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FreQuency 2 Gets Modulated

New name, same kick-booty game. New details await you inside.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: January 8, 2003

Despite some of us in the industry glomming onto and zealously proclaiming its greatness from the mountaintops like playing it would give us x-ray vision, the first FreQuency game wasn't a runaway success. It enjoyed moderate sales, but for something that seemed targeted at puzzle gamers or electronica enthusiasts, it didn't do too well carving out a niche in the pantheon of music games.

Luckily, Harmonix, the Cambridge, MA-based dev house that produced FreQency seemingly out of nowhere, understands that their game was targeted towards a certain crowd, despite having such big-name, non-electronica artists as No Doubt and Fear Factory donating music to the game. With the sequel, recently renamed Amplitude, the roster of musicians has made a noticeable shift towards the mainstream.

Amplitude changes very little about what made the first game great, Xeroxing the gameplay but updating the graphics significantly. If you need the gist of the game, check out our review here, but suffice it to say it's one of those games that's easy to pick up and unmercifully hard to put down. The big change this time around (aside from kicking up the graphics about 20 notches), is the stable of musical acts donating music. Sony Computer Entertainment America and Harmonix have admitted that Weezer, Garbage, David Bowie, Logan 7 and Quarashi will be included, but wouldn't tell us which, if any, of the musicians from the first game would be back.

"We are thrilled to introduce Amplitude to rhythm action fans of PlayStation 2. Playing Amplitude online offers new opportunities for gamers to join online communities and share their experiences with other gamers across the country," exclaimed SCEA director of product marketing, Ami Blaire. "Providing a gorgeous gameplay atmosphere, the addictive gameplay will keep players entertained for hours, and provide a whole new avenue for music artists to reach their fans."

The sequel/add-on/whatever-you-want-to-call-it promises a more integrated online aspect with more customizable player icons (FreQs in the vernacular), a ladder ranking system, and full chat capabilities. Amplitude slams onto the PS2 in March, and we're already chomping at the bit to experience it.