Beat Saber Articles RSS Feed | Beat Saber RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network The Best Rhythm Action Games Ever Made Mon, 03 Aug 2020 15:34:23 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs


The Metronomicon


I have no idea why this game didn't get more attention when it came out. A mix of Final Fantasy and Rock BandMetronomicon layers strategy-based RPG-style battles with a rhythm overlay, tasking players with playing different parts of a song Amplitude-style in order to unleash different attacks.


It's difficult, but when you finally put together the perfect combo without a missed beat, it's incredibly satisfying.


That's it for our best rhythm action games of all time. What games would you have included? Let us know over on Twitter!


Child of Eden


I could have easily put Rez or Rez Infinite in this slot, but for my money, the game's Xbox 360 followup, Child of Eden, is the best of all three if you're looking for a rhythm rail-shooter.


It is currently unavailable on current-gen marketplaces, which means that even though it is backwards-compatible with the Xbox One, you're out of luck unless you can dig up your old Xbox 360 disc, which is a shame because it is legitimately one of the most beautiful games ever made.


Where Rez skewed more digital, with a cyberpunk-inspired aesthetic, Child of Eden is decidedly more organic and psychedelic. The graphics hold up today, punching well above their weight, and it is, oddly enough, one of the only games ever to pull off Kinect integration in a satisfying way.


Crypt of the Necrodancer


Crypt of the Necrodancer is another unique entry on this list. Although it is, technically, a rhythm game, an advanced sense of rhythm and syncopation won't really help you here. This roguelike dungeon-crawler is more about quickly making a plan of attack, executing it, and doing it to the beat, moving on every single one so that you don't break your combo. 


Oh, and this game is hard, too! You'll have to think ahead to avoid being one-shotted by a particularly vicious enemy, but once you learn the enemy patterns, it's an extremely satisfying romp.




Thumper is a transcendental game in another way. The developers bill it as a "rhythm-violence" title, and they're not wrong. Everything about the game feels oppressive, and death is always creeping in around the corner.


Where the rest of the games on this list can induce a state of focused flow, Thumper is much more of a white-knuckle experience. You'd be surprised at how scary this rhythm game can be.


Sayonara Wild Hearts


Sayonara Wild Hearts is an incredibly special game. It blends a story of self-discovery after heartbreak with super-flashy graphics and tight controls. That would be enough to land it a spot on this list, but what makes the game iconic, and truthfully, one of my personal all-time favorites, is the soundtrack.


The game plays like a concept album, each song matching perfectly with its stage but also coming together as a whole to tell a larger story. The dream pop soundtrack stands alone as one of 2019's best albums, but experiencing it together with the game is almost a transcendental experience.




Sure, Bit.Trip.Runner doesn't have an all-star tracklist full of licensed songs, nor does it have photorealistic graphics or a deep story. But if there's one thing the Bit.Trip series is good at, it's stripping everything away in order to create a distilled, concentrated hardcore experience.


One of the more difficult games on this list, Bit.Trip.Runner may have you throwing your controller at the wall, but at the same time, you know you'll be back grinding that level soon enough.




In Amplitude, whether you're playing the PS2 original or the PS4 re-imagining, your reward for playing well is being able to hear more of the song. 


It's an interesting gameplay hook  instead of mashing buttons to the beat of the song, you control a ship responsible for playing each individual part of the song. You have to lay down the drum track, the vocal track, the synth tracks, and the guitar tracks, and as you do, the actual song takes shape in front of you.


It's a frustratingly fun way to motivate the player since your reward for nailing a particularly difficult section is actually being able to hear the sweet guitar solo that has been plaguing you for the last 30 minutes.


Rhythm Thief & The Emperor's Treasure


Rhythm Thief & The Emperor's Treasure didn't make as big of a splash as Elite Beat Agents, Rhythm Heaven, or any of the other less action-focused rhythm games on the Nintendo DS family of systems, and that's a shame because it's a very special game. 


It's Professor Layton by way of Rhythm Heaven, weaving a deep story (complete with Level-5's iconic beautiful animated cutscenes and voice acting) replacing brain-bending minigames with rhythm-based minigames.


The game does a great job of integrating these minigames with whatever is going on in the game's campaign, which makes the overall experience really special and immersive.


Just Shapes & Beats


In quickplay mode, Just Shapes & Beats is a joy to play given how it flips the rhythm genre on its head. Instead of pressing buttons to the beat of a song, the stage itself is what reacts to the music that is playing, as hazards pop up and dance around the stage.


Every single song in the game has a custom-created stage, with hazards that are thematically appropriate for the song's genre and mood. It's clear that a lot of effort was put into curating these stages.


The developers really didn't have to include a story mode here, but they did, and for a rhythm game with no dialogue, there are some amazing, emotional moments to be found here. Plus, the game recently got a pretty major update, adding a few songs from the Shovel Knight soundtrack (remixed, naturally) for free!


Beat Saber


It would be irresponsible not to lead off with Beat Saber. Even if it weren't a VR title, its slick visuals and amazing tracklist would be enough to land a spot on this list. But once you put on a headset, Beat Saber is an expert at inducing a deep sense of flow.


Your brain turns off, and you enter a trance-like state as you slash an endless stream of boxes. It's not until after you take the headset off an hour later that you realize you're drenched in sweat and your arms feel like they're on fire. 


It's worth it, though. Trust me. 


There are few feelings in gaming more satisfying than losing yourself in a song and mashing buttons to the beat to defeat an enemy or complete a stage. It just feels right, you know?


Slashing an enemy when the vocalist hits that high note, jumping over an obstacle during a soaring guitar solo, expertly parrying a blow as the high-hat hits. It's exhilarating, and it's one of my favorite genres of gaming. 


In that spirit, here are our favorite rhythm action games of all time. As a note, however, we're disqualifying games like Guitar Hero, Beatmania, and even Parappa the Rapper and Elite Beat Agents, given the fact that those games are more purely rhythm titles.


We love them too, so don't feel slighted if you don't see them on this list!

How to Get the Maximum Score in Beat Saber Thu, 23 May 2019 10:38:38 -0400 Jonny Foster

With Beat Saber leaving Early Access this week, the v1.0.0 patch included a sneaky change to the scoring system. Some of Beat Saber’s campaign levels were already devilishly difficult to complete thanks to minimum score requirements — I'm looking at you, Level 29. So what’s changed, and how do you get the most points per swing in Beat Saber?

First of all, the new scoring system is actually a buff; you can now get a maximum of 115 points per block, rather than the old 110. This might not sound like a big difference, but with an 8x multiplier, 40 extra points per swing can rack up quickly.

It’s worth returning to the tricky minimum score levels to see if this alone can nudge you over the edge into victory. Assuming that alone isn’t enough, though, here are some tips to help maximize your Beat Saber score.

Learn the Technique

To get things started, it helps if you watch Beat Saber's official tutorial on their Facebook page. It's outdated now, and it uses degrees which aren't the easiest way to conceptualize 3D space, but it gives a good gist of the technique we need to use. 

We'll call the first step the "pre-swing", as it's the angle — or how far — we need to swing before cutting the block. In the video example, we see an example of a downwards arrow swing.

So for the pre-swing, we need to start with our arm in a vertical position. This means if we start the swing with our arm directly above our heads before a down arrow, we can get the full 70 points for the pre-swing. 

The video describes this as moving through 90°, though the in-game instruction now lists 100° as the recommended angle to move your arm through. 

Next is what we'll call the "follow through". This is the angle — or how far — we need to swing after cutting the block. The video describes this as moving 60° after the cut.

So for the follow through example on a down arrow, we need to end with our arm almost angled directly at the floor. If we do this correctly, we can get the full 30 points for the follow-through. 

The final 15 points are allocated for how close to the centre of the block our cut was. The video says 10 additional points, but the recent patch increased this to 15. 

Execute the Technique

Knowing the technique is great and all, but how do we actually execute it? Especially on the faster songs or the higher difficulties, it just isn't practical to start every swing at a 100° angle to each note. Hell, following through by 60° will usually mean you don't have time to react to the next note. 

Fortunately, we have these handy things called wrists. Rather than swinging our entire arms for each note and ending up looking like a death metal drummer, we can get the maximum score just by flicking our wrists. 

As the score only cares about how far the saber moves, not our actual arm, we can still move a saber through 160° by flexing and extending the wrist. Jump into a practice song and give it a try. 

Rather than using your entire arm to cut through each note, move only your wrists to flick the sabers to and fro. There's no harm in adding some extra momentum from your arms to get the full angle, but you may find swinging with your wrists instead of your arms increases your score — and decreases your sore

If you're struggling with this, rotating your hands inwards by 90° can help make vertical notes easier. Turn your hands so your palms are facing downwards, and your wrists can move through a greater range of motion. 

Obviously for horizontal notes, we need to keep our palms facing inwards for the same reason. This method allows you to recover from each note far quicker, so a full 160° swing is possible in time for the next note. 

Calibrate the Environment

So you’re performing the technique as best as you can, but you’re still not getting maximum points, what else could be wrong? The accuracy of your VR controllers’ tracking is absolutely vital to getting the points you need, so here are some general tips to improve the tracking.

  • Make sure you have adequate lighting
    • The more light you have, the easier it is for your headset and sensors to pick up the controllers’ locations.
    • Just make sure the headset isn’t in direct sunlight, as it can damage the cameras.
  • Keep your playing space clean but not empty
    • You’re going to swing your arms a lot, so it makes sense to move furniture and debris out of the way, but you still need your space to have characteristics that your headset can pick up.
    • A lamp or a plant, or something similar will prevent your headset from seeing your walls and floor as one incoherent blob.
  • Re-calibrate your playing space
    • This one’s simple, sometimes the camera-centering can be a little wonky after a few play sessions, so it’s always worth setting up your boundaries again.
  • Calibrate your height inside Beat Saber
    • From the main menu of Beat Saber, go to Player Settings and you'll see an icon for Player Height. 
    • Clicking this will calibrate your VR height. 
Cheat the Height

Finally, there are some cheeky tactics to give you an extra edge. Most people find that they can get 100+ points for most notes, but struggle to score highly with up swings, especially if the notes are low to the ground.

A simple way to improve your chances of scoring the maximum points is to go into the Options Menu, find the Room Adjust panel, and toy with the settings.

Moving the Y offset up a little will give you more of an angle to swing up from, while pushing the note chart back with the Z axis offset gives you a little longer to react to the incoming notes. 

If you're still struggling with those pesky up swings, try adopting a slight squat so you'll have a greater angle for the upwards notes. This will eventually take its toll on your legs, so it isn't recommended for long play sessions, but it just might tip your score over the edge on the troublesome Campaign levels. 


Let's end with a quick recap of the tactics to improve our score: 

  • Swing the saber through at least 100° before cutting the block
  • Swing the saber through at least 60° after cutting the block
  • Swing through the centre of the block for up to 15 bonus points
  • Use your wrists to swing, rather than your entire arms 

If improving the technique isn't enough and you're still having trouble:

  • Re-calibrate your environment and in-game height
  • Adjust the Y and Z-axis offsets in-game
  • Squat slightly for the low up swings

Have your own method for racking up high scores that works for you? Or do you maybe just want to brag about finishing Beat Saber's grueling campaign? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.