Before the Echo combines elements of both rhythm and role-playing games to create an entirely unique experience.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (1,092 reviews) - 86% of the 1,092 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 20, 2011

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Reviews

“... [Before the Echo] is one of only four or five games I've ever played that lives up to its potential so absolutely and with so little room for improvement.”
100% – http://www.bit-tech.net/gaming/pc/2011/11/07/sequence-review/1

About This Game

Before the Echo combines elements of both rhythm and role-playing games to create an entirely unique experience. Join Ky on his ascent of a mysterious Tower, guided onward by a mysterious girl named Naia. Encounter deadly monsters and ridiculous characters, and discover the grand scheme behind Ky's mysterious imprisonment...that is, if you can survive the journey.

Key Features:


  • Fully voice-acted, 10+ hour story mode
  • With music by Ronald Jenkees and Michael Wade Hamilton
  • Deep item synthesis and spell customization mechanics provide a full RPG experience
  • Full integration of Steam achievements and cloud saves

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core or Greater
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 250 MB
    • Video Card: 512 MB DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics card (shader model 3)
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • OS: Lion 10.7.5
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core or Greater
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 250 MB
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0+ (2.1 with ARB extensions acceptable)
    • OS: glibc 2.15+, 32/64-bit. S3TC support is NOT required.
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core or Greater
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 250 MB
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0+ (2.1 with ARB extensions acceptable)
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Very Positive (1,092 reviews)
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907 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 2
I really don't get some of the negative reviews here. First of all, it's a rhytm game - a very specific genre, which is, well... about keeping the rhytm and there isn't usually much else to it. RPG elements, like equipment, levelling up, crafting, are a very nice twist to it - but that's it. It's still a rhytm game - and if you don't enjoy things like DDR, Osu! etc. - you probably won't enjoy Before the Echo, either.

As a huge enthusiast of both mentioned genres, I enjoy the game greatly. I admit, the grinding tends to be quite monotous and gets boring after a while - then again, you don't have to be like me and craft every item possible. As long as you keep defeating different enemies, you shouldn't get easily bored. Humor and the story, though simple and there's not that much of it, make me want to keep going, if just for the sake of satisfying my - and main character's - curiosity about the place he got trapped in.

Also, for the people complaining the game's too easy - when you choose the difficulty level at the very beginning, make sure you read the descriptions carefully. It helps. :p
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
51 of 58 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
17.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
As a RPG and Stepmania enthousiast, this would seem like the perfect Indie game for me. And indeed, it was fun to play. It was unique. It was something fresh. And being a RPG fan, I am used with doing repetitive things in order to get that one rare drop.

One warning is that even casual gamers who would like to simply play the game and go through the story, might still face some moments where they have to engage battles over and over to get that last item for a recipe. Bite through it, the way you make story progression is quite slow in itself. Ronald Jenkees kicks ♥♥♥, but not after the 6~7th time in a row. Yeah, having only one fixed song per enemy doesn't get you on your toes that much.

On sales it's usually just one buck, so hopefully no buyer's remorse after you've even spent an hour at it.
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34 of 40 people (85%) found this review helpful
Recommended
20.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2013
A pretty damn awesome rhythm game that sells dirt cheap. The music alone is easily worth the retail price and if you like a bit of RPG sensibilities with your music gaming that has an actual storyline... get it now!
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23 of 26 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2013
Before the Echo (the game was known as Sequence previously) is an interesting RPG. The game plays like Dance Dance Revolution with the notes divided into 3 separate note tracks running concurrently on the screen for casting spells, defending against attacks and regenerating mana. There is a quirky story to pull you through to the end but what won me over was most definitely the music tracks behind the gameplay.

I can't really gauge how difficult it is to play for beginners to the genre due to my many years of playing rhythm games from Stepmania, Guitar Hero and my current timesink of Osu!. Anyone who has played such games should find no problems however with adapting to the mechanics.

Due to the RPG nature of the game, it can become a grind for specific items to drop on the monsters which are used to craft items needed to progress in the floors. The game does not come with any additional content beyond the story that I am aware of (I played mostly at release back in 2011).

Before the Echo wasn't the most challenging game personally but it sits in my game library as a comfortable purchase when I look back over two years. Give it a go if it is on sale but just be aware it may not be fun for everyone; the usual disclaimer case for most games in the rhythm genre.
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23 of 26 people (88%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
17.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 29, 2015
Now I have to admit when I first started playing this game I had quite low expectations of it. I absolutely love rhythm games but I couldnt see how they could successfully combine this into a RPG style. Although I was proved wrong as this game is AMAZING!!

The mechanics of the game are very unique and there is nothing quite like it. You use the rhythm of the music to fight a battle. To this you use the arrow keys and click them as soon as the arrow reaches the bottom of the screen. And this is when it gets unique. You have 3 fields to control via this rhythm ability. Mana, Attack and Defense. Mana is collected and can be used to cast spells in the attack field. You can switch through these fields at your free will. You need to make sure that you use each field correctly and at the right time to survive and win the battle.

The story of this game is what most suprised me. It had me hooked throughout the entire thing. There are many twists in the story that keep you guessing throughout the game. The voice is acting is very well done and the characters are very likable. You really do get to know the characters. In a rhythm game a gripping story is the last thing I would have expected. I am not going to go into detail about the story but just experience it for yourself and you will see how great it is.

The whole look of the game is completely incredible. The art style gives a real great look to the game that compliments the awesome gameplay.

Throughout the floors you get different items. You have collect these items through playing the levels. I felt the items abilitys were very well balanced and contributed well to the gameplay. These items are obtained through a random drop rate on levels. Some items have a very low drop rate on levels later on the game. Unfortunetely this is where my only bad point comes from this game. To get these items it can become very grindy with you having to repeat these levels multiple times in a row just to get it. This can get very boring after a while.

I'll end this review with the best part of the game, the soundtrack. It is made of music by Ronald Jenkees and Michael Wade Hamilton. I always feel that a game has a great soundtrack when I like it so much that I even listen to it outside of the game itself, and with this one I did. It is incredible and goes great with a rhythm game.

Overall this game is a true masterpiece and a bit of a hidden gem. This game is possibly one of the best I have ever played and I really highly recommend it.

TheIronicGamers rating system
  • Don't ever buy this game.
  • Maybe consider it on a sale.
  • An average game.
  • A good game that should definitely be considered.
  • A must play!
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20 of 21 people (95%) found this review helpful
Recommended
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2014
I have to admit, this game surprised me. I got this game from a bundle and decided to install it to try it out. I end up really liking it and played it until the very end. It's a rhythm based game, you have to change between 3 panels with Q and E, you use the arrows to hit the notes.

When I saw the tutorial I thought the game would be insanely confusing and hard to play, but it's quite nicely done, as you see all 3 panels at once at any time, so you see what is coming.

The art is really cool, the music is awesome and the story is even more awesome! I wanted to play until the end to know what happens... It's full of surprises, it's hiralious and you get hooked right into the story.

The spells aren't limited to only damage, you have shielding, direct damage, DOT, healing, boosts... Alot of different spells to use. You have to kill the monsters and ascend floors until you reach the top. All monsters have specific drops which you have a certain percentage of getting everytime you kill them (with music of course). You also have to craft/find your gear and you can learn new spells by using scrolls and completing the songs with high accuracy or note combos.

Theres not many bad things to say about the game... My only real issue with the game is the hitboxes... Sometimes it looks like you miss but it actually works and sometimes you think you succesfully hit the note but you didin't. Luckily this rarely happens so it didin't affect me too much. Maybe i'm just bad at the game though, I don't know!

This game is definately worth looking into, especially since it is only 4.99$. I'd say anybody that likes good stories or rhythm/music-based games should really try it out!
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19 of 22 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
16.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 9, 2013
A rhythm rpg? In the weirdest mashup since Puzzle Quest, this brilliant little indie game manages to create a unique niche and thrive in it. The writing turns some people off but I enjoyed it and found it relatable. Maybe that says more about me than the game itself. It definitely gets grindy, but the mechanics are very unique. Can frequently be purchased super cheap. Give it a shot, you'll probably be surprised.
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22 of 28 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2013
A truly great and engrossing indie game. The music is good. I wish there were a few more songs, they start to get a little repetitive as you near the end of the game.
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16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
41.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 24
I love rhythm games. Whether it's Elite Beat Agents, Dance Dance Revolution, Project Diva, Rhythm Heaven or iDOLM@STER, I can't get enough of tapping along to arrows and beats. When you combine my love for that genre with my love for RPGs, surely you'd have a winner right? Well, Before the Echo proves that isn't necessarily true. Before the Echo attempts to bring together RPGs, rhythm mechanics and cringe-worthy hipster jokes. In theory, these three aspects could get along rather famously. Unfortunately, in this case they get along about as well as a feuding family.

After waking up in a strange tower with no idea how he arrived there, Ky is beset by strange monsters. Guided by his 'shepherd,' Naia, Ky has no choice but to work his way up the seven floors of the tower, defeating enemies and guardians through the power of rhythm. Only then will he be able to escape his strange experimental prison and return to his own world. Sadly, only the ending of the plot holds any real interest, and even then it's pretty bizarre and will be hit or miss for most players. The previous several hours leading up to it gives you little insight into what's happening or the purpose of the tower. I suspect this was done to increase the mystery and suspense, but all it does is leave you feeling irritated and without purpose.

This is worsened by the horrific script and characters. The dialogue is clichéd, overwritten, uninteresting and seems to rely on pulling out cringe-worthy jokes every few lines. This can be forgiven to a point, since most of the jokes intentionally parody the lameness in hipster culture. Unfortunately, they're not very funny. The characters have incredibly two-dimensional personalities and you'll feel no affection for them at all. The only saving grace is the voice acting. Script aside, the actors, for the most part, do a tremendous job of portraying their characters. Strangely enough, one of my favourite parts of the game was the credits. They're narrated by the actors playing Ky and Naia and it's probably the most enjoyable credits sequence I've experienced in any game.

With that out of the way, let's get down to the nitty-gritty: the gameplay. In essence, Before the Echo can be broken down into two parts: rhythm battles and RPG-style item synthesis. On each of the seven floors, your primary goal is to collect the materials needed to create a key that will open the door to the next floor. To obtain these ingredients you must battle nearby enemies. After defeating them, you have a chance at obtaining various items that will likely be useful in synthesising items such as armour, weapons, new spells and the required key.

Sounds good, right? The problem is that some of these items have a relatively low drop chance and you're often forced to play the same 2-3 minute battles over and over and over again. In fact, on the seventh floor, I had to replay the same battle 13 times before the item I needed for the key dropped. It can be absolutely infuriating being forced to do the same battle again and again.

On the bright side, the battles themselves are pretty fun and incorporate some very unique ideas. Once you begin, you're presented with three different boxes on your screen. One is for attacking, one is for defending, and the third is for regenerating mana. Both you and your enemy have a health meter and it's your job to deplete theirs to zero before they either do the same to you or time runs out.

So, where's the rhythm, you ask? Once the music begins, each of those boxes becomes flooded with arrows. As arrows come down, you need to hit the corresponding arrow key. So, when the enemy's attacking you, you'll need to hit the arrows in the defence box. When you're attacking, you must hit all the arrows in the attack box to pull off spells. The catch? Only one box can be active at a time. Whilst you can see them all on screen at once, you have to swap between them using the Q and E keys to be able to interact with them individually. This can lead to some particularly hectic moments, especially on the higher difficulties where choices must be made on whether to sacrifice your attack to defend or vice versa. It's a very clever and intense little system that can provide a great deal of challenge for veterans of the music genre.

To actually attack your foe, you must choose and cast spells assigned to your sphere by hitting the corresponding numerical key. At first, you can only take a couple of spells into battle at once, but by the end this can be expanded to seven. New spells are learned by synthesising items and passing specific musical challenges. The attacks themselves include direct damage, damage over time, healing and more. There's a decent variety, but the real strategy comes in picking one spell over another. Do you pick a spell that does more damage but has a shorter recharge time? Do you take the most powerful healing spell even though it requires a huge amount of mana to cast? The spell choice adds a much needed layer of depth to the game.

If that doesn't sound hard enough then don't worry, it doesn't stop there. Each floor of the game has a guardian that presides over it and can interfere in each battle. By exercising their individually unique powers, guardians can seriously hinder your progress. Some can drain your mana while others can reverse the position of arrows, block your view of the arrow grids and even change the playback speed of the song. Once you finally forge the key and finish a floor, you then must then confront the guardian and defeat it. The guardians attack far more aggressive than regular enemies and the battles tend to have shorter time constraints. It's great fun.

Underlying all this great fun, however, is one massively poor design choice: synthesising items costs experience. Picture it: you spend an hour destroying enemy after enemy and collecting all the items you need, only to fail your synthesis and lose two levels worth of experience. It's incredibly frustrating. Each time you synthesize you are literally betting your hard-earned experience to increase or decrease the chance of success. On later floors it can be utterly devastating to lose so much. At least you don't lose the items, I guess.

The music used throughout the game is of fairly good quality. Fitting in with the theme of the game it's mostly electronic-sounding, which will really be a hit or miss thing for individual players. The tracks used during battle are solid, but there just isn't enough variety. Across the seven floors there are only around 10 songs used, and you're stuck with the same song for each battle. So, if you're fighting that same enemy five times, you hear the same song five times, which gets monotonous. Outside of the battle the music just sort of merges in with the rest of the game and is easily forgotten.

Aesthetically, the game starts off solid but starts to disappoint the further you play. The stylistic, artsy design of the characters and environments are fantastic the first time you encounter them, but they're reused far too often. Background graphics are reused a number of times throughout the game and enemies are palette swapped to an offensive degree. Character design, however, is well-rounded. Each of the guardians sports a unique and interesting design that sets them apart from each other and matches their somewhat stereotyped personalities. Ky may look like a generic hero, but you certainly can't fault him artistically.

So, did I enjoy Before the Echo? Yeah, I did. It's a fun game with some great mechanics and intriguing ideas going for it. If there was reduced experience gambling, less incessant grinding and a few additional songs, it could have been a far superior game. It may not be hardcore enough as either a rhythm or role-playing game for some, but there's still plenty here for both camps to like.
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18 of 22 people (82%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
13.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 1, 2015
TL;DR --> It costs less than an euro during sales, and it doesn't mean it's a bad game. It's a sign to purchase it as a duty.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


If you're reading this, congratulations! You have a good taste in videogames.

As a hardcore rhythm game player, Before the Echo caught my attention soon enough but honestly I didn't know what to expect. The conclusion after beating everything is a fully recommendation of the game.

Before the Echo (also known as Sequence) is a rhythm game with RPG elements. The basic stuff in summary (HP, Mana, EXP, weapons, accesories...). The main character, Ky, has somehow placed himself into a tower where he needs to fight mobs and bosses in order to escape.

The battle system consists in getting control of 3 labels of notes. They have different purposes and you need to know when to focus into one or another. I won't explain their features here since the game has tutorials for that.

PROS:

+ The artwork is cool. Backgrounds are good-looking, and so are characters and foes.
+ The soundtrack, as you might expect from a rhythm game, is pretty awesome. It also combines many music styles so if you're open minded with that stuff you'll probably enjoy it a lot.
+ 4 difficulties, from lame to more challenging.
+ The RPG system is pretty well included. Just as simple as it needs to be.
+ The storymode is surprisingly interesting. The characters' charisma helpsa lot here.
+ The dialogues. This is actually one of the most remarkable features. Dialogues in this game are VERY hilarious. Together with a pretty cool voice acting, dialogues will keep you super entertaining and will provide many, many laughs.

CONS:

- Despite having a cool artwork, there's not too much variety, specially from foes.
- At some points grinding/farming is mandatory.
- All achievements can be obtained no matter the difficulty you set, which makes them WAY less satisfying.
- No leaderboards.
- Steam version works like a Flash game (for instance, I couldn't make screenshots, nor broadcasts).

All in all, I've had a GREAT experience with this game. It has some minor flaws I could perfectly ignore, and every rhythm player should try this out. You'll surely find some good fun and discover a very consistent title despite its price (less than an euro during sales... WHAT?).

Final Mark: 7.5/10
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Recently Posted
Mr. DOS
0.4 hrs
Posted: September 18
Only the worst sort of game starts by corralling the player into sitting through a mostly non-interactive, twenty-minute-long tutorial consisting predominantly of banter between two characters you've never met before and have no connection with. And what little interactivity there is isn't representative of the difficulty level you're forced to pick before starting the game. I don't think I have any opinion on the game itself because I'm not sure I ever got to it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
All Might
1.2 hrs
Posted: September 18
A good rhythm/RPG game. Worth having in your collection :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
MaxguN
17.7 hrs
Posted: September 11
Overall, I liked Before the Echo. I'm quite fond of rythm games in general (hard player on Guitar Hero, but not expert) and I liked the mix of rythm and RPG elements here.

At first I wasn't much into the artstyle but I got used to it and kinda like it now. Same went for the dialogues which are a bit cheesy, especially in the beginning but then you get into the story and it's all ok. I found the story interesting and mostly went to the end of the game for that. Oh and the voiced credits is a nice little bonus ^^.

As for the game mechanics, they mostly work well. You got stats to increase with stuff and level up, and spells to unlock and select for your build. The "line" selection during combats gives you control on how to spend your time and keystrokes.

Though, the main negative point I have with this game lie in the game design. I started the game in Hard mode because I'm used to rythm games, it gives a little challenge and at first it was all ok. But, as after floor 3 you can't change difficulty, I regretted that choice much later when I needed to unlock more spells and couldn't because it was too hard for me (struggling with keys and controller, more used to frets). So I finished the game with only 7 of the 20+ (?) spells unlocked. And I unlocked 2 of them out of necessity for the floor 7 boss and final boss.

The second complain I could make about the design of the game is about the final boss. On floor 7, once beat the boss of the level, you immediatly encounter the final boss and start the battle. There is a noticeable difficulty increase from the floor 7 boss. Therefore if you barely beat the previous boss, you can't beat the final boss and you have to go back and farm to level up and increase your stats. Also, because the damages notes are random, and in the battle the rythm of the song varies a lot, you end up in a total random fight when casting your spells and it ends up being infuriating. I lost my temper there with 20-30+ tries. I guess it's mostly because I didn't have the right spells unlocked but I was also struggling to unlock them.

So, could be a bit better on some points, but overall a good and enjoyable game with a nice story to it. Liking rythm games is recommended to play this one ;)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Cutthroatpie
12.9 hrs
Posted: September 4
Great Music and Gameplay would play a sequel.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lost_mind
20.6 hrs
Posted: August 28
Very good game! lovely music! i got a lot of fun with this title even if i never go throught the end, i found this game after playing audiosurf and never regret it.
Give it a try!
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THE AIDS VIRUS
0.1 hrs
Posted: August 19
How this ended up in my library I'm not sure, but I have a bunch of games I got in sale packs and I slowly tick them off the list. While I was never huge into any guitar hero or rythm games thus making me a poor judge of this, I played this for about 10 minutes and deleted it with the objective of never trying it again. Maybe someone else likes it but hitting little up, down arrows and trying to make a battle out of it isn't my idea of fun. Parrapa The Rappa was a million times better and 15 years older.
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Sleightblind
0.5 hrs
Posted: August 14
Interesting concept and unique but ultimately boring gameplay, marred most by bad voice acting and the cheesiest dialogue I've ever heard.

No grown woman should ever say "w00t" aloud. Ever.
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ddragon98
14.3 hrs
Posted: August 13
Product received for free
Before the Echo is an extremely pleasant time-killer, with interesting mechanics for a rythm-based game. The game is captivating, and the story(which may not be the best) is one that naturally pushes you forward to completion. The game gives you the option of grinding for better equipment/spells, but they are not necessary; skill is all that is required. Overall, amazing game with fun gameplay and a great soundtrack.
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SilverTraces
13.7 hrs
Posted: August 7
While both rhythm games and RPGs are not unknown land to me, a game that combines both of them in an almost seamless way made for a very unique experience.

The overall visual design is good, especially in terms of colour and consistency, and the voice acting just adds another layer of quality. The story itself puts a bit of a twist on the caught-in-a-video-game trope and is well-worth the play, and the characters are quirky and unique enough to be interesting. What stood out in terms of writing though was the humour which was present throughout the whole of the game on many different levels, such as dialogue but also e.g. weapon descriptions. It knows its audience well.

Of course, as a combination of two genres, the game, while scratching the surface of many gameplay features (e.g. crafting, character equipment choice), cannot reach the depth of e.g. an RPG in terms of gameplay, and, unsurprisingly, every rhythm game could do with even more songs. Still, Before the Echo is a lowly priced and highly recommended hidden gem.
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