase the height of the screen to reduce reaction time or increase the distance the paddle may have to travel.
At the very minimum, they could have taken a page from Beat Hazard's playbook and put in a control to reduce the intensity of the strobes. That would deal with the whole "I like being able to see things when I'm done playing." issue.