Rhythm games have allowed players to acted out their greatest fantasies as rock stars with the like of Rock Band and Guitar Hero, but with The Metronomicon we can now be dancing adventurers.
Music like a regular rhythm game, The Metronomicon, has a scrolling wall of button inputs that players need to hit in rhythm to the music. However, unlike anything else you are in control of four different characters and you have to fight monsters. Each hero serves a different purpose from the cleric who heals damage to the mage who can hurl fireballs. By chaining button inputs on each characters players can unleash an attack by them, but they then cannot attack for a few moments meaning players are constantly switching between party members. At first this can feel like trying to play four different instruments at the same time, but it quickly evolves into seamlessly controlling each character and activating attack after attack.
After a short tutorial showing you what each character does the game opens up and players are given access to a range of songs that can be played on easy, medium or hard difficulties. The difficulty changes the speed and frequency of button inputs as well as the number of monsters that are going to appear. Players slowly unlock new songs once they have beaten previous ones and the ‘story’ of The Metronomicon gradually unfolds.
The Metronomicon is a funny game to play. Not laugh out loud hilarious, but nice and funny. The idea that enemies are beaten by dancing is great silliness and each character has their own quirk like mage who just wants to explode everything. It’s got enough humour in it to give you a little giggle every so often and contains enough of a plot to carry you through each song/battle.
Throughout every song players will be battling monsters. Each monster will be a certain element and you can do bonus damage to them by hitting them with an attack they are weak to, but less by doing damage of the same element. This is a nice addition that forces you to think before just doing any old attack. The best part about any song though is the climax. Towards the end of a song the boss monster will appear. This makes the finale of every song so much more tense and exciting as you try to defeat the boss before the song ends. There are also side quests that will crop up from time to time giving specific challenges like defeat 6 monsters and reward players with cool new items for their team.
Giving players a dual focus of button inputs and monsters might be too much for some people, but they can always turn the difficulty down if necessary. The Metronomicon kind of reminds me of Crypt of the Necrodancer which is also a rhythm game, but is instead a rogue-like. However, unlike Crypt of the Necrodancer where it is very challenging to keep the rhythm of the music and make it out alive, The Metronomicon never feels so overwhelming. If you aren’t playing on hard then you can survive each song by just doing attacks and trying your best to get the monster weaknesses, but if you don’t manage it then you’ll probably be alright. If you want more of a challenge the you can always crank it up to hard.
The songs in The Metronomicon are all really good in their own right as well. They are the kinds of songs that I would happily listen to outside of the game which is exactly how a rhythm game should be. There is free mode where players can just play through any of the songs without needed to do them in story mode. However, for those two are invested in the story mode every character can leveled up and customised with different attacks making the game even more diverse.
The Metronomicon is a great rhythm game that excels in every area. Different, but familiar games play – check. Awesome songs – check. Great replayability – check. The promise of future tracks – check. If you are looking for a rhythm game to play then The Metronomicon is one of the best.
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