This article by Carole-Anne Franco is a review of a website and online game called Flash Flash Revolution. While proofreading the text, I noticed that the basic mechanics of the game (using the numpad to time key presses with the game’s musical rhythm) reminded me of the little dancing sequences in Sid Meyer’s recent remake of Pirates! Gold. Although these dance scenes seemed too girlish for some players, they provided a nice distraction from what eventually became a rather boring (and sadly unmoddable) pirate game.
With a sudden rise in rhythm based games out there (Rock Band, Guitar hero, Dance Dance Revolution, Bust-a-move, etc…), when you can find a good free online rhythm game it’s a joy. Flash Flash Revolution is a website that offers two games: Flash Flash Revolution and Spin it up!. The games are completely free and always will be - so they claim.
Flash Flash Revolution is a reincarnation of Dance Dance Revolution, except you don’t play it with your feet. You play it with your fingers. The concept is to match the arrow keys on your keypad or numpad with the arrow keys in the game. You have to press them at the right time though. If you hit them exactly at the right time, you get a “perfect”; If you’re slightly off, you get “good”; if you’re a little more off and you get “average’; if you completely missed it you get “missed”; if you missed it by a lot you get “boo”. When you hit the arrow keys in a timely manner, you get life points added to you life bar. If you miss, you get life points deducted from your life bar. To win a level all one has to do is have a bit of life left in the life bar. Once you lose it all, you lose the game.
Beginners of the game don’t have to worry; there are skill levels for all. Usually songs are listed on order of difficulty. When you win a level, you earn credits. Those can be used to purchase more songs at the FFR shop. Once you beat certain songs you also become eligible for the Skill section. These are songs based on the skill levels you were able to beat. Sometimes you earn tokens or secret songs. Those are much harder to get but not impossible.
Other than these categories, you can also choose songs from certain genres. There are 2 sections for dance (it’s just too popular). There’s are also sections for rock, hip hop, classical, arcade and funk music.
The game also features multiplayer. While you can’t tag team with other players (unless you share a keypad), you can face off other players. You can either find enemies in the multiplayer room or challenge specific players in the Challenge room. Be careful of challenging though - you could lose money.
Unfortunately, since the game is online, having a bad connection could cause problems. Thankfully there is a low resolution version of the game if you don’t mind having to squint your eyes a bit.
Then there are two in-progress versions of Flash Flash Revolution, R2 and Resonance. Resonance isn’t an official game technically because these are songs whose arrows were designed by users. You can upload your own song and arrows for it by making a Sim file or you can play other people’s Sim files. Unlike the regular game where each song has only one skill level, these songs will have 4 skill levels each. You choose your level prior to picking a song.
Meanwhile, R2 is meant to resemble more its ancestor Dance Dance Revolution. Once again, you choose your skill level prior to choosing a song. However, the way this is setup it doesn’t really matter as you can easily choose a song beyond your abilities. Of course that is because this game is still being worked on.
For those who play R2 now, it can be noticed that the game seems harder to play. If you come in late or early on a key, you’re supposed to get a “good” or “average” rating. However, often the game won’t recognize slightly off entries and just categorize them as misses. Since the game is more like Dance Dance Revolution, it features its harsher grading system. You earn far less for each right entry and lose far more for each wrong one. Add that with unrecognized keys and you have one of the hardest rhythm games of all time. If you can’t hit at the exact time, you might as well not even bother.
Now it’s time for Spin it Up!. This is a completely different game. Spin it Up! is a game where you have a circle. You are given an arc as a playing field. (For those who don’t remember geometry, an arc is a section of the edge of a circle). In this game your arc is a quarter of the full circle length. You try to match up your arc with incoming arcs at the right time. In other words, you see a wave coming out of the center and you have to swing your mouse (but not the keypad) around in order to catch it before it leaves the circle.
As you go up in levels, you will need to move a lot faster and have odd movements. This will require some thinking because sometimes it will look as though it releases two or more waves at the same time, but they’ll actually have a small time difference. You have to figure out which one hits the circle first in order to get to them all in order. The game has a rather high learning curve and is pretty difficult. The easy levels are more adapted but also are far more boring. Once again, multiplayer is available.
If you look at the end of the navigation bar on the website, you’ll also see a link to another game called MeTrivia. This game is actually not held on the FlashFlashRevolution website and has nothing to do with rhythm based games. It’s a trivia game. Since it’s not on the same site, you’ll have to make an account on metrivia.com to play it; you can’t use your FFR account.
However, you are not required to make accounts to play on either website. Accounts are good if you want a profile and for the website to keep a ranking. Otherwise you can just play without an account as a guest user. Whether you’re in for a numpad game or a mouse game, this site offers some interesting choices.