Hello-Fi Rush occupies an more and more uncommon area within the big-budget online game trade: that of colourful, goofy, and light-hearted titles. For its 10 or 11-hour runtime, it has extra in widespread with a Saturday morning cartoon than a skinny try at gritty, status tv, like most triple-A video games today, and that is simply its largest power. That its gameplay and fight are a novel melding of rhythm and classy motion video games is merely the cherry on prime.
Principal character Chai has huge desires of being a rockstar. To attain this dream, he indicators up for Undertaking Armstrong, a program run by the megalithic tech group Vandelay Applied sciences. Ideally, this might have changed Chai’s disabled arm, however he has to struggle his approach out of the power when he is labeled a defect. Whereas doing so, he meets Peppermint, who’s working to take down Vandelay. The 2 workforce up, bringing varied individuals disgruntled with the tech behemoth aboard to kind a ragtag group of misfits hellbent on ending Vandelay’s monopoly.
Every core solid member is charming and humorous in their very own proper, and I constantly loved the banter, arguing, and varied dynamics. Hello-Fi Rush is a surprisingly well-written sport that manages to be deliberately corny and, most of the time, pulls it off in a non-grating approach. The truth is, I used to be shocked that the story was my favourite a part of the sport, and I genuinely loved each character and the way they built-in into the broader group. By the top, Chai and his merry band work collectively in concord, and the story and gameplay match this in satisfying methods.
On the coronary heart of Hello-Fi Rush is a narrative in regards to the ills of huge tech – and, extra particularly, the sport trade. It isn’t probably the most radical company protest on this planet. However ranges that poke enjoyable on the lopsided budgets between advertising and growth groups and tyrannical managers who seize management over a product in opposition to high quality or employee security actually get their factors throughout. Tango Gameworks is owned by mega-publisher Bethesda Softworks. Possibly one thing to bear in mind.
All of this performs out throughout Vandelay’s large company campus. The intense cel-shaded world is consistently in movement, even if you’re standing nonetheless. Every part in Hello-Fi Rush strikes to the beat of the sport’s soundtrack – Chai’s run animation, the rotation of business gears, cutscenes, all of it to the sport’s inside metronome. It was all the time enjoyable seeing how the sport built-in Chai’s love of music into the world, even in small touches, resembling how a swing of your weapon belts guitar squeals in the identical key as any degree’s soundtrack.
Fight is the place Hello-Fi Rush’s rhythm spine actually comes into play. On its floor, the sport performs like several variety of trendy motion video games: you hack, slash, and construct combos and excessive scores. You realize the drill for those who’ve performed Bayonetta or Satan Might Cry. The distinctive twist, nonetheless, is that doing so on the beat with the sport’s songs nets you higher scores and more practical assaults.
Combating in time to the rhythm, touchdown heavy hits with the snare of a drum, and seeing your flashy animations completely timed to any variety of Hello-Fi Rush’s songs feels nearly as good because it seems to be; there is a literal weight as you slam buttons in time. All the surrounding elements of gameplay lean into the identical gimmick – puzzles, platforming, the entire 9 yards. Whereas it has an unique rating, the licensed soundtrack does plenty of the sport’s heavy lifting – particularly throughout tense and dramatic moments. Except for one The Black Keys track, all of the additions from Fiona Apple, 9 Inch Nails, and particularly The Pleasure Formidable are implausible inclusions.
The fight is so good that the early parts of the sport’s noticeable lack thereof endure in comparison with the again half of Hello-Fi Rush. It has a sluggish begin, and for the primary few ranges, I discovered myself desperately attempting to get to the subsequent enemy encounter. Fortunately, after a couple of hours, Hello-Fi Rush actually hits its stride. By the point credit roll, it is crescendoing into a large number of colours and riffs fully over-the-top and alive within the spectacle.
Hello-Fi Rush would not require you to struggle on the beat; animations will nonetheless land in time even for those who’re off time, permitting for that very same visible impression as a participant in good sync. Moreover, you may show a visible metronome on the display screen that will help you hold time. And the sport maintains a comparatively sluggish tempo throughout all its songs, by no means requiring to should sustain with hyper-fast rhythms. All of this goes a great distance in serving to much less rhythmic gamers benefit from the sport’s conceit, and so they’re all implausible additions.
Contemplating the sport was introduced and launched on the identical day, Hello-Fi Rush is well one of the vital stunning video games of 2023. A part of that’s literal. The opposite, extra essential half, is simply how good the sport is. Hello-Fi Rush finds a magical candy spot between rhythm video games, trendy motion, and lighthearted, character-driven platformers we do not see fairly often anymore, and by each measure, it comes out on prime.