It’s like mastering engineer: the game. Craig Harris has a great review for IGN of the new GBA Bit Generations series in Japan. Soundvoyager has you don headphones and play using your ears:

There are various different game styles in Soundvoyager, but they ultimately boil down to “find the center channel.” In one mode, you’re a dot sliding along a forced-scrolling environment trying to find an invisible dot on the grid by listening for its sound in the left or right channel. Center up your on-screen dot, and snag the soundmaker.

Previews: Bit Generations Part II [IGN]

Stereo phase as a game? I’ll bite. Now all we need is a whole series of games to retrain our less-than-golden ears and teach us how to properly mix, apply compression, and use EQ. Any game programmers – slash – audio engineers up to the challenge?

No word yet on whether Bit Generations will get a US import (sounds like a good idea, given the slim pickin’s for GBA these days). But given Nintendo’s adventurous, experimental releases and the fact that games are light on text, I’ve got my fingers crossed. Readers in Japan or bold importers, let us know if you pick this up!

  • anon

    Ok – first impressions after erm… downloading a 'trial' version. Very entertaining – a novel concept! Basically, the beginning of each level shows you what you're supposed to navigate through, to, or around. Listening to the sounds tells you where you are in relation to the obstacle or target. What is kind of cool about the game is that the screen is all but useless after the first couple of obstacles, because they get dimmer and dimmer visibly. The screen isn't too exciting to look at anyway – aside from telling you what level you're on, you could almost play the whole game without looking.

    No need to wait for a US version if you can get an imported Japanese version, since the text and even some digitized "game over" vocals are in English.

  • Alex

    I got this after visiting Japan recently and played it through on the flight from Tokyo. Every game type in Soundvoyager requires that you track sounds in the stereo phase, as you mention in the article.

    You can play the game with your eyes closed, and all the Japanese Bit Generations games seem English-friendly, except for the manuals. You don't need a manual for this one, however.

    The game types are:

    * Sound Catcher. This is the main part of the game, in which you build up a track by navigating towards sounds.

    * Sound Cock (I hope they translate this to Sound Cockerel in the European version). In this game you rotate and move forwards to catch a cockerel (or cockerels) before the time runs out.

    * Sound Drive. Avoid sounds coming towards you by moving left and right in four lanes.

    * Sound Slalom. Pass through two points before the timer runs out.

    * Sound Chase. Similar to Sound Drive, with the added bonus of catching a sound.

    * Sound Cannon. Shoot a sound by rotating to face it.

    * Sound Picker. Rotate and drive towards sounds, catching sounds before the timer runs out.

    Each game type has 3 levels, and the first lets you see the sounds you need to catch. You get a special mode that lets you remix the Sound Catcher samples after getting to the last level by any path on the map, and a version of Sound Catcher that goes on forever after completing all the levels. You can also view the staff credits at this point.

  • nobody

    By the way — and I'm posting this here because I couldn't find the info anywhere else, sound chase and sound slalom are impossible to complete before the time runs out unless you know that the A button accelerates your forward motion.

  • Johnny

    Sound slalom is impossible to pay PERIOD! You have to be totally blind for a 100 years to play it. And it is wrong to pay for 7 mini-games just to be told you have to play through these totally impossible games to get to them.

  • James

    Picked this up at Yodobashi yesterday. Sound Slalom is far from impossible. Sound highway is harder.

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