Saturday, April 14

Review: Eat Beat Dead Spike-San [Nintendo Switch eShop]


When you’re looking for a music and rhythm game there are two major components to their success. The first is having a diverse and compelling set of tunes to work with, the second is managing to make the experience of working your rhythms on top of those tracks both fun and appropriately challenging. I’d say that in the case of Eat Beat Dead Spike-San it meets the first goal quite admirably, but in the case of the second it isn’t as strong as it could be so you’ll need to think it over.


Starting with the music the game’s soundtrack, featuring tunes from the fighting series BlazBlue, is both varied and uniformly superb. No two are quite alike and both their tempos and underlying rhythms provide a firm foundation for interesting beats to be executed. While I can’t say any of the tracks necessarily are staying with me mentally I’d still say that I didn’t find any of them disappointing to play to.

In terms of the rhythms themselves the foundation is generally pretty good. You’ll have 3 skill levels to choose between: Easy, Normal, and Hard, and there are definitely added layers of complexity at each tier. In principle the controls are nice and basic to help you focus, you’ll either press on the left or the right to match the on-screen cues, and the icons for this are clearly marked. I’d say it is most ideally controlled with the touchscreen, though you can use the JoyCon as well.


The problems for me mostly swirl around the JoyCon support and the choice to use the triggers. While this seems like a good idea conceptually in execution, especially when there were quickly alternating patterns, I found it to be pretty muddy. Whether there’s some slight lag or pressing and picking up your fingers that way is just a little too slow it had a tendency not to feel crisp or like you’re in control. Moving to the touchscreen I had no issues. An option to remap what you press may have been a good idea, as the result is that I’d say with the exception of playing on Easy I’d say using the controller feels like it is holding you back.

All said if you’re looking for a solid rhythm game with a solid though small-ish collection of tracks Eat Beat Dead Spike-San delivers a fair experience. There are only 20 total tracks, though this seems appropriate for the game’s modest price point. It’s best played with the touchscreen, which is probably for the best since you would optimally enjoy the music with headphones, but you could probably adapt to using the controller with some practice if you had to. A great pick if you’re a rhythm game fan on a budget.


Score: 7.5

Pros:
  • A solid and pretty diverse soundtrack featuring music from the BlazBlue fighting game series
  • Plays very well with the touchscreen
  • A budget-friendly price

Cons:
  • The physical controls, making use of the triggers, feel sluggish in sections with quick rhythms
  • Only 20 total tracks