GAME REVIEW: Beaterator
Developer/Publisher: Rockstar GamesPlatform: SONY PSP
Players: 1Release Date: 9/29/09
Have you ever found yourself kicking back to some tunes thinking you could do better? Whether a casual listener or a long time music lover, chances are the thought of producing has come across your mind once or twice. But production equipment is expensive and learning the tricks of the trade can be a daunting task without expert advice handy.
With that void in mind, famed video game publisher Rockstar Games teams up with self proclaimed chairman of the board Timbaland on Beaterator (Rockstar Games). With a little time and dedication, young and old a like can flip tracks on this portable beat machine.
Beaterator features three main programs for players to create music, Live Play, Studio and Song Crafter. The more straightforward layout is Live Play. Live Play is an easy to use live performance interface where users can plug in and play eight different instruments ranging from drums, synthesizers, bass and more. The tracks are represented by a speaker with four different available loops for each track that are triggered by the triangle, box, circle and x buttons.
Players can mix and match all eight loops simultaneously in real time with no signs of lag, all the while an animated Timbo corresponds on the boards to your every move. With a quick press of a button you can switch genre of these templates from Rock, Hip-Hop, House, and more. Additionally the library of sounds is quite impressive with thousands of loops provided by Rockstar and Timbaland himself.
Things get a little deeper in the Studio portion of this title. Here you have the options to edit and switch out loops. This could be tedious for a couple of reasons.
One the studio interface is menu heavy. To do something that should take a flick of a wrist in a real life studio like lowering volume or adjusting BPM, takes a bit of navigating through all the interface's buttons. Secondly scanning through the selection of loops can take some time as a one second hi hat can take several seconds to load. As the user gets more familiar with all the steps, these nuances shouldnt be any problem.
At Beaterators creative apex is the Song Crafter. Here users can literally create their own music. Drum hits can be moved into sequence and make different drum patterns with options of spacing and tempo. Melodies can also be crafted, along with effects and editing any personal or preloaded sound is possible. You can also record vocals too with the use of a microphone.
Overall Beaterator delivers a big punch for its forty dollar price point. The option to create your own songs and showcase them at the Rockstar Games Social Club makes this title much more than a game, but rather your own transportable mini studio. While the first couple of sessions might be long, the possibilities are endless once you get on track.
Beaterator Official Trailer: