Tap Tap Revenge 3‘s launch wasn’t a pleasant purchase. You couldn’t import your previous track packs, DLC wasn’t working, batch downloading of free songs wasn’t available, and even more issues appeared. Thankfully, Tapulous quickly responeded to feedback and began adding features that we’ve become accustomed to in TTR2. After giving them some time to iron out server issues, I’ve been having a lot of fun playing through TTR3 and enjoying some of the new music.
This version of Tap Tap Revenge features several gameplay changes. Firstly, 8x the points is no longer the cap for a multiplier to your score. If you’re familiar with the Guitar Hero or Rock Band series, you’ll know that star power notes appear at different points in songs. If you can hit that small streak of notes perfectly, you are awarded with star power. In this game, you can use it by hitting the star at the side of the screen, and it will temporarily give you a 16x points bonus. Another enhancement is an added indication of the timing of your hits on notes at the top right of the screen. Tap Tap Revenge 3 also marks the first time that paid DLC is available in the game. Don’t worry: there’s still free DLC, to the tune of over 100 tracks and new songs coming weekly. Another interesting addition is the levelling up system and avatar store. As you play the game, you earn coins and level up your avatar. You can customize this avatar by spending your coins in the avatar store. It’s not something that I spent much time with, but the idea of levelling up is something that should keep most gamers hooked. After spending quite a bit of time with the game, let’s see how it stacks up.
Downloadable content: The ability for Tapulous to sell new content now directly in the game is an important step forward into making Tap Tap Revenge a real platform for playing music. While they were able to get around that problem in TTR2 by selling track packs and letting you import them, there’s no doubt that this distrubution model will mean more songs getting into our hands quicker. The current DLC packs will not satisfy everyone’s taste, but with Foo Fighters, The Killers, Smashing Pumpkins, Phoenix, and Queens of the Stone Age, you have a better chance of finding some music you’ll like than in previous versions. Mini albums of six songs cost $2.99 and track packs with two songs cost $0.99.
Online attacks: Multiplayer has been improved by adding attacks into the game. Star power sections that normally give you a 16x point boost now give you attacks to use on other players while online. Attacks range from muting their audio, splashing goo on their screen, to speeding up their note chart. The attacks make each online game unique and add some flavour to each song by keeping you on your toes.
Better Interface: Loading up song lists on my iPod Touch 2G would typically take 25 seconds each time I wanted to play a song in TTR2. Thankfully, this has been addressed. There are shortcuts to switch between difficulty levels for songs, and each loads immediately. A retry button is a thankful addition that appears now after you finish a song. The default game background when playing a song initially comes off as saccharine, yet it grew on me over time.
Note Chart Lag: It’s a problem that the Tap Tap Revenge series can’t seem to shake. When you’re trying to get a full combo, there’s nothing more frustrating than losing it due to the game lagging. I’ve found that the single player game runs smoothly. When online though, some games will lag more than others and become impossible to full combo because of the lag. It’s an frustrating problem that you are forced to accept.
Tap Tap Revenge 3 has an improved interface and new gameplay elements that make this game a worthy purchase. There’s several new songs that I bought immediately and I’m excited to see what music Tapulous will bring in the future. The online multiplayer is a lot more interesting now because of attacks, and a lot more competitive for that reason. Be careful though: while the ticket of admission is only $0.99, you may find yourself spending more than you’d like on track packs as you play the game!