Review – Hi-Fi Rush – WayTooManyGames

Review – Hi-Fi Rush – WayTooManyGames

Friday 27 January 2023. Just three days ago I was complaining about the sheer lack of proper exclusives available on the Xbox Series S/X, as well as my question about what the hell the ten trillion studios bought from Microsoft were doing. during the last two years. I never would have guessed that just a few hours later Shinji Mikami and his Tango Gameworks team would just drop one of the best Xbox exclusives I’ve ever played. Hi-Fi Rush is more than just your typical “eh, it’s on Game Pass so you can try it” kind of game. This is the crazy, Capcom-esque outing we’ve been waiting for from the man since he quit Platinum Games years ago. Not to mention the first massive big hit in 2023.

Hi-Fi Rush Chai

Meet Chai. He is an idiot. But a lovable idiot.

IN Hi-Fi Rush, you play as a boy named Chai. He’s your typical good-hearted idiot, a teenager who dreams of becoming a rock star, but there’s a problem… one of his arms just doesn’t work. He undergoes an experiment to obtain a mechanical arm from the Vandely Corporation, but something else happens in the process. His MP3 player somehow falls onto the operating table and gets implanted on his chest. As a result, Chai is called a defector to be disposed of by Vandelay (as in, killed), but the iPod inside his body and his mechanical arm give him powers to defend himself against enemies. He can conjure up a guitar-shaped ax and deal heavy damage to everyone around him, if he keeps attacking them to the beat of whatever song is playing at the time.

As a result, Hi-Fi Rush is a phenomenal amalgamation of genres and sources of inspiration. On the surface, there is one devil may cry type hack ‘n’ slash, with Baby driver as rhythmic elements. But it is more than that. The game feels like the perfect combination of most of the games Shinji Mikami had helped develop in the 2000s that weren’t survival horror. No, really.


It’s just like Bioshock Infinite, but cartoony. And with less blood. And more guitars. And a story that made sense.

There’s a lot of it devil may cry in Hi-Fi Rush, namely in the control scheme and gameplay. The rhythm-based gameplay may seem innovative, but it reminded me of Mikami’s forgettable (and forgotten) GameCube exclusive, PN03, which was also a rhythm-action hybrid. Its sense of humor reminded me of God’s hand. The cartoonish image felt like a perfect combination of both Prospective Joe and Car model list. Hi-Fi Rush perfectly encapsulates the aesthetic, carefree sense of innovation, graphics and gameplay of the PS2/GameCube era of gaming, arguably the pinnacle of game development and creativity as a whole, and as a result, it’s brilliant. I loved it.

See also  Dragon Quest Treasure's review

I do not like Hi-Fi Rush just because of the nostalgia. Sure, it helps a lot, but the game is more than just the sum of its inspirations. It’s a really good hack ‘n’ slash game that happens to use rhythm elements to enhance gameplay, not hinder it. It’s the kind of fast-paced, unforgiving, ultra-fun assault on the senses Platinum used to do ten years ago at an alarming pace… but possibly better.

Hi-Fi Rush Metronome

Turn on the metronome if you have trouble pressing buttons in time with the level’s melody.

So, about the rhythm-based game. If you think so Hi-Fi Rush plays just like Metal: Hellsinger, as a rhythm game disguised as something else, don’t worry, it’s much more accessible than that. At its core, it’s your default devil may cry/Bayonetta-esque danger: light attack, heavy attack, dodge, parry, and the occasional QTE to unleash a finisher move. It just happens that music will constantly play in the background, and if you press these buttons according to the beat, they will become stronger, and you will earn more points and do extra damage. Basically, it is not compulsory to play Hi-Fi Rush as a rhythm game, it is only (very strongly) encouraged.

You can also call in the support of a handful of teammates, who are mostly useful for dealing with certain types of enemies, such as those with certain types of shields. They can also be called up at mid-level to solve some small puzzles. However, the response in these parts was not the best. The only other issue I had with the gameplay as a whole was the reliance on mandatory parry sections to defeat a few enemies. They went completely against the general “balls to the wall” feel of the game. I don’t want to stop and pay attention to an enemy’s attack pattern to kill the damn thing… I want to be the one actively delivering pain, for crying out loud!

Hi-Fi Rush Smidge

Hi-Fi Rush has gaming’s most passive aggressive and salty training system.

It helps if you have a relative knowledge of music or if you can analyze a beat, but the game tries to help newcomers with an optional metronome bar, which can be turned on and off, which helps you learn to play games according to the beat that is blown through your speakers. It helps that the soundtrack is absolutely fantastic. The game’s original soundtrack is a pure banger, with pop rock/punk tunes made with the whole gameplay loop gimmick in mind, but there are also some licensed hits from bands like The Black Keys, Nine Inch Nails and The Prodigy. I can’t hate a game that features “Lonely Boy” as part of its soundtrack. Add in some excellent voice acting and I have literally no complaints in the sound department as well.

See also  Judge Drops DMCA Claims That Bungie Reversed Destiny 2 Cheats

Let’s talk about the visuals too. As you can already imagine, I love the graphics. Cel-shading is a technique many developers use, but very few manage to deliver a title that actually ends up feeling like a playable cartoon. More often than not, the end result feels more like a developer’s attempt to use this particular texture technique to hide imperfections or to deal with the console’s limited capabilities, such as when Team Ninja opted for cel-shading in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. That is not the case in Hi-Fi Rush.

Hi-Fi Rush Boss Fights

Jeez, I wonder where this giant robot’s weak point is…

This is a playable comic that looks impressive and runs like a dream. Cutscenes are animated at a lower framerate to resemble an actual animated show, but the game itself runs at a rock-solid 60 frames per second at all times, no matter how much crap is happening on screen. Particle effects will infect the screen, explosions will cover half of your field of vision, and everything will still run smooth as butter.

My only gripe with the visuals lies in the level design. Mostly, Hi-Fi Rush is creative as hell with its levels, but a portion of your playthrough is spent in cramped, corporate-like corridors. I don’t know if they were used to load the rest of the level, or if Tango Gameworks was just extremely fond of simple corridors, but they felt overdone and repetitive. Especially since enemies are rarely, if ever, placed inside these corridors, so they feel even more pointless since there is very little to do or find in these smaller parts of the map.

Hi-Fi Rush Peppermint

I mean, why not?

All in all, my complaints are very minor. I just loved Hi-Fi Rush. I just didn’t expect such a banger to drop without some sort of build-up, from such a talented team, right at the start of the year. It’s a fantastic mix of tons of games from the mid-2000s, resulting in a unique combination of gameplay styles, sense of humor, and visuals that easily stand out from the rest of Microsoft’s current exclusives. It’s one of the most entertaining action games I’ve played in recent memory, and a perfect way to kick-start the 2023 GOTY challenger race.

See also  How underage Roblox players are being scammed by other kids through phishing schemes and money laundering

A stunning cel-shaded art style that runs like a dream. Cutscenes are animated with fewer frames, making the game feel even more like a cartoon. The visuals are only slightly hampered by the occasionally repetitive level design full of bland corridors and simplistic rooms.

A fantastic hybrid between a classic Capcom-esque hack ‘n’ slash action game and a music-based rhythm excursion. Killing enemies and doing combos in step with the level is much easier than expected. Just a handful of more passive and defensive moves bring the experience down a notch.

Not just is Hi-Fi RushThe original soundtrack is excellent, but it also features songs by The Black Keys, Nine Inch Nails and The Prodigy, among others. Glorious.

It’s the most Shinji Mikami game ever made, mixing elements from most of his non-horror outings into an addictive and joy-filled action game I can’t stop playing.

Final verdict: 9.5

Hi-Fi Rush is now available on Xbox Series S/X and PC

Reviewed on Xbox Series S.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *