April 24, 2024

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Hi-Fi Rush (PS5) review | Payment yard

Hi-Fi Rush (PS5) review |  Payment yard

Hi-Fi Rush was easily one of the surprise hits of 2023, which happens to be one of the best years for game releases collectively. Although we didn't get an immediate chance to try out Tango Gameworks' latest creation due to Xbox exclusivity, Microsoft's recent announcement of PS5 support has finally enabled us to dive into this excellent rhythm-focused action game. Unsurprisingly, this game remains as captivating as ever, and is an essential title for those looking for an ultra-sleek experience.

The game focuses on a wannabe rock star by the name of Chai, a young man with a malfunctioning right arm who arrives at the Vandelay Industries campus to join a scheme to replace his arm with a robotic prototype. Unwittingly, a music player finds its way into Chai's surgical machine, and embeds itself in his chest, engaging him in a musical relationship with the world around him. This incident then leads to him being classified as a defect, leading to an interesting story focusing on his attempts to evade his pursuers and put an end to some corporate shenanigans.

The overall plot of Hi-Fi Rush is enhanced by some truly amazing writing. This is mostly evident through the game's dialogue, which is often fourth-wall breaking, full of comedic one-liners, and occasionally thought-provoking when you decide to provide a layer of commentary regarding the entire concept of video games. Chai's role as the game's protagonist exemplifies the strength of Hi-Fi Rush's writing, as he is a charming and entertaining character. The cast is also similar in this regard, with some excellent vocal performances across the board.

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Chai's musical connection to the world is the framework for the game's mechanics, centered entirely around attacking enemies to the beat of the music. Although this may seem like a tall order for those unfamiliar with rhythm games, Tango Gameworks has gone to great lengths to make sure the mechanics are presented at a good pace, meaning you'll never feel like you're being thrown in at the deep end. At the end of the combat portion, you are ranked based on your performance and ability to time attacks perfectly with the rhythm. This is later exchanged into a points system, which then calculates your overall score for the stage upon completion.

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However, sometimes it seems that the input is not registered as intended, especially during phases that contain unexpected rhythmic patterns. Most of the time this is a minor inconvenience at best, though it can easily become frustrating when a lot of enemies are thrown at you in quick succession. However, there are solutions to this problem, with the option to display tempo timing with a simple press of the Dualsense touchpad button. This makes it easier to read pieces of music in difficult stages, as you have a direct reference for when you should press the button.

Speaking of stages, Hi-Fi Rush features twelve unique levels, each with their own aesthetic combat scenarios and, of course, music tracks. The previous stages focus on introducing you to basic gameplay mechanics like rhythm attacking, but as you progress through the game, you'll learn about dodging, parrying, and other useful tools to help you take full advantage of the music-focused combat. System.

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The combat itself is also versatile. Your options expand, as mentioned earlier, as you start to learn more about Chai's moveset, but there's a lot you can work with. Hi-Fi Rush features a dedicated upgrade system in the form of an upgrade shop run by Peppermint, one of the supporting characters. This allows you to spend gears obtained in stages to purchase new attack combos, special moves, and set passive abilities using chips. The Shop is located in various locations throughout the stages, and in the Hideout between missions, a hub-like area that also allows you to pet the game's robot cat called 808 – how cool!

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Equally important to the overall gaming experience is Hi-Fi Rush's presentation, which is full of charm, and we consider it one of the most visually impressive games we've ever played. The cel-shaded art style, combined with the music-focused environmental design, results in a game that can flawlessly present itself in a super stylish way. Everything in the stage – be it an object, decoration or enemy – will move or act in sync with the beat. Furthermore, you can use your surroundings as another way to discover if you are timing your inputs correctly.

Unsurprisingly, a game with such a strong presence of music would result in a truly excellent soundtrack. Hi-Fi Rush's music varies throughout its approximately 12-hour runtime, containing a variety of original and licensed music. Each stage uses music differently, constantly switching up the tempo when reaching certain checkpoints, or when facing one of the game's many boss battles.

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The bosses in Hi-Fi Rush are also incredibly engaging, offering an extra layer of challenge compared to the main stages. These are usually thrown at the end of a level, forcing you to use your knowledge of the basic gameplay mechanics to achieve victory. Unlike normal combat scenarios, bosses will usually use some sort of tricks during combat, ensuring that they stand out from the ordinary enemies you've seen countless times before.

Conclusion

Hi-Fi Rush is a great rhythm action game with a strong cast of characters, addictive gameplay, and amazing music. The game has a lot of replayability in the way it's structured, allowing you to improve your timing to perform better in the game's rhythmic combat. This is an essential title for PS5 owners, and we're glad Xbox has finally allowed us to try it out.