Any regular viewers on my YouTube channel will know I have a lust and love for rhythm games and so when I saw Flight of Light released last week I grabbed the PS4 version as the trailer and screenshots evoked Amplitude/Frequency thoughts. Flight of Light bills itself as a rhythm racer but actually it’s motion-controlled gate hitter. There’s a big difference between the two and it needs to be made clear early on.
You control your ship with the Six-Axis motion controller in the Dual Shock 4. It’s so great to see some of this technology getting some use again as when it’s done well, motion controls can be great fun. Each of the 12 tracks in the game are race circuits where coloured gates appear to the melody of the circuit’s track. You tilt your controller like you’re turning a steering wheel to choose the lane of banking you’d like to aim for – thus hitting the coloured gates – and you’ll steer around the short course hitting those gates until the song ends. Whilst, yes, the gates are in time with the melody of the song, because you are often just steering rather than moving to the beat, it doesn’t feel like a rhythm game at all and has more in common with an endless runner. I’m not saying that is good or bad, it just feels very different.
The game does have some very good and bad qualities though. Firstly and most importantly – the motion controls are solid and stable. You can recalibrate controllers if you need to but I’ve never had to as it mirrors your actions on point. This is the games biggest triumph as when you rise through to trying hard difficulties with 8 coloured lanes to aim for, you need to be precise. It’s just a shame that there are only 12 tracks, and of those 12 only about 3 of the tracks are memorable. The genres seem to flit around jazzy electronica but seem scared of going for a really good tune. A strong melody would make the rhythm memorable and make you feel more involved in the game. You need to play campaign to unlock 9 of those tracks, and to be honest, the final 3 secret tracks I’ve never actually found despite completing the game on multiple difficulties.
Elsewhere, if you have 4 controllers, there is split-screen multiplayer and it works really well (I’ve only played with one other person so far) and evokes that sense of silliness that Wii remotes did but as the tracks are quite dull, you will only stay on it for 10-15 minutes before you’ve had your fill. The game itself has some nice environments although that can be a curse as well as a blessing as you’ll miss some of the transparent gates you’re meant to hit and because you’re speeding around the track (particularly in race mode in multiplayer) sometimes all the colours mean you may struggle to get the game’s depth of field. This means sometimes you’ll go for the wrong notes first. There are options to customise the colours somewhat for accessibility reasons and using that can help solve the issue a little.
Flight of Light
I had fun initially with Flight of Light, but the game was over in 40 minutes as a single-player experience, with no reason to go back. Whilst I enjoy and applaud the motion controls, it just didn't feel like a hands-on meaty experience and so as soon as I was finished, I had forgotten all about it.
A great example of motion controls done right (hurrah for Six-Axis).
Multiplayer chugs along nicely without hiccup.
Doesn't feel like a rhythm game. Doesn't feel like a racing game.
Music is very bland and often not suited to the games vibe elsewhere.
Occasionally gates are so transparent you won't be able to see them.
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