Gitaroo Man (PS2): The Jet Set Radio of Rhythm Games!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joseph Young, Feb 28, 2002.

  1. Joseph Young

    Joseph Young Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]
    Apologies in advance to BrianB if I get any of the small game industry facts wrong. [​IMG]
    To call Gitaroo man a niche title as IGN did is pretty accurate.
    Gamespot also gave it pretty high marks.
    I always had an aversion to the 'dance rhythm' genre for a couple reasons. One: many of the titles (ie. Parapa and Space Channel Five) seemed to be glorified versions of 'simon says' with not-always-responsive controls. Two, the 'dance dance revolution' games are worshipped for good reason, but I could never get over the gaudy plastic mats and spikey haired ten year olds stomping gleefully at my Local Fry's.
    When I got Frequency earlier this year I was impressed by how much interactivity you had as the music played. Gitaroo Man has little in common with Frequency but plays more like a story and thus far has kept me thoroughly amused and entertained.
    When I judge games I often consider the imagination and originality which which the designers craft the overall 'world.' Just as Miyamoto embedded Mario's unique world in our collective culture, every so often a quirky party title comes along and leaves us with the same distinct impressions.
    The overall art design in Gitaroo Man is totally original, very 'quirky' and just as Jet Grind Radio, immerses you totally in its depiction of the strange enemies (Man in Bee Suit (funkadelic), Flying Keyboard UFOs (trance techno), A devil in diapers (metal)) without apology. There is no attempt to reconcile Gitaroo Man's strange costumes, enemies, and styles of music with some portrayal of 'mainstream cool' - this title is timeless in that sense.
    Everything you do comes from a small round dot in the center of the screen. You 'steer' a radar cone around the dot, spinning it up to 360 degrees to follow lines that come at you from various sides of the screen. Ocassionally these lines get filled with red areas, wherein you press and hold the circle button depending on the duration of the red area, thus setting off a series of riffs from your Gitaroo. At other point, the enemy will assault you with the four PS2 controller button symbols, from either side of the screen, and you must press the corresponding button to 'ward off' the attacks. This is the essentially gameplay, but combined with the interactivity with the music, and the entertaining visuals as you play, it's a great deal of fun.
    You have a health meter, as does your enemy (each enemy comprises a different level, location, and musical style).
    Timing in the game is essential and quite difficult to master.
    The cut scenes between and before levels are simply great... Super-deformed, 3D-meets-2D goodness. The menu design is cartoon-like, looks as if drawn with crayon. I have already unlocked 'character models' which are displayed in a 'virtual keepcase.' Clicking on the unlocked figurines reveals artwork on the respective characters, with voiceover narration pertaining to each.
    If you like rhythm games, and are on the lookout for a title that oozes style and originality, I would recommend at least a rental.
    Joseph
     
  2. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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  3. Joseph Young

    Joseph Young Screenwriter

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    [​IMG] Don't mean to put ya on the spot, in fact I appreciate your insight.
    There are various Japanese characters drawn (in that same crayon style I mentioned above) throughout the menus. Also, the introduction screens before each level contain long philosophical passages in Japanese which are appropriately subtitled.
    And surprisingly (as I'm usually pretty harsh on dubs), the voice acting is really great, suitably enthusiastic and campy.
    Joseph
     

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