Begging For Wub Wub: Audiosurf Air Trailer

By Craig Pearson on March 21st, 2013 at 8:00 am.

I got one Alabama return, that'll take me far away from you, cause when you take me in your arms I turn to slave, but I can't be saved
Girls Aloud. Biology. Ninja Mono. That was my favourite Audiosurf gig. I’m keen to see what that bounciest of pop tracks will play like in Audiosurf Air, the sequel to the rather lovely music riding puzzle racing game. It was 2008 when Audiosurf came out, a pre-Skrillex world. If there was a game that could have benefited from ‘the drop’ it was Audiosurf. I hope there’s specific dubstep code in this version. Trailer is after the dropppppp.

Bzzzzrowowoowwscreeeeerawwwwkkszkzowwww. Dubstep! Yeah! So what does this trailer tell me is new in the game? Well, developer Dylan Fitterer’s taken the surfing part to heart, which means you’re actually riding along on your tunes a board, and can leap into the air to perform some flicks and tricks. It looks like the grey spheres are the things to avoid this time around, which will definitely help out the colour blind. I am a little bit worried that there’s too much going on on the track. Audiosurf was pretty clean on the ground, and I hope that odd, blurry light at either side of the track doesn’t get in the way.

No release date, so I’ll ask you to tell me all about your favourite Audiosurf track and game mode.

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90 Comments »

  1. Hunchback says:

    I’ve always sucked at games like this, since i tend to get hypnotized by the graphics and just forget to press the buttons SUPERMEGAUBERFAST in order to avoid crashing into stuff.

    • Barnaby says:

      Having been a huge fan of Audiosurf (and music!) fan since the beta, I was super excited when I initially clicked this story. However, after watching the video… wtf are they doing? I don’t know what game modes you guys played, but playing Ninja Mono (with Iron Mode), a SINGLE one of those gray blocks will dash your chances of getting the largest score multiplier available. Why in the world would you want to jump in the air for 5-10 seconds at a time and come back down into a bright blurry mess that makes processing anything almost impossible. If you are in the air, how are you supposed to collect the colored blocks? Is this mechanic to just skip over a hard section with lots of grays with the shortcoming of not getting to collect colored blocks either? I’m just so confused with this new jumping mechanic and why it would be fun or useful. Also the pacing of the blocks seems ridiculously fast, and I’m curious why/how they changed the pacing so much.

      I also agree that there is too much going on at the base track level and that they need to clean it up visually so it’s not so hard to parse what is what. It reminds me of Beat Hazard; while I love the visual/trippy effects, in the end it really makes it hard to comprehend what is happening, to the point of having detrimental effects on your performance (and brain function).

      On the other hand, I love the first person view and the rails along the side that give the track more perspective. The first person view is something I had thought about while playing in the past and should be awesome. I will still probably end up getting this but I hope they get some user feedback before finalizing some of these wonky ass design decisions.

      • El_Emmental says:

        +1, exactly what I thought.

        I’m not a hardcore Audiosurf player (even if I was an early adopter), as I only played the Eraser, Vegas or Double Vision no more than 10 times (mostly played Ninja Mono, Pointman Pro and Pusher), on approximately ~150 songs, and it really feels like the developer either ran out of idea or has yet to show us the new stuff. While I really enjoyed Audiosurf, a sequel needs to be a sequel, not a repackaging.

        Changing the camera perspective (FPS view + body awareness), a few models shapes (grey blocks now round) and adding silly jumping movements doesn’t sound fun, interesting or challenging :/

        I really hope something like new characters (really !), new types of blocks, new powerups (clearly lacking in the origina AS), new form of tracks (levels).

        New level generating is the most needed improvement: we need “shortcuts”/alternate paths, ramps (with air blocks/flying something), tunnel, etc. Each of these different paths would distort the sound slow down/accelerate the music, add/subtract sounds, cut the track (imagine a ramp with chopping cleavers that you have to avoid, and every time it hits the track it cuts it/heavily distort it for a split millisecond).

        But I’m afraid the sequel is already too far in development…

        • Barnaby says:

          That’s a really clever idea of manipulating the pacing of the song to coincide with some structural change in the track. I had never considered anything like that. Really neat idea you have there. As far as additional characters go, I never really gave much time to the other game modes. If anything they should cut out some of the sillier ones, create a couple new neat ones, and strengthen up the scoring systems for the solid game types (ninja mono).

          Glad you agree though!

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        VelvetFistIronGlove says:

        Kind of feeling the same way. But I’m not sure I expected anything different—Ninja Mono was never very well catered for in the original, having the lowest scoring potential (which sucked with a single scoreboard for all characters), and “Match X” bonuses and gold/silver/bronze medal levels which just didn’t work. The Stealth bonus is even worse—if you’re trying for a good score, you do a perfect run or go home. I’d much rather have the final score represent my overall performance in a track, not miss out on 30% because I hit a single block.

        But I still love Audiosurf. It’s one of my favourite ways to listen to music.

        And here’s a challenge for you: Ninja Mono — Tim Hecker — Studio Suicide, 1980. Here’s my last go at it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsXabJVg1P8

        • Barnaby says:

          I’ve had very similar thoughts, tracks where you make perform flawlessly and then hit a single gray block only to lose the multiplier completely is super frustrating. They could definitely come up with better scoring methods. You are also so right about lumping all the high scores together on the score board. I didn’t actually notice that for a long time and face-palmed when I realized that was the case.

          I’ll have to give that song a try sometime, cheers.

    • Fartango says:

      Idea for RPS: Just go ahead and auto delete the first reply to the first comment.

  2. mandrill says:

    No, Wub Wub would be awful in that video. DnB suits it perfectly.

  3. Abendlaender says:

    I only played the easiest difficulty/mode. It was relaxing and I didn’t really care for the gameplay anyway. Until Valve’s freaking Potatoe thing ruined it for me cause I spent hours trying to get it…..

  4. N1kolas says:

    I hope it is just the video quality that’s low, but the graphics while more flashy seem much less distinct than the original game’s.

    At any rate, unless they fix the scoring or provide a truly seperate leaderboard for my favorite mode (ninja mono), I won’t be getting this.

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      Craig Pearson says:

      It is. The screenshot is sharper.

    • Kitsunin says:

      I think it mostly looks very good, markedly nicer than Audiosurf, which was already very pretty. However the vehicle and the titular air look pretty garbage IMO, but I’m guessing that’s because that aspect is a WIP and the graphics aren’t done, or at least I hope so.

  5. Gnoupi says:

    That seems quite confusing, compared to the original. I feel like I see less the grid, with this “surfing board” character.

    I guess I would have to try it myself to get the idea. But I didn’t see anything wrong with the original “vehicle”.

    The control scheme change is interesting (default to middle, left and right make you lean only during the press), probably more optimized. Feels less like moving around, though, obviously.

  6. 1Life0Continues says:

    Nothing wreck a game for me more than terrible (subjective) music. I actually played that part of FarCry 3 (yeah, that one) on mute. Quite a difficult task. As it is, I actually kind of dislike ambient music in my games full stop and tend to turn it down immediately.

    Never understood the appeal of listening to transformer sex…er…dubstep (old joke) anyway.

    • NimbusTLD says:

      Pop dubstep you usually hear on the radio sucks. Actually, most music you hear on the radio isn’t very interesting. There are subgenres which take it to interesting directions, without sounding like robot porn. Dubstep is defined by its beat , not those sounds.

      Keeping in with the gaming theme, LISTEN to these fun dubstep remixes of Zelda:
      http://ephixa.com/album/zelda-step

      • 1Life0Continues says:

        I’ll grant you, the robot porn sound isn’t representative of dubstep, any more than Cannibal Corpse is representative of metal. But then, I don’t like Cannibal Corpse either.

        In regards to the linked music…Heh. Sadly, you ran into the one person in the world (seemingly) who is not a fan of the Zelda games either. Never saw the appeal. So the tracks mean bupkiss to me.

        I gave them a shot. I really did. But that sound just isn’t for me. I’m not entirely sure why, since if it had a few more instruments (a crashing guitar and bassline for example) it would come pretty close to Industrial music, a genre I find infinitely pleasing. And yet, something about dubstep just doesn’t gel.

        Also: amusingly relevant: http://i.qkme.me/357kje.jpg

        • rusty5pork says:

          I know this isn’t your real point, but:

          Cannibal Corpse is ABSOLUTELY representative of metal. That is, one particular subgenre of metal: Death Metal. If you asked any metalhead to name death metal bands that exemplify the genre, Cannibal Corpse would be one of the first 5 mentioned.

          • PlayMp1 says:

            They are most definitely not representative of a subgenre as diverse as death metal. You could never put Atheist or Edge of Sanity in the same category as Cannibal Corpse – they sound utterly different. They are only representative of brutal death metal.

            /metal pedant

      • Kitsunin says:

        Meh. After listening to that Song of Storms remix, I feel like I listened to the same song I adore, but with altered instrumentation, a repetitive beat, and dissonant samples thrown in. But then, I don’t like ANY dance music, so you should probably ignore me.

      • cryohazmat says:

        i just registered to tell you that you know nothing about dubstep and your taste in music is horrible ;)

        • NimbusTLD says:

          Hehe, well do educate me then please! I’m always up for new great music. I linked those tracks because they were fun, not as an example of great dubstep by the way ;)

      • Tams80 says:

        I guess I just don’t like dubstep, that seemed just as bad as all the rest I’ve heard.

        I did like the slow bits a little, but then they were quickly ruined with the ‘drop’.

      • Widthwood says:

        I just leave this link here
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTXtOVaCaOU

        It should be mandatory to post it whenever dubstep is mentioned.

    • AzatiPrime says:

      Maybe I’m misunderstanding you but in Audiosurf you get to play with whatever music you want.

  7. ZyloMarkIII says:

    I prefer Beat Hazard over Audiosurf, but I have to thank Audiosurf for getting me into the rhythm-based game genre. That said, ninja mono was the mode I liked where you can both appreciate the music and the game. The other modes tended to divert my focus from the music to the game (which was a bit lackluster).

  8. waaaaaaaals says:

    Looks a bit of a downgrade to me. I guess they decided they liked the first-person mode they did in the original with the whole Portal potato thing.

  9. Don Reba says:

    Ghost in the Shell — Run Rabbit Junk, Ninja Mono, Iron Mode

    Looks messy, but might still play well, who knows.

    • tonweight says:

      HELL YES!

      Also, from the same album, Inner Universe, same mode.

    • Ravenholme says:

      I love you guys, so so much.

      Rise, from the 2nd Gig’s soundtrack, same modes.

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      She’s so cold and human
      It’s something humans do

      She stays so golden solo
      She’s so number nine

      She’s incredible math
      Just incredible math

      And is she really human?
      She’s just so something new

      A waking lithium flower
      Just about to bloom

      I smell lithium now
      Smelling lithium now…

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        emertonom says:

        You left out the most relevant line: how is she when she doesn’t surf? (Apparently, she does lots of flips and is surrounded by some circle things, judging by the video.)

  10. Oryon says:

    Ninja Mono. Through The Fire And Flames.

    Deal with it.

  11. portchd says:

    A new audiosurf game??? thats amazing, I loved audiosurf!

  12. Premium User Badge

    blind_boy_grunt says:

    for me also ninja mono, the other modes made me think =(, i think.
    Marnie Stern – Prime, audiosurf really gets that song.

  13. Zeewolf says:

    Uh, what? That was disappointing. I absolutely adored Audiosurf, and still play it from time to time, but this looked much less fun. When I’m in the zone, I don’t want to be suddenly catapulted into the air to perform crappy stunts for five seconds.

    You know when Formula 1 drivers get annoyed if the team uses the radio for one second longer than neccessary, because they need to be 100% concentrated and focused on racing? That’s me when I’m playing Audiosurf.

    (favourite track would be Reyn’s Ghosts’n'Goblins-remix from Blithe, on Mono Pro or something)

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      Lambchops says:

      Have to say I felt much the same.

      Will have to wait and see more or play a demo but I’m currently unconvinced by what I’ve seen so far.

      That said if it had just been the same I’d have been moaning that it was, well, just the same but prettier, so I’m more than prepared to be convinced!

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      DeVadder says:

      This!
      And also, the track seems to be even less ‘close’ to the music. I would wish for an Audiosurf where i actually have to move and evade with the rythm. Instead of the track just having bumbs on the beat.
      Basically, what i am trying to say is: They apparently refined the gameplay for which i never cared but hardly refined the music->track generation, what was all i cared about.

      • Premium User Badge

        Lambchops says:

        Music-track generation is definitely a tricky beast, I’m still mightily impressed with how well it works.

        Dejoban’s 1,2,3 Kick It is a prime example. I don’t know what state it is in now (or if they are even still working on it) but in the early days it procedurally generated some pretty cool looking levels but it was fairly rare for the connection to the music to feel right.

        Audiosurf didn’t always work but when it did it was great and it mostly always did a decent job of things.

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          VelvetFistIronGlove says:

          I assume they’re still working on it, because they’re one of the first in the Early Access section.

    • Wedge says:

      Yep. This looks like some kind of awful mod where you can see less of the track and are randomly launched out of the gameplay for no reason =<.

  14. Snids says:

    I, for one, am keen to get into an argument about music.

    • Esteis says:

      Oh, I’m sorry, but this is abuse. You want room 12A, just along the corridor.

    • Tams80 says:

      No you don’t!

    • TheRealHankHill says:

      Skrillex doesn’t produce dubstep, never has, and never proclaimed him self to do so. I don’t know where in the hell everyone is getting that idea.

  15. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Damn good player, I must say!

    The game itself.. there used to be a time when I loved arcade. Was all over it. Can’t say I can cope with it anymore. Curiously enough, this isn’t true of MAME. At all! But I’m willing to put my money on my memories of my arcade houses days having an effect. It’s just that can’t see myself playing arcade anywhere else these days.

  16. Cryptoshrimp says:

    Hmm, it looks interesting – and quite pretty – but I’m not sure about the jumping mechanic. Also the flash when you land looks to be a terrible idea – what if you land on some greys?!

    Anyway, best tracks for an intense audiosurf experience is anything by ATR, I’d say.

  17. bill says:

    Ok. I’m fed up of reading about this Skrillex chap and having no idea what everyone is talking about. It’s making me feel out of touch. when I get home I’m going to have to look him up on youtube.

    Also, Audiosurf would be much better without the grid getting in the way of the music. We need an audiosurf meets snowboarding game.

    • Ravenholme says:

      Don’t do it sir! It’s not too late to turn back! SAVE YOURSELF!

  18. chopsnsauce says:

    Does anyone else think Audiosurf is a MASSIVELY missed opportunity?

    All it is is Guitar Hero on a bendy fret board that you can’t fall off.

    What I think it should be as an ACTUAL RACING GAME with physics and stuff. Jumps! Risk! Wipeouts! It would be AWESOME!

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      Maybe you haven’t played them, but the only thing Guitar Hero and Audiosurf have in common is music. Guitar Hero is a timing based rhythm game where your score is based on how accurate you are at hitting notes. Audiosurf is a match 3 (or however many, depending on game mode) type game where your score is based on how big and how many matches you make. Even in the simplest game mode where there is only one color, there are circumstances where you DON’T want to hit every block to get the highest score.

      • chopsnsauce says:

        I’ve played both.

        Both have coloured shapes moving towards you on some kind of “road” and you have to hit them in the right order.

        See the similarities??

        • QualityJeverage says:

          There is a visual similarity, sure, but they’re different games. If you’ve actually played both games and you’re still making this claim, I can’t imagine your goal here is anything other than attention.

          Bravo I guess.

      • Premium User Badge

        emertonom says:

        Ah, see, this is the thing–the match-3 mechanic thing (and whatever all those variants were) totally didn’t work for me. The timing of the colors was such that I could focus on collecting blips, but it was way too fast for me to both assess the grid playing field, determine which blips I needed where, AND collect the correct blips. (And possibly juggle them around with that cursor mechanic, or use the double-lane collection mechanic, or, or…) I really felt like the game worked best when it was at its simplest (the mono modes), and that’s when it was closest to guitar hero. So I can totally see where this commenter is coming from.

  19. Neo_Bahamut_19 says:

    I’m not big on the flipping through the air nonsense. It would be better if you had a charge meter and, upon filling it, you could go into the sky and take on a 3 dimensional version where you go through hoops for extra points.

    Other than that, massive improvement in the art department. The first game is looking rather… dated… to say the least. Not that a game like this needs “ZOMG GRAFIX!”, but still.

  20. 0neUp says:

    Music used in the trailer is Drum and Base, not Dubstep. That’s all.

    • Premium User Badge

      Craig Pearson says:

      I never said it was.

    • trjp says:

      Explain the difference using words found in the OED only, please… ;)

    • Skofnung says:

      Drum and base? Is that like Lil B rapping over Goldie tracks?

      • FrightHorse says:

        Drum and bass, or DnB. Broken 4/4 beat, usually at 160-180 bpm. Medium hit on first beat in measure, strong on the second, 1/8 rest, minor hit on the second 1/8, heavy hit on beat four.

  21. Premium User Badge

    MarkN says:

    King Crimson – 21st Century Schizoid Man – Ninja Mono. Favourite track by a long way for this game. It also creates some rather odd sequences of staggered pauses that really play with your noodle.

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      Faldrath says:

      Prog in general works very well with Audiosurf. Try some Van der Graaf Generator ;)

  22. Tiax says:

    Damn, the first Audiosurf is one of the best 3D Vision game out there and judging from the trailer its sequel is going to be even more brain-melting.

  23. kwyjibo says:

    Mono? You guys are pathetic.

    • Premium User Badge

      Faldrath says:

      Nah, Mono is the only way to play if you care about the music more than the game. In the puzzle modes, you have to pay way too much attention to the game and the music goes to the background. In Mono, you can just “feel” the music, and it’s a very interesting feeling.

      • MechaZoidAnimatedMuppet says:

        This is so untrue, it’s not even funny and I am sick of hearing people think this. I have been playing pusher pro and I have found no problems in enjoying the music at the same time. In fact I have found myself getting engrossed by the music often a lot more while playing pusher than when playing mono. I have songs I can’t bring myself to play on mono, because they’re so much more fun to play on pusher pro.

        Besides the ridiculous luck modifier with the paint it reds/yellows makes it completely mad to be playing pro puzzle characters only for score. 100% of the scores on the pro side are pretty much mostly dumb luck. Get a couple of paint it reds worth over 50k points(I have more than once even got ones worth around 100k) and you’re score will skyrocket. Ofcourse this might depend on skill level, but at the top you’re pretty much trying to get a lucky run and a clean finish(have the grid completely empty in the end), which sometimes can be pretty tough to do and is the only time I feel I really need to concentrate on what I’m doing 100%.

        Well, besides the times when I find myself having fucked up and am about to overload, which on ironmode means having to restart the song. This can happen a lot and even more when starting, but the risk/reward factor is what makes it so fun atleast for me. Much more fun than when playing on mono and hitting one grey block pretty much means your score sucks.

        Anyway that’s my 2 cents.

      • Feferuco says:

        Pfff, mono is boring. Being super engaged by the game makes the music a lot more intense, give it a try. Eraser is a mode that’s at once forgiving and engaging.

  24. Ein0r says:

    Likes:
    I like the graphic.
    Not sure if yet to like, but i hope they made some changes with drum heavy songs, or songs that include acoustic guitars. Many songs with those elements felt as if you would ride over a washboard.

    Dislikes:
    Grey balls instead of blocks. Doesnt fit in this nice blocky world . Would be great to turn it on/off for the sake of color blind people or whatever.
    After rewatching and realising that this is some surfboard character and not a futuristic fragile car, i disliked this model.
    The Jump seems pretty cool. But why would i want to jump over severals worthy seconds of my beloved track? (about 30 seconds in the video) I hope this is just a feature of a ca… i mean.. surfboard with super elongated arms.. But without the jump you probably wont see much from the track anyway.. thanks to this first person view, which i am not a fan of, but maybe could get used to.

    => Lets wait for some more videos of people playing it. Until now it didnt convince me at all.

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      Faldrath says:

      I didn’t like the character either. The “arms” just take over screen space for no discernible reason. And hopefully the jumping can be turned off, but… well. I suppose we’d need a feature to list to see how this new Audiosurf is different from the previous one.

  25. Premium User Badge

    Jackablade says:

    65DaysofStatic remain my favourite band for Audiosurfing. Their slow build to massive crescendo works particularly well for building exciting rollercoaster tracks.

    There’s a few good options for tracks, but Retreat Retreat is a good place to start.

  26. Curly says:

    This.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SqdF8uao_A

    ‘Cos the end is like surging down a river, see.

  27. povu says:

    Not a fan of the crazy jumps. Or the fact that you get completely blinded for a second as you hit the track again.

  28. aliksy says:

    Audiosurf Mono is kind of boring. Eraser is just as easy to play but makes the gameplay more exciting.

    Also not a fan of ‘dubstep’ or ‘drums and bass’ or whatever people are listening to. Mostly rock-derived things, here. last song I found and really liked was probably http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_y1aVOlkvcc

    • Feferuco says:

      Yeah, everybody talking about mono here, but ninja mono is basically reversed guitar hero where you avoid things instead of trying to hit them. Other modes engage me a lot more as it isn’t just about moving left or right. Having to focus on the track and on your colors without even getting to look at them, that’s when the game gets good.

  29. Beernut says:

    The screen is far too busy for my taste, and that jumping-thing doesn’t fit the game at all. If Air’s other play-modes turn out similar, I’ll stick to the original game in mono-pro-mode. :)

  30. Premium User Badge

    Vandelay says:

    On my phone, so not watched the trailer, but all I can say to the news of more Audiosurf is “Spotify integration please.”

  31. Shadrach says:

    B52s – Rock Lobster.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjUujttZCHk

    Maybe not a huge challenge but a really fun track to play with the bass line making the track all wobbly :)

  32. Da5e says:

    Killing Joke, ‘The Death and Resurrection Show’, Ninja Pro Ironmode. When the higher chords crash in the whole thing turns red and goes mental.

    I used to be king of a load of Sunn O))) songs on there. Great times.

  33. LavenderHarmony says:

    I honestly can’t get excited for this game. I did have a bit of fun with the original, but all the flaws from the original are present here. They also seem to have removed a lot of the skill, instead of having a sliding craft, you have a 3 way selection of lane, left, center of right, you can’t hang between lanes slightly from the looks of it, and that makes the experience look less thrilling. The trick mechanic looks like a horrid gimmick that will only serve to detract from gameplay and doesn’t look at all fun to perform, unlike games like SSX or Tony Hawks that get the board trick type things right time and time again. On the flaws, the timing of the blocks is still way off the beat for the majority, the track still seems to have a delay in responding to the music also. The graphics look distracting rather than pleasing, where the prettyness in the original could take your eyes away from the track, it wasn’t as sight-destroyingly vibrant as this, which is now reminiscent of the epilepsy inducing Beat Hazard. The sound effects are still uninspiring and tonal, which often clash with the track, especially when it’s not in sync, and to be frank, it just looks like more of the same. I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing, but I already own Audiosurf I, and I’m not convinced I should buy the sequel, even if it came with a packet of paracetamol and some eye-drops.

  34. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I certainly do hope that there will be modes in the game without the jumping, without the grey balls or even with a ship and different perspective like in the original.

    Then again, if it comes out for mac I’ll still buy it and if it doesn’t I won’t.

  35. DrollRemark says:

    This has just made me realise that Audiosurf predates me properly getting into Drum and Bass, I think all I played on it was rock tracks.

    I can feel the urge to re-install it rising.