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Monday, April 17, 2017

Gitaroo Man Live! (ギタルマン ライブ!)

Somehow, I had never heard of Gitaroo Man until this month as it comes free with PS Plus. Now, I would never waste my precious money on these "free" games that are only playable if you continue paying each month but Play Asia had multiple promotions making PSN yen really cheap and there was some PS plus discounts that were worth more than the cost of a month of Plus itself and ANYWAY, long story short, how the FUCK have I never heard about Gitaroo Man until now? I mean, Koei published a rhythm game?? Whoa!

Awww yeah, time to fuckin' battle with MUZAK!!!
Gitaroo Man Live! is the PSP port of a PS2 title that to briefly sum up, is everything I wished Parappa the Rapper was but is obviously NOT. Yeah yeah, Parappa is way older and the first of its genre, blah blah sure but still doesn't change the fact that Gitaroo Man is an awesome game.

The single player story only has 10 stages so in terms of volume, there's not much more than Parappa and I was able to beat it on Normal mode in a couple days. However, my main gripe with Parappa wasn't the length but the fact that the game was broken. I watched a perfect play of a song and the rapping parts don't even match up to the song. On the other hand, Gitaroo Man's gameplay is spot on. While things get really hard, pretty darn fast, if you practice and get used to the frantic pace of the button presses, you can get through... at least on Normal mode.

Gitaroo man is lucky he didn't have to battle tenor sax, master race... instrument

Everything about the story was top notch, unlike Parappa, whose message seemed to be "You gotta believe!" and if you do, you can get away with doing whatever stupid shit you want. This game is about believing in yourself and what you can achieve with self-confidence.  I loved the voice acting, especially Puma and Kira and the playful, colorful graphics were great. As a once avid Tenor sax player before I got busy with real life, (ahem yeah real life like Gitaroo Man? Shuddap!) I'm also totally a sucker for the idea of battling opponents in a music battle.

As enjoyable as this game is, the tiny tablet sized Vita buttons killed my thumb. I never really liked the stupid tiny Vita buttons and it really makes its annoyance known when it comes to frantic rhythm games. It might be why Vita got stuck with DJMax Tecknika touchscreen bleh instead of the #BAE portable shit. Still, the PSP has that shitty nub of a analog stick so I don't know if that would be better. I would say go for the PS2 version but then you'd miss out on the two new co-op songs in Live!

Apparently the inspiration for Vita button design
So until Stage 9, I was going to give this game a score of 3.5. but the whole story with the legendary theme filled me with so much hype and emotion that hasn't been matched since watching the ending of Crossroads so many years ago, that I instantly upgraded this game to a 4. This is a great game and if you don't agree with me, well then, you're probably some sort of music philistine listening to Britney Spears or whatever the kids are listening to nowadays. (Yeah, I'm old, I GET IT!)

Crossroads: It's like Karate Kid but way better and with Devils.

I'm still working on the game in Master Mode as it's no freakin' joke. Of course, it doesn't help that my thumb is practically flat after a few hours of this game, stupid Vita tablet buttons. And I still have to check out the two Live! exclusive multiplayer songs. Since I have no friends, I'm going to see if there's a way to play it by myself in adhoc mode on the Vita. Anyways, while short, any fans of music games should definitely give this one a try as it's a great game. Wouldn't it be great if we got a full HD remake on PS4 with trophy support? Naw, let's remake shitty Parappa instead. Bitter? Who me?

Score: 4 I probably should've learned guitar instead of accordion, then maybe I'd have my own Pico-chan out of 5

As a Jhipster, I did take a brief look at some English gameplay and man, the voice acting is a severe downgrade. It's stupid they call him "You One". His name is Yu-ichi which of course is a pun but you know, I guess that doesn't work so well in English. Anyways, best to stick to the Japanese version, AS USUAL.

Scale
0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

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