Audition Review - Keeping In Step
Gamers who loved Bust-a-Groove or the ever-popular Konami series of Dance Dance Revolution games don’t get a whole lot of options for rhythm-based titles on PC. In fact, I can’t seem to think of any noteworthy music-based dancing games for PC. However, Redbana Entertainment has brought gamers a free-to-play MMO rhythm game that actually offers more than what many gamers might be expecting.
Audition, despite it’s overly simplistic name, actually carries a lot of gameplay depth and originality to be an MMO dancing game. That’s not to mention that there is a ton of content in the beginner, intermediate and advanced modes. In other words, anyone looking for a good rhythm-based dance game for PC should not miss Audition.
Concept (5 out of 5)
There aren’t any other dancing MMO games out there, so one would automatically assume that the game should have a good concept in pressing buttons in combination with the beat of various tunes. However, Redbana has taken things a step further by implementing all the standard modes made popular by the likes of Bust-A-Groove, but also features original modes not seen in other rhythm-based games.
The beginner channel keeps things simple with basic choreography and freestyle modes that allow players to mix and match their own combos in single or team-based modes, yet outside the beginner channel there are tons of play options to keep gamers busy for a long time.
Some of the unique modes in the game include B-Boy team play, partners, choreography that uses all eight directional buttons (not convenient for laptop owners, though) and tons of songs to play with, including hits like Poker Face from Lady GaGa.
What’s more is that the actual in-game play varies to the mode, and while many of the modes are very difficult, they’re at least original enough to ensure that just about anyone can find something that meets their pace and playing style.
Gameplay (4 out of 5)
Players don’t have to worry about gathering or farming like on Fallen Earth, or spend ridiculous amounts of time grinding in a game like Neo Steam. Instead, much like Pangya or GunBound, players take a casual approach to leveling their character and generally having fun in the process. There is no endgame in Audition where players are sort of goaded along to fight against a huge boss like in Project E or Allods.
All you get in Audition are the keyboard controls and some music to dance to. The game’s difficulty isn’t necessarily measured in character level, but more-so in song choice or the dancing mode chosen. This makes Audition a fun experience for people who can’t keep up with some of the more difficult key combinations presented in the more technically advanced modes. Other than the license tests and story objectives, though, there’s no actual pressure to participate in play modes that may extend beyond your eye-to-finger coordination.
If I did I have a gripe with the gameplay it would have to be with the lack of proper introduction on how players are supposed to master some of the more technically advanced key combinations. Otherwise, the gameplay is quite spot-on.
Graphics And Sound (4 out of 5)
This isn’t getting 4 out of 5 in the graphics and sound department for looking like Crysis or Halo Reach. Instead, the game is receiving a high score for its visual and audio aesthetics because of how fine-tuned they are to cut down on lag, maintain a near perfect frame-rate, all while at the same time allowing for the avatars to maintain all the personal flair that players put into them. Speaking of which, the in-game currency is measured in beats earned per round, so players can pick and choose from an absolutely huge variety of character options that include faces, clothes, shoes, accessories, pets, hair and even emotes, all of which show up in the game exactly the way they looked in the fashion hall.
Audition also features a huge, and I do mean huge, cache of songs to dance to. The music selection is broken down into slow songs and fast songs, with many brand name tracks from both North American music artists and popular songs from Korean artists as well. Each song is nearly perfectly matched to represent a different form of difficulty in the game and it works really well.
Overall (4 out of 5)
Audition can be a very difficult game to play given some of the really complex key combinations in the choreography modes, but the game is rich with tons of content. In fact, it’s one of the few casual, non-RPG MMOs out there that has more content, more modes and more character options than what’s found in a retail game. Of course, there are some cash shop dependent items for upgrading or customizing a player’s character, but they’re all completely optional to buy.
Add in the fact that there’s a mode to choreograph dance moves, check out some of the tunes and mess around with some of the timing and control functions, and Audition is more than just a typical free-to-play MMO. Redbana has a high quality title in this rhythm-based game and anyone who remotely enjoys Dance Dance Revolution or looking for a newer version of Bust-A-Groove would probably want to check out Audition.