.detuned – A graphical equalizer of un-epic proportions
It was the God of War Collection on the PS3 that first introduced me to a Trophy system. I saw a ‘ding’ in the top corner of my screen, and the rest is history. For years I would search out games just to add to my Trophy score. Didn’t matter how good or how bad, how long or how short – I was destined to get ’em all! Reality smacked me in the face…hard…a few years ago when I realized my backlog was growing well beyond manageable, and I was growing far too frustrated for imaginary awards that really meant nothing. But it was in those dark years (…shivers at the thought of 2010) that, one night while craving my next fix, I downloaded… .detuned on the PSN.
“No one goal; no arching story; no helpful narrative – just a glorified, psychedelic app.”
Now I’ll go through this review generously crediting Farbrausch’s experimental digital experience as “a video game” – but some would argue that a ‘musical visualizer’ may be more appropriate. A suited man, sits in a chair, looking aimlessly into the unknown. Surrounding him are blue-scale objects. Dancing creatures, stacked shapes, throbbing rubber ducks, and frozen statues; all blue, and all intertwined with orange pipes. The camera slowly pans around, and occasional jump cuts offer different perspectives of the centerpiece man. Buttons on the controller manipulate him; expanding his head, making him dance, distorting his movements; or simply contorting his body. That’s it. That’s the game. A graphical equalizer. No one goal; no arching story; no helpful narrative – just a glorified, psychedelic app.
“If anything was gonna haunt seizures back into my life, it’d be the effects of .detuned.”
And psychedelic it is. In fact, a seizure warning at the beginning of the game, usually only reserved for the fine print pages of your PS1 instruction manuals, is shown each and every time you start up a session. And I gotta say, I was a little concerned playing through this game. Had seizures as a kid – haven’t had ’em since – but if anything was gonna haunt them back into my life – it’d be the effects of .detuned.
“A way for gamers like you and me to make art from music.”
The music itself from Leonard ‘paniq’ Ritter isn’t terrible – and fits the trippy gameplay quite well. But even more enjoyable, is the ability to use your own music in the game. Had Stan Bush’s “You’ve Got The Touch” cranking from the Transformers movie, while stocking up on the easy to obtain trophies. And honestly, I think that’s what this experience was meant to be. A way for gamers like you and me to make art from music.
If you’re the type of gamer who just can’t help those spur-of-the-moment acid trips, then sit back, throw on Demo Mode and have yourself a crazy time. And if you want 10 cheap and easy trophies – hey, maybe this isn’t such a bad option. If you do end up playing it, I would LOVE to hear what you have to say over in the Cartridge Club forums.