I was excited to play this game as I love rhythm games and the retro feel to it was a nice change. Unfortunately, it falls a bit short!
The look and feel of the game is initially lovely to look at! Lovely rendered levels with crisp 8-bit textures. but it’s let down by functionality! The levels don’t flow very well, there are a select few that felt like they “worked” which was very disappointing. It didn’t feel like a rhythm game as you were just playing along to a backing track and not contributing to the song in any way! I thought something had been turned off as when you hit the notes nothing extra happened sound-wise, there were visual cues but the lack of audio was disappointing. After checking settings there was an option for sound effects, once enabled it just put an annoying noise over the sound on the track which was identical every hit (It was quickly turned back off)
The game offers a couple of different play styles: Normal, Zen, Cinematic & Hard. I found it easier to play some levels on hard, the cinematic mode allows you to just sit back and “watch” the songs. The Zen is the easiest with no block obstructions in your path which leaves normal wheres there are obstructions and hitting them only slows you down (in hard mode it’s game over)
There’s quite a lot of vehicles to choose from most from pop culture over the years and unlocked via points unlocked from completing levels. There a few levels to choose from as well all quite varied with some being harder than others as there are ridges which obscure your view and upcoming blocks. Unlocking those are the same as cars by purchasing them with points.
Achievement hunters might be annoyed by the decision to use “odd” numbered achievements points (those not ending in 5 or 0). Obtaining the achievements are pretty easy as the only “skill” achievements are for getting 1, 2 or 3 stars respectively on races. These are not stackable so a controlled play is needed to get each one! Other than that all you need to get the rest is buy all levels & cars 100% will be yours!
Overall I was very disappointed in a game which had a lot of potentials if not for lack of integration with the actual songs and the feeling like your not hitting the notes with the tune. Sometimes I was lane swapping when I thought it should have with the music only to find out it didn’t want me to in-game! Maybe with some work and patches, it could be a solid game.
Music Racer will be released on Xbox One, PS4 & Switch on 29th January 2020
Music Racer is the dynamic rhythm game loved by millions of players around the world.