Hi-Fi Rush

Hi-Fi Rush is a great game with much style and character.

Hi-Fi Rush

This is an hilarious game that is highly accessible.  A bit part of the game mechanic involves pressing buttons "on the beat."  With the entire game world pulsating to the same beat it is generally not super difficult, but some segments of the game really requires tapping on the right button at the right time.  This is where the accessibility is well-executed.  You can optionally change these parts of the game to have more contrasting colors (if your color-blind or color-weak), simplify multiple-button-presses to just one button (so you can focus on the timing).  No matter how you play the game, I'd imagine the result is the same: you'll ending bobbing your head of the beat of the game music, fully absorbed by the experience.

Funny Characters

This game has great characters with superior voice acting and fun quirks.  Some of them are robots with cool and distinct personalities.  For example, CNMN draws emotions on his face with a marker, I guess to make up for the fact that he doesn't have normal facial expressions.  Other characters, including the protagonists have personal traits that makes the cut scenes enjoyable and fun-to-watch.  Since you are fighting robots there isn't over-the-top gore in the game to distract you and Chai seems indestructible as the game has him going through the walls/windows and facing huge boss robots.  Finally, there is a cat that appears from time to time and she is a great character design: kind of like a radio receiver for another protagonist, allowing her to be present without taking over the screen, but also does many cute cat things.  You can even level-up Chai with a special move involving her.  I think more games should have pets in them; having an animal sidekick always elevate the game. =)

The Glow

One of the first visual effects I noticed is the glowing screen halftone effect.  These "dots" are used to providing shading in comic books.  Or just an artifact of printing color.  But they are extra special when they overlay high-intensity lights and halos.  This is a better way to show contrast, I think.

Rhythm Quicktime Events

Words cannot describe how much I hate these segments.  As the game progresses they become harder to get right, often involving long sequences of button presses that must land at precise moments.  The developers must have realized their potential to frustrate players, so after failing several attempts the game will prompt you and tell you about an alternate way to get through them.  Due to my foolish pride  (thinking I am an above-average gamer), I just kept practicing until I memorized the sequence.  But what a good idea!  You shouldn't expect that everybody is able to react quickly enough to on-screen cues and that shouldn't block player's progress.  Giving them a way to move forward is great.  Also worth noting that Hi-Fi Rush has many features to improve accessibility to help people who is having a hard time with the beats or colors.

Music and Sound Effects

For a game with beats and rhythm as a major part of the game mechanics, the music was great and immersive.  I don't enjoy them as much listening to the sound tracks, but in the game itself they were awesome; I think I liked the in-house game music more than the ones licensed from famous rockbands.  Probably it is because they are sound more uniform and consistent; the "voice" of the game, if you will.  Using a guitar as a weapon allows a lot of guitar samples to pop up during combat, and it creates emotions in me exactly like when I first watched the cartoon FLCL when Haruko whacked Naoto with her guitar: so random... so awesome and funny (that whack caused Robot to come out of Naoto's head in the cartoon series eventually and is kind of an important plot point).  Hmmm, it would have been very cool if Hi-Fi Rush included music from the Pillows.  The entire game world moves in-sync with the beats and this game encourages you to attack on beat, and the natural effect, for me anyway, is that my head is bobbing along with the music.  This is great.

Hi-Fi Rush is just the right length and perfect blend of everything to make a truely enjoyable game.  Thinking back about what I played on the Xbox, I realized it was a great technical achievement that really shows off 4K, high-fidelity real-time animations and visuals.  But even without the amazing graphics this game would have been very fun still.  Play Hi-Fi Rush if you get the chance for a great time.