Punk-o-matic 2 Game

Punk-o-Matic 2 – A music simulation and rhythm-based game that takes the series to a whole new level

Bettering Itself

It’s very unlikely that anyone reading this review wouldn’t be familiar with the whole music-based rhythm game thing. You know the soaring solos of Guitar Hero and the popularity of the once-great Rock Band? Yup, those are both a result and an example of the rhythm-based music input games that let you play along to the music and make you think you may even had a tiny shred of musical talent. Like all fads tend to do, these games faded into nothingness very quickly but the flash world has a variety of different music games that you can enjoy for free such as Super Crazy Guitar Maniac Deluxe and the Santa Rockstar series. The problem with these games however is that their scope is rather limited and their design just isn’t quite up to scratch if you’re expecting anything more than an amateur attempt at a genre that is more at home in the console world. Then you’ve got  Punk-o-Matic 2, a sequel to a comparatively basic original that takes the word “improvement” and gives it a meaning that is ten times as strong implementing developments, additions, and enhancement that makes it almost an entirely different experience altogether.

Talent Now Required

For fans of the original, things have changed quite considerably since those simple days when Punk-o-Matic was merely a basic sequencer. The level of effort and understanding needed to actually operate even the composition side of things is quite substantial and the screen is much busier. You can choose from a variety of riffs for a range of instruments, swapping and layering drum parts with guitar parts and other instruments that go well with punk music. The level of input is now such that you can change the pitch/key of your composition and even compose an entirely new loop instead of being restricted to the provided ones. What was once a restrictive yet simple tool that even the least music-inclined of us all could use is now something that takes quite a bit of musical knowledge to operate, at least in the composition aspect anyhow.

The composition aspect of the game feeds in to the newly-added rhythm-based section where you play along with your compositions (or your selected cover songs to make your life easier). The idea is similar to the now tired and annoying Guitar Hero only instead you use the QWEASD keys on the keyboard to hit the various notes in time with the music. It works by pressing the keys when the golden balls on the screen pass by the corresponding slot. The level of customisation involved in this game is quite staggering as well, with the ability to choose just about every aspect of your band and their getup. The choice is phenomenal and includes being able to customise everything from the clothing of the band to their instruments and even their general attitude and the way they act.

Can’t all be Perfect

Some flaws are definitely noticeable in the rhythm-based gameplay such as noticeable lag and a clear gap in synchronisation of the interface with the music. The game is extremely complex in nature, particularly the composition aspect at least, and it will likely put off some of the casual gamers that simply want to knock together a few pre-made riffs and get stuck in. Still, the scope of Punk-o-Matic 2 and the sheer quantity of improvements that developers Evil Dog are responsible for makes it an incredible game to play if you want to invest the time to learn its particulars.

80/100