I’m always a fan of titles that try out new combinations of genre styles, so when I heard about a rhythm-based beat-em-up roguelike I was immediately intrigued. Out of the gate while the style of play takes some getting used to there’s quite a bit of promise. The art style and characters are a bit on the silly side, helping to add to the fun. The soundtrack in general fits well to the action, and you’ll progressively unlock new characters that have different feels and that can be upgraded to better help suit your style. Where the problems set in for me revolves around the overall execution. The control scheme, though you get used to it, feels a bit on the clunky side overall which really comes to light when the game gets more intense and you’re trying to keep moving to stay alive. Nailing your hits on the beat precisely is absolutely a key to success but doing this consistently is more of a challenge than the game’s contemporaries. Whether this is a matter of the success window being brief or some issue in the timing (you can play with the latency in increments, though I didn’t find that this helped), but more often than not even while trying to be on the beat it wasn’t happening and honestly when I did get it right it “felt” wrong in terms of the timing. I think the thing that hurts it the most though is that when more difficult enemies are stacked in the same space or when the pretty bonkers boss fights hit everything gets so overwhelming that concerns like keeping the beat tend to go out the window completely. The bosses, in particular, are so generally all over the place with their attacks and speed that it feels like the core rhythm play gets betrayed a bit. Granted, the roguelike element and your ability to upgrade your character will help to counter this as you play but whether the core hook is sufficient to keep you grinding to get to that point may be a fair question from person to person.
Justin Nation, Score: