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  1. Marcus Estrada

    Review: Orgarhythm

    Developer: Nielo/AQUIRE Corp. Publisher: XSEED Games Platform: PSN (Vita) Release Date: October 23, 2012 ESRB: E10+ Have you become tired by the world of music games which, until recently, has been creating lots of similar titles? It“s fun to use plastic guitars or dance mats to hit buttons at the right time but after awhile you begin to wonder if there are other ways that music games can be created. We“ve seen some creative rhythm games coming out lately and it seems that another has just shown up for the Vita. Orgarhythm is about as strange as its name, but also a neat little experience. The name Orgarhythm does little to explain what the game is about, so let“s give that a shot. In it, you play as the God of Light who is hoping to take down the God of Darkness, his own brother. In order to do this, you must work your way through level after level with troops of warriors ready to do your bidding. How does this manage to become a rhythm game? Well, it“s all due to the way that the troops are controlled. To issue orders to your team, you must go through a series of screen touches. First, you will be required to touch the God, which means it is time to start issuing instructions. Then, hit the marker for which troops you wish to command. There are three colors, each of which has its own benefit or problem facing against other colors. After selecting the proper group, it is then time to choose what you want them to be doing. They can be sent off to simply engage in close combat, use arrows, or do other special features like lob giant boulders. Finally, you draw a line to designate where the characters should head to engage in battle. At the start, this whole method of gameplay is kind of confusing. It“s not particularly hard to recognize that the three troops' strengths/weaknesses play out like rock, paper, scissors, but that doesn“t mean you“ll be prepared. This is due to the fact that you are purely commanding troops. The God of Light himself is always walking along a set path, which means you must be ready to fight continuously and without much time to stop and think. Thankfully, the buttons you must touch on screen always remain in the same spots so you will never end up scrambling to find them. One other thing that makes battles hard at the start is that the game hinges leveling up on how well you are able to hit buttons along with the beat. Each level has its own music playing, and you are meant to carry out commands by pressing as the beat hits. It isn“t particularly hard in theory, but when you“re stressing out about a new wave of enemies coming close, you may find yourself screwing up a fair bit. This takes some time to get used to, but eventually it manages to become second nature. Once it is, you“ll be able to reap all the benefits of perfectly-timed presses with more troop level ups. Of course, if you“re missing hits a lot, then troops will level down. Although Orgarhythm isn“t easy, it does at least offer some aid to those who may not be great at the game. There are two difficulties for each level at the start, one for casual players and one for more advanced types. Also, once in a song, if you are bad at hitting notes the music will simplify itself down to make it easier to hear the beats. The only problem with that though is unskilled players won“t be able to enjoy the soundtrack fully as they won“t be able to hear it as it“s meant to be heard! There is no practice mode, but hearing the song stripped down to basics should aid confused players a bit. Beyond your small army of multi-colored beings, there are also a few more tricks up the God of Light“s sleeve. For one, he has access to four main support skills. These are able to increase defense of your team, or heal them up, and a few other things. There is also a special attack which he may launch after having done enough support moves. Using the attack means that every enemy around will get struck. It is rarely something you“ll find yourself needing, but support skills definitely are a big help. The heal in particular is fantastic since the God himself has no other means of protection aside from his team. There are twelve levels in all, which each have their own boss enemy at the end. These encounters require you to be able to use troops strategically, as well as fight quickly. Each boss has its own special features and some stages even have easier ways to take them down. One thing common between bosses is that they rarely are fighting alone. They tend to shoot out their own enemies to fight against yours, but you still must be able to hit the boss itself in between waves of smaller baddies. Once they get taken down, the stage ends and you are graded on your skill. Although there might not seem like so many levels overall, you might find them worth trying out in multiplayer. These two modes are co-op and versus, which act as you might expect. Unfortunately, both modes are based off of an ad hoc connection. Multiplayer is confined to “local” play, as opposed to online. Obviously this is fine if you have friends who are going to get together and play Orgarhythm on Vita, but this probably isn“t a common experience just yet. As such, I am unable to speak to how these modes play at this time. However, you can check out high score boards with players from everywhere. When it comes right down to it, the game feels kind of short, but if you“re really into it then it will probably offer a lot of replay value. XSEED also will be adding in DLC tracks and stages soon, but right now none are available. Orgarhythm definitely is a good mix between rhythm and RTS and is able to entertain for a handful of stages. If you are a fan of music games and own a Vita then this is definitely a game worth looking into, but expect that you will probably want to grab the DLC when its out to expand your experience. It is a strangely tough game to play at the start, but once you can finally wrap your mind around it (and speed up your thumb presses) then it becomes a fun, and hugely creative, musical adventure. Pros: + Nice variety of musical tracks, all of which are fun to listen to + Gameplay is simple to understand but tough to master + Creative boss designs and strategies to defeat them Cons: - Small amount of tracks for the $30 price - Multiplayer partners and opponents may be hard to find Overall Score: 7 (out of 10) Good Orgarhythm offers an interesting new experience to those used to “regular” rhythm and music games.