Gitaroo Man
Genre Action -> Action
Today's Rank 0
Date N/A
Publisher Koei
Date 2002-06-21
Publisher THQ
Gitaroo Man is the latest addition to the Bemani (Beatmania) genre. Taking on the role of the implausibly named U-1, you discover, via your talking dog, of course, that you are the last Gitaroo Man and thus are destined to save your planet from the evil Gravillian family armed with a Gitaroo, which is essentially a musical instrument (in your case a guitar) doubling as a weapon. Each level consists of you battling a member of the Gravillian family and is split into Charge, Attack and Guard sections. Attacking and charging involves rotating the analog stick while well-timed button presses charge your energy bar or attack your opponent. Guard mode is frenetic as symbols fly towards the middle of the screen while you press the appropriate button to avoid taking damage. The action can switch from attack to guard in a split second, which ensures chaotic gameplay. Each levels uses one or all of these modes in differing order, which shakes up the often rigid routes that Bemani games can take. The graphics have a pleasing colourful Japanese cartoon style but the constant background action can sometimes obscure vital onscreen info. Crucially, the music doesn't grate on repeated plays and the interaction between your button bashing and the guitar works really well. Gitaroo Man benefits from the rethink of the usual control methods (and the overactive imagination that thought up the bizarre characters & locations). This probably won't convert non-Bemani fans but those who are into rhythm games will love it.--Jonathan Winter
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