Fight mechs using metal-crushing rock in Infinite Guitars, a Rhythm RPG with anime-inspired visuals and a scorching original soundtrack. Save the planet by battling against war machines with electrifying Guitar Solos!
What would happen if you combined an old-school RPG with an old-school rhythm action game like Guitar Hero? As far as I can tell, you either end up with an unholy mess on your hands, or you wind up with Infinite Guitars.
It’s developed by Nikko Nikko and published by Humble Games, but Infinite Guitars appears to be that uncommon beast: a genre-blending game that works. So, do you feel like destroying some mechs with the power of RAWK?! Then let’s get moving, rockers!
Even in an RPG imbued with the force of music, the narrative must take precedence. Fortunately, this is a decent story – odd, but good. The world has been destroyed by a conflict, but not between humans; rather, it appears humanity was engaged in a struggle for survival against an army of mechs. In the aftermath, the remnants of humanity are reduced to scavenging for food and scavenging scrap for use as currency and to repair city fortifications. Now, however, the war machines are awakening, and it appears that only our guitar skills can permanently destroy them.
We play as JJ, a (possibly) adolescent who wants to play guitar all day and doesn’t care about much else. Our uncle, with whom we are exploring a new world one day, is abruptly captured, so we must immediately attempt to save the day. As is customary, we will investigate, make new friends and allies, and engage in thrilling battles against mechs ranging in size from microscopic to colossal. Can JJ and his companions Sam, Kaylee, and Ru prevail, or will the machines destroy them?
Next on the list of topics to discuss is the presentation of matters, which is very much a game of three halves. There is a top screen, for lack of a better term, where JJ can navigate an airship and travel to various floating islands to advance the plot. The following screen is a typical RPG screen in which JJ runs around, exploring, accumulating scrap, and getting into scraps. Then, there is the actual battle screen.
The design is very retro on each and every screen, but nowhere more so than during general exploration moments. JJ is depicted as a minuscule sprite that dashes about the environment while attempting to avoid various obstacles. These include missile-firing launchers, speakers that emanate damaging sound waves, and wandering robots, all of which must be avoided. The battle interface resembles that of Guitar Hero, with the exception that the notes you must play now appear horizontally. There are guitar battles to access doors and to execute some of your team’s more powerful attacks. These battles work exceptionally well, and completing a song in perfect sync is a genuine accomplishment.
And speaking of melodies, the music featured here is of the highest quality. There are a few exceptions, but the quality of the music is consistently excellent. There is an evident leaning towards the rock end of the spectrum, which is to be expected in a game about guitars. Overall, the presentation is quite effective and made me eager to continue investigating.
Consequently, what is the experience like? Well, the word that scurries towards my typing fingertips is diverse. The two halves of the game that I mentioned previously are exploration and combat, and I’ll examine exploration first.
As JJ moves about, you will have a variety of objects to examine, including debris on the ground that must be gathered, guitars lodged in the ground that serve as checkpoints or control stations to access doors, and, if you’re extremely fortunate, switches that disable offensive weaponry. There are also containers to open and robots to battle; however, if you can sneak up on the robots and strike them first, you will have an advantage in the next battle, so it is advantageous to be stealthy. There is no such thing as fair play when your opponent is a robot.
As you explore, the map becomes more detailed, and with a quick press of the LT button, you can see where you should be going. However, the map does not halt the action, so do not use it when under attack. JJ can also sprint with B, heal with Y, dodge with A, and attack with X on the exploration screen, which can be used to clear some obstacles. When bombarded, it is prudent to flee, but running reduces the amount of time you have to react, so exercise caution.
Combat in Infinite Guitars is magnificent. When a battle commences, it consists of two phases of traditional turn-based nonsense. The adversary can choose which team member to attack (typically the weakest), after which a mini-game is presented in which you must avoid the robots’ assaults. Dodging with perfect timing will give you charge back, which is used for healing; getting these dodges right is crucial, particularly if your team is weak. If a team member is knocked out, they are eliminated until the next encounter.
When it is your turn, you can choose from a variety of different moves, ranging from smacking the foe in the head with your guitar, which will harm it but grant you charge, to employing some powerful attacks that require you to risk a portion of your life on the outcome of a guitar section. Fortunately, these guitar conflicts are shorter than, say, those to open the gates, and they do permit powerful attacks. The type of mech you are battling must also be considered, as melee mechs are more vulnerable to ranged attacks and vice versa. You will quickly realize that tailoring your attack to your opponent is a wise strategy. Then, of course, there are the bosses, where the climax of the battle is a massive guitar battle involving the entire squad, and this is where things get extremely difficult.
Infinite Guitars is a blast to play, combining rhythm action and RPG elements into an engaging experience. The perspectives are slightly off, and there are a couple of minor bugs, but overall, this is a game that is well worth playing.
INFINITE GUITARS: Fight mechs using metal-crushing rock in Infinite Guitars, a Rhythm RPG with anime-inspired visuals and a scorching original soundtrack. Save the planet by battling against war machines with electrifying Guitar Solos! – kendajaya