As a fan of both multiplayer twin-stick shooters and rhythm games, a title that tries to find the sweet spot where the two intersect is, in principle, a great idea. In practice, I’d say it’s a bit more of a complicated answer. First of all, before saying anything else, I wanted to be sure to compliment the amazing variety and superb quality of the game’s musical tracks. From jazz to classical to pop to metal, the game’s music really is a major part of what makes it engaging and fun. How well the gameplay holds up is more of a mixed bag. Before doing anything else, I’d say that calibration is an essential piece of getting the most out of the experience. As sensitive as the timing for the beat can be, (though there are some in-game options to help alleviate that a bit) and as vital as being on rhythm is to success, don’t risk fighting with the game because you’re fundamentally out of synth with it to begin with. The weapons can get pretty diverse as you get further in, and new characters also help to open the door to everyone being able to find a style of play they like, whether using more short-range weapons complimented by some melee or keeping a distance and going for devastating precision. With the damage you inflict being doubled for being on the beat though, the effort to keep in the groove is vital… just there’s no question that it can be quite a challenge as concentrations of enemies make for a massive distraction. At the end of the day I think this ends up being more of a niche novelty than a break-out experience because of its commitment to trying to stay at the intersection of both styles rather than more clearly favoring one over the other. How you’d tweak the formula differently would be a fair question, but it’s not hard to imagine average gamers being quite frustrated, rather than excited, with the experience it ultimately offers.
Justin Nation, Score: