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Review: Beat Saber's first Mixtape DLC will take you back a decade or two

Don't go chasing waterfalls...unless you're really bored of the beats and tracks you're used to.

Beat Saber music packs are a rather eclectic mix of music types. While the original soundtracks (OST) and some of the DLC packs tend to sport a heavy electronic sound with intense tempos, much of the rest of the DLC packs change things up in substantial ways. In the case of the new Interscope Mixtape DLC — the first mixtape style pack, as Beat Games pointed out — features as wide a variety of music styles as there are music packs available for the game.

While all of these new tracks have very different sounds, tempos, and beats, all of them have one thing in common: they're all from Interscope Records. Hence, the name of the DLC itself. You might have grown up with some of these songs hitting the top 40 charts on the radio, while others made their debut in the past handful of years. As is always the case with any Beat Saber song, you'll want to make sure you've got the best Beat Saber accessories to keep comfort high and sweat off your brow.

All of these songs can be played in multiplayer mode, assuming that the person on the other end owns the song, of course. As of this writing, all of the songs only had dual-saber mode available — no single saber or rotational modes — but all of the difficulty levels are selectable. With such a large span of time and genres, is the mixtape worth getting, or should you just stick to a few songs?

Beat Saber Interscope Mixtape DLC

Bottom line: While the Interscope Mixtape DLC packs a great mix of songs, many of them are overly easy and don't fit the speed of Beat Saber's gameplay particularly well, especially on the harder difficulties. Two songs stand out among the crowd, but the rest should only be bought if you really love the songs themselves.

The Good

  • Gorgeous new environment
  • Consistent difficulty level increases
  • Some great throwbacks

The Bad

  • Many of the songs are a bit too chill
  • Even the higher difficulties feel easy
  • Higher difficulties beatmaps feel forced
  • Only dual-saber mode available

$10 at Oculus Store $10 at Steam $10 at PlayStation Store

Beat Saber Interscope Mixtape DLC : A short list of positives

When comparing the Interscope Mixtape DLC with some of Beat Saber's other DLC packs, the price is one of the most immediate standout differences. $9.99 for 7 tracks is a rather good deal, as each song is $1.99 on its own and many other packs cost a few dollars more. Here's the entire tracklist, for reference:

  • Kendrick Lamar – DNA.
  • LMFAO ft. Lauren Bennett, GoonRock – Party Rock Anthem
  • OneRepublic – Counting Stars
  • The Pussycat Dolls – Don't Cha
  • Limp Bizkit – Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)
  • Maroon 5 – Sugar
  • Gwen Stefani – The Sweet Escape ft. Akon

My single favorite thing about the Interscope Mixtape DLC is the environment. While that's really not at all important to the gameplay itself, the feeling of standing in a garage watching cars bounce to the beat is something never seen before in Beat Saber environments, which often feature abstract geometry and lots of brightly colored lights. It's simultaneously more toned down and, yet, more interesting than the trademark look of most Beat Saber environments.

My single favorite thing is the new, wildly different environment.

My favorite two songs in the pack are DNA by Kendrick Lamar, and Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO — although DNA is the standout song in the pack of 7 songs. Personally, I find that songs that stick to genres with good beats or lots of energy — like hip-hop or EDM — generally fare better with Beat Saber's gameplay, and that holds true to this pack as well.

DNA and Party Rock Anthem are the standout hits in this pack.

Both of these songs stood out to me not just because their tempo or beats fit the formula nicely, but because both featured some extremely fun and creative beatmaps that fit the songs. Party Rock Anthem has a swath of uniquely shaped walls and wide swing blocks to get you moving your body like you're dancing to the song.

Likewise, DNA has a ton of arm-crossing swings and swaying movements that match perfectly — I mean absolutely perfectly — to the beat of the song. They both feel good to play, and the increase in challenge between all difficulty levels feels surprisingly consistent.

Beat Saber Interscope Mixtape DLC : It's just kind of boring

To put it bluntly, the other five tracks in this mixtape are just kind of boring. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the songs themselves, but they don't exactly feel like the energetic songs that work best with Beat Saber's formula. On top of that, the beatmaps felt a bit uninspired and dull when compared to many of the best Beat Saber songs.

Expert+ difficulty feels uninspired, likely due to the tempo and style of most of the songs.

While the difficulty level increase is quite a bit more consistent than with some other DLC packs or songs, Expert+ difficulty feels forced on all but DNA and Party Rock Anthem because of the tempo and beat of the songs. Simply put, it feels like the beatmaps are arbitrarily sped up to make it more difficult for a human to slice fast enough rather than being complicated or clever and requiring skill or accuracy to accomplish. I think a lot of this stems from my feeling that these songs really just don't fit well with Beat Saber's gameplay.

As a whole, most of these songs have a very different level of enthusiasm when compared to bangers like Reason for Living (OST 3), Boundless (Monstercat Volume 1), Rattlesnake (Monstercat Volume 1), or most of the tracks from the BTS music pack. I just picked a few of my personal favorites, but they're my favorites for a reason; they're stupid fun to play, and they encourage you to try to beat them again and again and again. A lot of this has to do with the songs themselves, but it also has to do with the beatmaps — the term for the way the blocks are arranged in patterns to fit the song.

Single-saber, 90, 180, and 360-degree modes are missing from this pack.

In many ways, though, it feels a bit like the somewhat disappointing OST 4 that was released in March of this year — although, at least OST 4's songs felt like they fit in a bit better with Beat Saber's style. For me, this particular pack seems a bit similar in feel to the Timbaland music pack that released early last year. The difference is that even those more laid-back songs feel more fitting to Beat Saber's energy than any of the 5 songs on the rest of the playlist.

While some might enjoy the fairly chill nature of most of these songs, there's also a distinct dearth of modes available for these songs. Only the standard dual-saber mode is available for all 7 of these songs. That means no single-saber mode and no 90, 180, or 360-degree modes. They are all playable via multiplayer but, just as with the other DLC packs, the people on the other side have to own these songs in order to play them with you.

Beat Saber Interscope Mixtape DLC : Should you play it?

2.5 out of 5

In short: really only two of these songs are worth your time if you love the feel and tempo of the best Beat Saber songs out there. They're still not quite as good as the best songs, but they're definitely worth the $2 each that you'll pay. To be specific, those songs are Kendrick Lamar – DNA, and LMFAO ft. Lauren Bennett, GoonRock – Party Rock Anthem.

The rest of the pack is generally pretty boring and the beatmaps feel similarly uninspired. On the positive side, the challenge increase between difficulty levels feels more consistent than what we've seen from other DLC, but Expert+ levels both feel less challenging and less creative than other DLC packs.

Beat Saber Interscope Mixtape DLC

Bottom line: Beat Saber's first Mixtape-style DLC is a mixed bag. While some songs certainly slap, many of them are a bit too chill for Beat Saber's energetic gameplay. Unless that appeals to you — or you just really like these songs — you can safely skip most of the pack.

$10 at Oculus Store $10 at Steam $10 at PlayStation Store



Source: androidcentral

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