While the art and animation never sold me, The Metronomicon takes the core concept of a rhythm game with a new spin. The main premise is that monsters have started showing up after a meteorite hits the planet, an academy is set up to train heroes to rid this problem and that’s pretty much the game’s narrative. Dance your way to victory with swishing style, fabulous accessories and kickass moves as you shake, waggle and swagger your way to toppling the bosses of monster raves.
It’s refreshing take on the rhythm game genre with its implementation of RPG (Role Playing Game) mechanics akin to old Final Fantasy games as a method of progression with a team of four doing battle against monsters and bosses. Mechanically it’s a complete package, with the difficulty pacing being kind, although displaying the BPM (Beats Per Minute) of the songs would’ve been nice in the story mode rather than just free play mode, since the difficulty rating is hard to gauge without knowing how fast the notes will come. The need for team composition means that if you’re struggling with completing a song, you’re able to go back to the songs you do enjoy playing and grind a few extra levels to help complete a boss battle. Emphasis on “do enjoy playing”, whilst the music isn’t to my taste, the music on the whole left me puzzled with the whole theme/conceit of the game.
Music variation is nice, but some tracks stick out as a sore thumb for whether or not it should be included as part of the game. This made certain songs a slog to beat with the first boss song really pushing me at my limits of patience for a rhythm game, the composition and pacing didn’t scream seriousness or even difficulty as such. I spent quite some time just banging my head at it in order to overcome the boss through playing the numbers game since my team weren’t strong enough. It was only in the second section that I really started to enjoy it with the change in music and pacing.
A rhythm game lives and breaths on the songs available, and when you don’t enjoy the music that much, it becomes hard to continue playing it. The RPG mechanics help and hinder the game, having to juggle between the rhythm and combat mechanics is nice but they never go hand in hand that I can agree with their implementation. Despite playing easy mode, keeping in tune with the song on medium difficulty is fun but the moment I had to deal with the monsters it got more annoyed with the need to multitask as opposed to enjoying the song. But it works the opposite way with the first boss being more practice of playing to each character’s moves that I droned the music out to beat it else I’d have given up.
My second issue with it, more so having played loads of rhythm games, is the responsiveness of the game. This isn’t the input delay, it’s the feedback of hitting a note. Being on PC, keyboard was a pain, but playing it on a controller helped make the game feel more responsive. Haptic feedback isn’t what I would like to see implemented when you hit the correct note, but visual/audio feedback would stop the rhythm aspect from being airy. Examples include Rub Rabbits and WarioWare: Touched! on the DS featured audio and visual feedback, same goes for Love Live! School Idol Project and THE iDOLMASTER CINDERELLA GIRLS STARLIGHT STAGE for mobile. The list can go on since this is my biggest gripe with the game more so than the RPG/Rhythm mash being a clash of interest at times.
Is this game still enjoyable? Yes, yes it is. This is more an issue for someone searching a rhythm game that feels, plays and sounds good for a sit at home experience. As I said, mechanically the game is solid. It harkens an old video game vibe that echoes a sense of nostalgia with the theme of 70/80s vibe of groovy tunes and references. It was only searching for a list of songs for the game that I found out that there are cheat codes that (love ‘em or hate ‘em) give you “hidden” game modes.
The Metronomicon (Reviewed on Windows 8)
This game is good, with a few negatives.
Fun and entertaining with its eclectic mix of indies (never heard any of them if I’m honest), give a miss if you’re searching something that’ll give you a proper run for your money song choice with high BPM songs - since some stretch to a slightly unbearable 70 BPM.