As a rhythm game, AVSEQ doesn’t quite hit all the right notes
You know how in a rhythm based game like Rez, Lumines or Patapon, everything you do or interact with adds to the music of the action? Whether it’s a drum beat or riff or whatever. it all just builds and builds until you’re playing this fantastically organic song just by playing the game? It’s quite euphoric when it all comes together and you feel like you’re honest to god creating music. Yea, I love that feeling. AVSEQ doesn’t have any of that.
AVSEQ stands for “Audio Visual Sequencer,” which is typically not a term associated with gaming. AVSEQ is a puzzle game where you’ll be matching gems that fall from the top of the screen. They come in 3 colors (red, green and blue), and you’ll trace your mouse from like color to like color grouping them up. Once you let go, the gems will clear and you’ll score points. There are also white gems that let you chain different colors. So, for instance, you could go blue, blue, white, red, red, red and they all chain together.
Sometimes stationary gems on the sequencer board light up, and when you clear those, notes are added and will play each time the metronome wipes across the sequencer. Chaining those together with the gems score you more points that unlock more sequencer notes to clear and add to the tune. Score enough notes before the timer runs out, and you’ll pass and move onto the next level.
The puzzle elements in AVSEQ do result in you triggering some notes on a sequencer, which over time does begin to build into a proper song. But the process of selecting the falling items or setting up the sequencer notes is accompanied by this really disconcerting and grating tone that is about as far from melodic as one can get. It’s like there’s a constant busy signal playing while you’re trying to listen to a song on the radio.
Which is a shame, since the visuals of the game are sufficiently trippy and really set the stage for something awesome. Things layer in and get crazier and crazier as the level progresses. It all looks fantastic. But the audio and video parts of the game just fail to ever really mesh together in an interesting way.
Don’t get me wrong – the songs aren’t bad. But you’re so busy trying to keep up with clearing notes that you never really get to focus on or enjoy it. Since the gems vanish on you if they reach the bottom of the screen, you never get to take a breath and just dig on the music.
Disappointing is the word I would circle around to, because taken individually, the different aspects of the game are generally a lot of fun. It’s just when they’re pushed together that AVSEQ starts to fall apart. Less than the sum of its parts, as it were. There’s a fun game here, but it needs some tweaking to really get it to shine.