Allow me to first state before I begin this relatively short review, that I was for the most part definitely impressed with Dyad- impressed and yet pleasantly surprised as well. Rarely does a developer nail the frantic action of a racing game and the mesmerizing beats of a rhythm game at the same time, but it is a very rare and special thing when that happens. Right Square Bracket Left Square Bracket Games has managed to do just that however, and for that- I can attest to hours upon hours of gorgeous sensory overload and joy as well. Sadly, the game is not without its flaws- but then again, which games aren’t? Although some certain issues or content may at times drag the gameplay down a tad, it still receives an A for effort- and we must step on by these casual nuances in order to grasp the true depth and artistry of this special little gem. Now, without further ado- allow us to step into yet another chaotic world of mystery, intrigue, and beautiful rail shooting…
As Tim deftly noted within his official review of Dyad, you might as well give up trying to pinpoint certain enemies on their own on the screen at any one time throughout this game, as- in all likeliehood, you will most definitely fail without striking successes more than twice. That having been said, you may think that that would be a destabilizing factor for the game- but all in all it’s not, and that serves as a point easily made early on as well. In many rhythm and combat based games where the two types are majestically fused together, you must broaden your awareness and hyperextend your sense in order to achieve the most success and to fully grasp what is taking shape quite literally before your eyes. Just glance at the likes of games such as Turi’s mentioned R-Type sidescroller shooter, or the majestic rhythm-rail shooters Rez and Child of Eden. They perfectally demonstrate balance of grace, beauty, and addictive pace in its foremost and most stimulating exploration of kaleidescope colors and blasts here and there amidst the frantic actions. Whether you’re flying forwards at the speed of light and blasting away at enemies, or simply enjoying a serene waltz about the endless loops and tunnels across the screen- Dyad brings that same action directly to you, thousands of steps at a time, an dwith an unparalleled pace.
While Dyad is a downloadable game and will be of course, biasedly treated as a lesser breed than its bigger name cousins such as Portal and Call of Duty, that does not mean that you should so hastily discount or discredit it for the near perfection that it embodies. Simply look to other such recent games as the two Walking Dead episodes that Telltale Games has released, or even Limbo- a slightly less recent downloadable game, and yet an amazing oddity nonetheless. These titles may not have been name-brand or high in price, and yet they shocked and awed gamers everywhere in more ways than one, and that is something to be proud of. You should look for a similarily striking situation here, and I promise you- despite any reservations you may have over the game’s origin or the gameplay itself, once Dyad sinks its kaleidescope-like claws into you, you’ll be along for the entirety of your three or four hour ride…
The graphical heights which the game goes to and exceeds are phenominal and the boundaries to which it pushes to extremes only serve as a fe wmore enemies for you to drive through or shoot down in blazing glory as well. I’m sorry to say, but if you have any epilepsy issues or extreme reactions to vibrant lights and images- then you’ll have to sit this one out, as I assure you- it may quite literally blow your mind. That’s just how vividly wonderous this game can be and is the entire way through. With a constantly changing background, amazing beats and rhythmic soundtrack, and enchanting enemies- it’s quite easy to find yourself lost amid the sea of chaos, confusion, and lunacy at any given time throughout.
Although the basis of the gameplay is stupidly easy seeming for such a delicious-sounding shooter and kaleidescope maelstrom, all Dyad really encompasses is several hundred or so intense or beginner level challenges. Each one gains intensity and difficulty as you progress through the game, and each packs its own unique punch as well. While some may find rotating around the same tube more or less a droll thing to do throughout a game, you’d be surprised how into it you will get ocne you’ve seen what Dyad will throw at you. You are constantly bombarded by enemies varying in looks and styles, as well as ever-changing backgrounds, vibes, and speeds. Combine this with shooting, dodging, different attainable and changeable skills, collectable “powerups” or bonuses, and one complex challenge after another and you’ve got yourself a one-way ticket to an ecstasy-filled sensual overload.
While it is true that only one player is supported throughout the game, you can challenge your friends to attempt to beat your online leaderboard scores or record times as it may be. The main “story” and campaign is very short on it’s own- clocking out at roughly three and a half hours for the average player, but the sheer replayability and amount of challenges ensures that you will constantly want to earn that faster time, get that extra trophy, or beat that old challenge a second time as well. As I previously stated, while the game is a hybrid of sorts- it perfectly mixes and blands the best aspects of both types of gameplay, as well as throwing in its own unique twist and turn here and there too. There is no true genre for it other than what other rhythm-liek shooters have produced, however you will easily remember the experience as a peaceful and transient journey amidst all the destruction and chaos you may cause throughout the game.
Concept: Put your reflexes and reflex threshold to the test with this vivid rhythm-based shooting game, and do it for a lower sum of money than one would expect from an enjoyable downloadable title.
Graphics: It looks like your audio analyzing soundtrack software from Windows Media Player, except- instead of it running with Windows 7’s graphics, it is running on about Windows 407’s. It’s that much better.
Sound: If you like electric beats, then this is your game indeed.
Playability: Controls are simple, the sheer amount of action astounds and awes but never gets out of hand with what resources are available to the player, and encounters leave you heavily reliable on your well-made inventory as well.
Entertainment: about as entertaining as a summer blockbuster with the same amoutn of action and surprises as well.
Replay: Moderately High
Overall Score: 9.0