Audiosurf Rides Again

By Alec Meer on May 5th, 2008 at 11:49 pm.

We are NORTH AMERICAN SCU-HUMMM

If I actually had any old flames of such calibre that, upon re-encountering them some years later, I was so blown away by their charm and beauty that I wondered why I’d ever broken up with them in the first place, I would surely have a most excellent analogy for how it felt to play Audiosurf for the first time in months. But I don’t, so I don’t.

What I do have is Audiosurf back in my life (and the rather surprising discovery that I hadn’t yet played any LCD Soundsystem on it. This has now been corrected), and lo, I am happy. The reason for this slight return is the release of a meaty free update to the MP3-racing synaesthesia supremo. Sexy details on this sexy so-called ‘FM Update’ are waiting sexily beneath the sexy cut…

There’s a bunch of minor and major tweaks in there, but the most interesting ones concern the game’s thoughtful but arguably slightly crude community features. Now, you can leave comments on the scoreboard of any song, which should egg on rivalries nicely; there’s a personalised news feedy thing – kinda like the main page of Facebook, but dishing dirt on when your chums last played and stuff like that; and, perhaps most importantly, there’s proper mod support.

A few mods are available already from here, and include neat stuff like changing your MSN Messenger status to the song you’re surfing, and cried-out for features such as shuffle and playlist modes. It’s the obvious way forward for Audiosurf – a quiet evolution into an all-purpose, compellingly interactive music player, rather than, as before, a great idea operating in something of a vacuum.

My favourite of the new features is perhaps one of the least important – Freeride mode can now be left running as a auto-visualisation while you’re in other applications, and automatically switches to the next track in a folder or playlist. It does rather unfortunately mean I’m going to spend hours staring vacantly at end-of-2001-a-Space-Odyssey light patterns with an empty blog entry window behind ‘em, but it’s a fine way to appreciate just how cleverly beat-matched Audiosurf’s background effects are, which I so often don’t notice when I’m playing the thing.

Anyway, it’s a timely refresh for a wonderful game, and if you boot up Steam now, the patch/add-on will be applied momentarily. There’s a whole bunch of treats I’ve not mentioned, so full patch-notes are below. And here’s where to buy Audiosurf if you haven’t already, you fool.

New features:
–last.fm audioscrobbling
–Comments tab on every song’s scoreboard
–Customized player news on the song loading screen (when friends last played, songs you’re champion of, etc…)
–Command interface for 3rd party mod apps (extensions)
–New hover vehicle for Eraser Elite
–Added Vegas ability: generate a random powerup every 60 seconds
–You can play freeride as a music visualizer on your desktop while other applications are running, and it will automatically advance to the next song in your current folder or current m3u playlist
–Improved Strategy Guide look
–Eraser Elite now has 8 rows of tiles (like Pusher Elite)
–Score browser now refreshes popular songs when you first open it
–Added blending to top and bottom black frame in gameplay
–Add a graphic to display your chain reaction multiplier at the bottom of the screen
–Longer-lasting fireworks on enhanced detail
–Maximum song length extended to 60 minutes
–Made additional texture mods possible (tiles, tileflyups, cliff)
–If you put a traffic.png file in the textures folder it will be used for traffic instead of blocks
–Going back in song browser remembers mousewheel scroll position
–Sound effect theme is saved between play sessions
–Checkbox added to stop being shown character videos
–Added OK button to the loading/news page. Gives you more time to read the news on the loading page if you want it
–No longer automatically goes fullscreen when maximizing
–X360 controller can now pause/resume play with the Start button

Fixes:
–Restored view track shapes and report button on scoreboard
–Fixed: unknown song text showing over strategy guide
–Chosen fullscreen resolution is now remembered between sessions
–Fixed Pusher Elite bonus text from 25% to 100% on loading screen
–Moved the “Drill” away from the track (would sometimes overlap)
–Fixed “Next Song” button when used with Recently Played Songs list
–Fixed: Resizing window could make the track temporarily disappear
–Fixed: was possible to click buttons on the scoreboard screen before getting there
–Block captures that force an early match collection are no longer lost
–Greatly reduced delay after resuming from a pause
–Fixed: menu background animation could get stuck
–Personal best is now stored correctly when playing from an m3u playlist
–Playlist files (m3u) now correctly ignore all comments and http paths
–Adjusted mouse sensitivity scaler
–Restored single-cursor on menu screens

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26 Comments »

  1. McCool says:

    Oh, I can’t wait. A graphic for the chain reaction multipier sounds like the most exciting addition..I’ve always wondered how that thing worked!
    Speaking of LCD soundsystem, I currently am champion of “Get Innocuous!” and “All My Friends”, so bring it on :D

  2. Saflo says:

    I’ve downloaded the demo twice and am still unsure as to what I’m supposed to be doing in this game. Someone please slap me.

  3. Matu says:

    *slap*

    Here you go, good sir. A tip: you are supposed to have fun. (Oh yeah, and there’s no storyline, unless you are listening to an audiobook)

  4. Rip Torn says:

    This is truly exciting news. I’m sure I still have high scores on a few elite mode LCD songs (I’ve played em all)

  5. rupert says:

    heh love it when developers implement things in games you thought would be ace, and .. they are! the desktop visualizer is brilliant :D

  6. corbin says:

    I wonder how long it will take for someone to come up w a way to play itunes songs in audiosurf

  7. Hieremias says:

    I feel like I’m missing the point of something here, but I just don’t understand the love for Audiosurf. How is it fun? You’re just moving your car/rocket/whatever from side to side. The tracks don’t seem to have much to do with the music except in the “when-the-music-speeds-up-so-do-the-blocks” manner.

    Visualizing music with cool effects is fine for a groovy screensaver or something like that, but a game? I don’t get it.

    But then, I’m also the guy that thinks Guitar Hero is singularly the most boring videogame ever invented since Pong, but some others seem to like it, so maybe it’s me.

  8. Krupo says:

    Shame this couldn’t have been in the original release, for purposes of a PCG US Editor’s Choice – they did score an 88% review which is damn fine I say, though.

    Hieremias – it’s you.

  9. PleasingFungus says:

    Oh, thank goodness! They fixed the “drill.” Man, that thing annoyed the heck out of me. Losing Ninja on a six+ minute song because the track was completely obscured by what was supposed to be a background element… sort of unfortunate.

    Also the modding support seems like it could yield some nifty results.

    Hooray!

  10. gozirraizroose says:

    A very nice update indeed, thanks for letting us know!

  11. Valentin Galea says:

    I cannot wait for all this audiosurf hype to go down:P

  12. elmo says:

    Why oh why don`t they let met play a ~3 hours mix by Astral Projection with mono pro and iron mode ? That would be a hell of a trip
    @Valentin Galea: troll :P

  13. Optimaximal says:

    I wonder how long it will take for someone to come up w a way to play itunes songs in audiosurf

    Simple… Burn the tracks to a CD then use a ripper program such as CDex to re-extract them as proper MP3/OGG files. Not only do they now work with Audiosurf, but you have REAL PROPER MP3 FILES THAT APPLE DON’T HAVE ANY CONTROL OVER!

  14. Seniath says:

    –X360 controller can now pause/resume play with the Start button

    Woot! That was a major gripe of mine when using the pad, now they just need to add support for it in the menus too.

  15. James T says:

    Oh I say, have they reset their database? Did that happen with this update?

  16. Rob says:

    @Optimaximal

    Just a shame that by that point it’s lossy to lossy so you’ve lost some quality. If you want to avoid that rip from the CD to .flac or just get audiosurf to play the tracks direct from the CD itself.

  17. nakke says:

    Now they just need to fix the XBCD controller memory leak. Or maybe they did, I’ve not tested it yet (not at home now). Not that it’s a great pain to have to take the controller out every time I play, but still.

    Other than that, it seems awesome. I’ll get back to playing Audiosurf then! Played for some 15 hours when it was released, but then haven’t really touched it at all. Not that 15 hours of awesome gameplay is bad for a $10 game.

  18. The Shed says:

    Hmm I never played this game anywhere near enough. The most awesome track I found to play on it was ‘That’s Not Really Funny’ by EELS. You’re speed goes from about 2Mph straight to around 70Mph, erratically. Awesome, and terrifying.

    I have to agree with Saflo- I still don’t really get how you score points or whatever. You have to build up lines of the blocks and then… well… to the help section of the website I go!

  19. Theory says:

    We need a new song to obsess over!

    My vote: New World by The Strawbs.

  20. Nallen says:

    I was wondering why the devil the last of my records were recently broken!

  21. Smee says:

    My favourite song is the 9-minute uncensored cut of KLF’s “(America) What Time Is Love”. It always feels like an epic adventure.

  22. James T says:

    We need a new song to obsess over!

    My vote: New World by The Strawbs.

    Duly noted (although it’s just ‘Strawbs’). However!
    HT Destroyingangel Mix by Tsuneo Imahori. There’s no core like glitchcore!

  23. Nuyan says:

    Audiosurf is still on my ‘to buy’ list. I guess I’ll end up buying it somewhere this week..

  24. Mman says:

    Simple… Burn the tracks to a CD then use a ripper program such as CDex to re-extract them as proper MP3/OGG files. Not only do they now work with Audiosurf, but you have REAL PROPER MP3 FILES THAT APPLE DON’T HAVE ANY CONTROL OVER!

    If by proper MP3 files you mean an eargrating transcode mess you would be correct. Lossy->loss conversion ruins music, please do not do it.

  25. Mark says:

    Sixty minute song length? I think that’s long enough for me to surf the entirety of the War of the Worlds radio broadcast.

  26. brog says:

    Mark: not long enough for the rock opera though, which is more important.