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Locking songs in a rhythm game is a terrible idea.

I checked out Harmonix’s recent Amplitude remake. There’s a Campaign mode that’s apparently fifteen songs long, which is more than I wanted to commit to, so I went to Quick Play instead. I played a song, enjoyed it, played another song, kept enjoying it, and kept playing. There was a pleasantly smooth difficulty curve and I had a good time getting slightly better with each song and then moving on to the next slightly harder one. I kept thinking, “Okay, just one more song,” playing it, and then thinking that again.

And then I hit a wall. There weren’t any songs anymore. Or rather, there were, but I wasn’t allowed to play them. They were locked, and I’d have to either play Campaign mode or repeatedly replay the few songs I had access to in Quick Play in order to unlock them.

I would have thought that Harmonix would have learned by now after so many iterations of Guitar Hero and Rock Band not to lock songs in a rhythm game, but here we are. And just… why? Why do this? Why slam down a roadblock and prevent me from enjoying the game? If I felt like I needed to practice the easier songs before moving on to the hard ones, I’d do so. And if I felt like committing to a fifteen-song campaign, I’d do so. In the meantime, why stop me from trying out the songs individually and progressively, when I was having fun doing that?

My response wasn’t to switch over to Campaign mode or grind on the songs I’d already unlocked. My reaction was to put the game down. It’s been a few weeks and I haven’t come back to it. I don’t know whether I ever will.