Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Frequency (Harmonix)

Go To

A rhythm game series by Harmonix that doesn't depend on special peripherals. All that's needed is a PS2 controller. Each song has 6 main tracks (drums, guitar, etc.). On each track, there are a bunch of gems representing that track's instrument. Hitting all the gems on a track for two measures activates that track temporarily. Your job is to move around the tracks and hit all the gems to keep them all activated.


The first game was Frequency, followed by a sequel, Amplitude, both on the PS2.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, a new HD Amplitude for the PS3 and PS4 with a new song list was released on January 5, 2016.

The games provide examples of:

  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: the various "arenas" in which the songs can be played, and the actual clothes for your Freq in Amplitude
  • Anti-Frustration Features: A few in the PS3/PS4 version of Amplitude.
    • Pressing left or right on the joystick will take the player to the next available track, automatically skipping any empty tracks, making combos easier if the next track isn't immediately next to the current one. Some dexterity was required to do this in the older games, especially when jumping over two or more empty tracks.
    • Moving past either the leftmost or rightmost track would wrap the player around to the other side. Its usefulness is somewhat debatable considering one has to look far down the playing field to see what's going on the other side (or otherwise jump in blind), unless the player is using FreQ Mode, which arranges all the tracks in a tunnel.
    • Advertisement:
    • If a powerup is one measure immediately after the current two-measure segment, the player will receive the powerup regardless.
    • Unlike the Score Doubler in PS2 Amplitude, Multiply doesn't expire in the middle of a segment so that players don't get cheated out of a couple dozen points at the end of a hard segment.
  • Competitive Multiplayer: And one of the first games to use the PS2's online network adapter.
  • Concept Album: Amplitude 2016's campaign mode is one of these, based on reviving a woman in a coma using nanotechnology (that is, the Beat Blaster).
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Tracks in both versions of Amplitude are colored by their instrument..
  • Difficult, but Awesome: There isn't much better moments of euphoria than beating any of Frequency's harder songs on Expert mode.
    • Amplitude 2016 requires you to complete the full 15-song campaign on "Expert" difficulty in order to unlock the "Super" difficulty. The true difficulty comes due to the fact you can't just clear each song, as you must also score very high in order to get the extra stage at the end of each of the three four-song phases. And there's also a trophy for doing this without failing or retrying a song, which only 1.4% of players have achieved.
  • Advertisement:
  • Digital Avatar: The Freqs in the first two games, the different models of Nanoblasters in the 2016 game.
  • Downer Ending: In Amplitude 2016, if you fail to perform well enough to get all three of the extra songs at the end of each phase in the campaign mode, the Amplitude OS will inform you the girl in the coma has failed to wake up.
  • Harder Than Hard: In addition to the series' standard "Easy", "Normal", "Hard", and "Expert" modes, the 2016 Amplitude adds a "Super" difficulty after beating Expert, where there are no section breaks, you can't recover energy at all, and completed tracks regenerate faster.
  • Interface Screw:
    • Some of the powerups in multiplayer.
    • In Amplitude 2016, the last main campaign mission causes a wavy multicolored effect at the last section. The final bonus song in the campaign has this effect for the entire length.
  • Licensed Music: All of the games have this to some extent, with music from hit electronica duo The Crystal Method arguably having the biggest "star power". The PS4 version of Amplitude takes the licensed music closer to indie territory, with soundtrack cameos from other games or game music artists such as Transistor, Skullgirls, Crypt Of The Necrodancer, and one original song from C418 of Minecraft fame.
  • Nintendo Hard: Given that the timing window is strictly hit-or-miss, the window for a hit is pretty small, especially in Frequency. If you're used to newer Harmonix games (or, worse yet, Guitar Hero 3+), or a newcomer to rhythm games, it can take some time to get used to. Compounded by the fact that TVs back then generally didn't have input lag...
  • No Plot? No Problem!: As is the case with many other rhythm games.
    • Excuse Plot: The brain surgery plot in the PS3/PS4 version of Amplitude.
  • Rank Inflation: In Amplitude, your score at the end of a song is given a rating out of three bars, but the actual maximum you can get is four, or gold bars in Amplitude 2016.
  • Rhythm Game
  • Scoring Points: In Frequency and the first Amplitude, phrases have point values calculated by complexity of the note placement. In Amplitude 2016, phrase point values are simply the number of notes in the phrase.
  • Techno: The majority of the music library, though some songs dip into the trance and thrash metal territory.