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  • 26-01-2023 7:03am
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,089 CMod ✭✭✭✭

    Ignore the generic name - the game is really cool!

    The next game from Tango Gameworks (executive produced by the great Shinji Mikami) was announced and surprised launched by Microsoft yesterday - its on Xbox, PC and GamePass. It’s a third person action game in the style of Bayonetta or Devil May Cry, but with a twist - you attack to the rhythm of a constant musical beat. Hit the beat and do more damage and get more style points. The timing is generous enough that it still feels great even if your timing is a little off.

    Played the first hour last night and was really impressed, even allowing for the fact I’m basically the target audience for a rhythm action third person brawler. I don’t know if the videos get it across but the game looks stunning in motion - one of the most impressive cel-shaded art styles in ages. The cutscenes are extremely slick, and the actual gameworld pulsates to the endless beat. There’s one sequence in the first level where you burst out to a rooftop and are just met with a cityscape in front of you that’s just an explosion of colour.

    Early on I’m not sure if the combat boasts the technical nuance and depth of a Bayonetta (I easily got an S rank on medium sticking to the basic combos) and the level design seems quite basic, but it feels bloody fantastic to play. Quite the particular soundtrack too - the first major boss is set to Nine Inch Nails, and the developers seem quite proud they’ve licensed a song from the nearly-forgotten Billy Corgan supergroup Zwan 😂 Level design is very simple so far, but it’s also refreshing after the RPG bloat of GoW Ragnarok to play a fighter that just has an end-of-level combo and item shop to worry about!

    As said, don’t let the generic name and surprise drop put you off: this is a genuine pleasant surprise, and a welcome smaller passion project from Tango after its middling AAA efforts.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 50,793 CMod ✭✭✭✭Retr0gamer

    Saw this surprise launch on steam and it caught my eye. Was waiting for reviews of it. Looks like a heap of fun.

  • Posts: 0 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    Looking forward to playing this. I absolutely love how this was announced and how they managed to keep it quiet. Really hope we see more of that.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,089 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    Also there is a Japanese voice option which IMO feels much more appropriate for the art style and presentation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,117 ✭✭✭brady12

    I don't really like anime looking things or rhythm action games but my god i love this game . so much run refreshing cos it's different .

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I enjoyed Metal: Hellsinger recently and this was more head nodding and foot tapping. This is very different but enjoyable in the same way as Metal: Hellsinger was.

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,089 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    Gotta say I'm really, really loving this - maybe the most refreshing and forward-thinking character action game since the first Bayonetta? Not that there's been a hell of a lot of competition, but it is a long-overdue step forward for the genre. Although it looks back too - its PS2/Dreamcast era vibes are much appreciated :P

    I said in my first post that I wasn't sure if it would have the depth of the best of the genre - but the mechanics they've continued to add as the game has progressed have proven that it absolutely does. Lots of clever mechanics to juggle while trying to make everything look as slick and stylish as possible, all to an endless beat.

    And while a lot of the level design is very straightforward corridors and light platforming between combat arenas, I've just played through the fourth level and it proves they've some clever, dynamic level design tricks up their sleeves as well.

    Still impressed at how fantastic it looks as well - they've just absolutely nailed the look here, and I don't think videos quite do it justice compared to seeing it run at a steady 144 FPS.

  • Registered Users Posts: 62 ✭✭Vyse Remastered

    Really liking it, just not very good at it. Helps fill the void left by the Jet Set series. Definitely oozes style.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Just can't believe how good this game is. Absolutely love it. When it was shadow dropped I immediately thought "ah they must not be happy with it and that's the reason to do it", but it's a brilliant game.

  • Posts: 0 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,089 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    Just finished it there, what an absolute blast of a game. I initially feared it would be a little on the long side after a couple of levels, but credit where it's due: the best stuff in the game is in the final third. Some superb music choices for some of the big fights, and lots of fun and thrilling level design choices as it goes on to. Heck, even the story - cartoon fluff though it absolutely is - oozes charm when you have the main crew of characters working together at the end. Most games peak early - this one just keeps delivering :)

    The spectacular second last boss fight is one of the all-time great boss battles, especially when it turns into an insane high-fidelity homage to Duck Tales at one point :P

    I have a few minor quibbles, like it can be a bit hard to read the attacks on one or two bosses and some of the 'call and repeat' sections can become a tad frustrating. But I absolutely loved every other second of this game - just a delightful, creative rush from beginning to end. I'll be going back to open all those additional doors that you can't get through first time around, and maybe I'll even pump it up to hard difficulty.

    Only minor, 'I was a teenage Smashing Pumpkins fan in the 00s' additional complaint...

    ... I wish the Zwan music cue had been in a playable section 😂

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,089 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    Jumped straight into 'Rhythm Master' difficulty for my second playthrough, and it's so much fun. The twist is you can't let your combo meter fall below 'D' - which isn't too bad a restriction, and is only really a risk at the start of a fight when there's maybe just a shielded enemy on the battlefield. There was one tutorial fight where I kept wondering why I was failing until I realised I just wasn't attacking persistently enough until the shield shattered. Once you get going it's hard to fall back down unless you really get pummelled. Nonetheless, it's the hardest mode in the game and I'm loving the additional challenge. It's far from insurmountable - at least a third of the way through the game, albeit before some of the hard bosses - but does demand the use of the full range of the game mechanics. In that sense, the challenge rooms you unlock for the post-game are an excellent addition as they're basically advanced tutorials on things like dodge and parry counters.

    It really has that sense of the PS2 era or the Resi games in having a tonne of stuff it's worth going back through the game for.

    Also tried it on the Steam Deck. It runs fine (a mostly smooth 60 but with some drops down into the 50s during chaotic moments) but I could really feel the impact the lower frame rate - compared to 140+ on PC - had on the latency of the game, as well as the size of the screen making reading the action a fair bit harder. Every millisecond counts in a game like this, so it definitely felt less satisfying on Deck. It's as good a handheld version as you'd hope, and it'd be perfectly fine for a normal playthrough. But for the harder difficulty, I'll be going back to my desktop rig. And it's definitely not one to stream 😅

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,570 ✭✭✭quokula

    Played the first few levels and it's... ok.

    I think it's had an enormous amount of good will for the way it was released and foregone a lot of scrutiny that would have happened had it had a typical marketing campaign and hype cycle.

    I absolutely love the art style and I want to see more games that look like this. The humour made me chuckle a couple of times too. But the game just feels so insubstantial and it's all style over substance. Walking down corridors, doing simplistic platforming hampered by a poor camera, getting to a combat section that's always the same flat, closed off arena with a bunch of samey bots that eventually blow up when you just keep tapping X at a set rate. Stopping every 3 minutes to have a game mechanic you've already figured out explained to you in laborious detail. It feels like something from 20 years ago, or something for kids.

    Was planning to complete it as a nice tight short experience before diving into some other massive open world game, but after a couple of hours I've already gotten bored with it tbh.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,745 ✭✭✭Grumpypants

    Played a few levels, it's nice. Bright, funny, positive. I'll have to try a get some more time with it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,117 ✭✭✭brady12

    It's a bit like High on life in that Can leave it for days and come back and dabble in it again .Although this is a much better game then High on life ! I'm only about half way though .

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,089 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    Had a few hours this weekend so finished off my Rhythm Master play through.

    Loved the game second time through, and it just reminded me how spectacular those final few levels are. I’d say the last level before the final boss is one of the best designed levels I’ve played in years - just the story, the combat, the characters, the art design and - most importantly - the music working in joyous harmony.

    Rhythm Master was very doable, although plenty of restarts needed especially in that final stretch 😅 It very much turns the game into a sort of combat puzzle where you have to perfectly manage resources and use all the game’s plethora of mechanics to get the edge. There was a point a few levels in when I realised how valuable jam combos were, but then it took a few more levels to realise how much more battery power can be collected with heavy combos. So tying it all together pays off handsomely.

    The ‘the meter can’t drop below C rank’ condition isn’t a concern when you’re mid fight for the most part, but where it really comes into play is when you’re starting a fight - especially some of the boss checkpoints. The condition basically demands that you can’t take a breather, but some of the boss phases start with lengthy wind-up periods where there’s not much opportunity to get a combo starter in. It can be a little maddening as you only have a few seconds to play with before instant fail, but there’s something very satisfying about finally figuring it out and bursting through to finally get attacking in earnest.

    A rare game for me that more than justified its second play through on hardest difficulty. Just the final challenge rooms and secret boss to finish now, and will see what the rhythm tower is all about.