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Hi-Fi Rush - Review


Most games will have some sort of advertisement to show us what to expect before we play the game or to hype the releases. Game studios that shadow drop their games take a huge risk of not getting a major following. Hi-Fi Rush shadow-dropped and it quickly grew into a very successful decision. I was recommended this title by a really close friend stating this game would be one that I would enjoy... and he was right, I enjoyed my experience from the beginning to the end.


Pros and Cons

Pros

- Fantastic story with a ton of charm

- Wonderful characters that are very memorable

- Very creative gameplay that has you following the flow of the beat

- Combat is very fun, attacking to the rhythm of the beat

- Tons of collectibles for you to find

- An awesome soundtrack that is really nice to listen to

- Beautiful cel-shaded art style with colors that pop


Cons

- Cumbersome parrying sections that feel more annoying than fun


Story

The story starts with Chai, a 25-year-old man with a disabled right arm that dreams to become a rock star. He is lining up for a test program called Profect Armstrong, which provides cybernetic limb replacements. However, Kale Vandelay, the owner of the company, makes Chai a garbage collector for the company in secret and throws away his music player in the trash. Although a slight problem happened, the music player accidentally falls into Chai’s chest and is embedded with him.



Now, Chai can feel a musical rhythm connection with his surroundings and because of his mistake, Kale labels Chai a defect. Chai is later saved by someone who helps him escape Kale’s onslaught of machines, the person goes by the name of Peppermint, who wants to take Kale down.


I really love the characters in this game, they were all enjoyable and they had something special and unique to them. Personally, my two favorites have to be Korsica, who is the head of security at Vandelay Technologies. She has a fiery temper at times, but she is reasonable and levelheaded. My next favorite character has to be Kale Vandelay, he reminds me a lot of Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2 both in his antics and personality. They also both crack jokes at the most unusual times and it just makes it all the better in my eyes.



I can go on and on about the characters as a whole, but I’ll have to let you all who are reading this review experience them on your own.


Gameplay

Hi-Fi Rush is a rhythm-based hack-n-slash game where you will do everything, and I mean everything, via a beat-like music system. You won’t be spamming buttons like how you do in the Devil May Cry series. You will be pulling off combos but you must time it to the rhythm of the current song that is in that stage, although all beat patterns are the same throughout the game. If you don’t time the button press right, then the combo will fail, and you won’t get any bonuses from the rating system.



Chai can also call in his friends to help him in combat, either by helping out with shields or taking out fires. They can also stun enemies or help deal damage in combat; they do have a cooldown so you can’t spam their abilities. There are upgrades to reduce the cooldowns of the timers on your allies, but I never actually found a problem with their normal cooldowns and found it to be fine in that matter and used other different upgrades.


There are also going to be moments when your allies will have to help you access certain areas. Either by shooting a shield down, destroying a wall, or speeding up a generator to access certain platforms. You will have to time certain button presses on two of them, but they are easy to do once you get the hang of things.


Sometimes you will have to parry certain attacks on big enemies or bosses. On bosses, it will be required to get to a certain stage point on the boss but for the enemies it’s optional, you can do a finishing move if you time it right.


The boss fights are very fun and all are unique in their own ways. You fight a boss at the end of almost every level but they all have different phases that you have to go through. Each have their own different theme and are just outright creative, the stage also fit with the character who you were fighting so it was all the better.


You can collect gears which are the game's currency that allow you to get new moves or other bonuses like increased heart pieces for health, special attacks, and more. There are also a ton of collectibles that you can find throughout the levels. They include the things I mentioned that are also available by purchasing at the shops.


Although Hi-Fi Rush does have one issue that is worth noting, that being its parrying sections. At times, they can be a bit of a hassle to deal with due to you having to time the parry attack right. Of course, this is obvious as you have to parry the attack but you have to parry multiple attacks at once and it can get cumbersome. As mentioned before, the enemy parry sections are optional somewhat, if you mess up you can just take out the enemy.


Although boss ones are a different story entirely as if you mess up, you will need to redo that parry section again sometimes. It gets even more problematic when you have to dodge specific attacks at certain points too, and I have not even mentioned the fact that these parrying sections require you to memorize the attacks as well!


Soundtrack

I won’t go too in-depth into soundtracks with the games I play but Hi-Fi Rush is a different case altogether. It actually features music from actual bands like The Black Keys, Flaming Lips, Number Girl, The Prodigy, The Joy Formidable, Zwan, and Nine Inch Nails. Some singers include Fiona Apple and Wolfgang Gartner.


To avoid any YouTube copyright strikes, you can replace all the songs in the game with game music from the band The Glass Pyramids, because all the music in the game with the bands I just mentioned are actually songs they made. All of these songs can be found on Spotify.


Graphics and Performance

The art style for Hi-Fi Rush is really well done. Each level felt colorful, full of life, and has character. I enjoyed playing through all the levels and really appreciated the design of each of them. I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, and 16 GB of RAM. I experienced no issues while playing and stayed at a solid 60 FPS.



Final Verdict

There is a lot I want to say about Hi-Fi Rush, but I can only fit so much into a review of a game as a whole. The devs showed that they really cared, and the game was even finished on day one with no bugs whatsoever, something that some studios tend to struggle with. I highly recommend Hi-Fi Rush, it’s a fun game from start to finish and you will be wanting to play more.


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