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Game Review: Retro/Grade (PS3)

The wonders of Retro/Grade fall into two categories. The first is the effortlessly original rhythm twist on the music genre. The second is the full chip tune commitment to delivering a full experience. Combined they make an impressive game that everyone should try, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Retro/Grade is a Rhythm Action game set inside a 2D shooter. You play as a ship that needs to shoot bullets, missiles and lasers to the beat or melody of the current song. You’ll also be dodging the bullets as they come from your enemies. The twist is that you’re doing it all in reverse! You’ll be surprised at how much this changes how you see things. Your bullets are timed to hit your ship like notes of a staff coming right to left, you’ll be avoiding anything flying in from behind too. The highscore becomes a low score as you’ll be taking points off it with the end goal being getting as close to zero as possible. Missing bullets reduces your score multiplier to zero and thus effects the end score and there are score doublers which give you a tactical element to try to make the most of them when the tracks at its busiest.

Where Retro/Grade shines is in its learning curve. The ten levels are originally only playable with just two note rows. Once completed the next difficulty gives you three, then four, then five and then just crazy busy. You’ll be kept well on your toes. It’s also got a fantastic original soundtrack that hits somewhere between synth rock and chiptune. It’s a joy to play to. You’ll be playing a lot too for the score boards for the lowest scores and the extremely difficult 100% trophies on offer. Even when things get tough you know it’s been your errors and not the games because the controls are responsive and immediate with no delay at all – crucial for a game of this sort.

Positives

~Utterly unique twist and feel to the shooter and rhythm action genre

~Fantastic soundtrack

~Looks gorgeous

~Challenging trophies

Negatives

~Occasionally the visuals aren’t clear as to what’s coming

Conclusion

Retro/Grade is a fantastic game. Any rhythm action fan will lap this up over and over and it’s such a great twist on the genre, I’d firmly recommend this to anyone whose prepared to give some challenging games a good go and take their eyes of FPS’s for five seconds. There be buckets of fun to be had here!

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