I can think back to a time in gaming when rhythm games were a huge influence on the industry. Games like Guitar Hero, Rock Band, DDR and many others were everywhere, but something I never expected to play was a rougelike rhythm beat em’ up.
As the name says this is an actual rhythm fighter! Playing through something like this was a little different but once you get quiet literally “in the groove” it becomes an addicting and enjoyable experience. With games like Hades makes the rounds currently I think we need to take some time to have a quick talk about Rhythm Fighter.
Released previously on Steam Rhythm Fighter comes EDMing it’s way to the Nintendo Switch. Eco Games did a great job making a story that feels like we have heard before (animals fighting a vegetable race) it doesn’t feel like a copy and paste of anything that has come before. The first thing we can talk about it the most stand out difference from other games in the conversation.. controls!
The controls are what put the rhythm in Rhythm Fighter, every move movement has to be hit on the beat of the in game music. While that sounds and at first FEELS overbearing it never becomes something that is impossible to do. To move left to right or vice versa you simply look in that direction and then tap the right bumper button (R1) on beat to move in direction you are facing. Just like moving in a direction you also attack on that same pattern! I did find that sometimes I would listen to the music so much that I would try to hit enemies on the larger bumps in the music. The fighting felt amazing! With plenty of power up and abilities you are able to make each run unique and fresh from the others. Though not an issue you will find yourself seeking out certain weapons and abilities to make each run optimal.
Enemies in this game are fun and offer each of there own unique fights, and the difficulty gets ramped up once you start to get hordes of them converging on you. The unique enemies that stand out are a couple that kind of paused everything around you, one being a button masher that lets you completely spam him to death & the other being a guy that shoots rockets that you have to smack back at him of course… on beat with the music. I really enjoyed how much of the game really depended on you staying on beat, and let you build up damage boosts and such with it.
Back to the different abilities and weapons those aren’t the only thing that you can unlock in this game either. As you play you also complete different trophies or triumphs that lead to you powering up your character, and even let you unlock different characters throughout your game time.
Gameplay: 8/10 Never really a dull moment and keeps you engaged.
Sound Design: 7/10 I love music and EDM is a genre I can listen to all day.
Graphics: 7/10 Bright and cheery. Fun to see different movements from character and enemies.
Control: 8/10 Different from anything I expected and super fun to really master.
Overall: 8/10 Though it’s not as big of a headliner as games like Hades are I think that Rhythm Fighter was one of my favorite rougelike games I have played. The music, controls and different fights were great. I really enjoyed mastering getting around enemies while hordes were around me all while attacking, rolling, and punching on beat. Highly recommend for anyone trying to have some fun!