Monday, May 18, 2009
With all the music games out these days and the success of the Guitar Hero franchise, I found that one game which had been released earlier on the PSP was a classic that recieved little fanfare. I am of course talking about Gitaroo Man Lives! for PSP, which I happened to play again recently after having a blast with it when it was released.
Apart from the obvious difference from Guitar Hero in the way the interface works, Gitaroo Man Lives! also contains a light-hearted story delivered with some pretty funny voice acting. The main bad guy in the game speaks really quickly, probably due to the Japanese translation differences. Anyway, the cutscenes between levels telling the story are amusing and worth watching.
The game features a duel system, where you attack and defend against your enemy by hitting the right buttons to play the melody in time with the music. To win the level, you need to deplete your opponents life bar. When on the attack, a line is drawn towards your cursor and you must follow this line with your analog stick and also press the circle button everytime a circle shows up in the line. These circles are of varying lengths, corresponding to the length of the note and how long you should hold the button. So basically, you only need to worry about one button and the analog stick in the attack mode, it's where you'll gain health and cause damage to your opponent. In the defense mode, the four face buttons of the PSP move from each respective direction into your cursor and you need to press the right face button as the note hits your cursor. Defense is used to defend against your opponents attack, everytime you miss a note, you lose health.
The music is pretty cool and covers a lot of genres. The fast paced ones are of course, much tougher. Gitaroo Man Lives! also features two difficulty modes, with me unable to beat the game on normal, but managing on easy. I always get beaten by the shark in the space level on the second defense phase...Anyway, the game also features multiplayer and collectibles to encourage replayability. My only gripe is that it's a little short, but considering you can easily play it many times, it's still a great game and good value.
8.5 out of 10