Gitaroo-Man (PlayStation 2) review
"Gitaroo-Man will remain a heavily under-appreciated game. FACT. Sliding in silently to the music-rhythm genre, it joins Busta-A-Groove and Parappa as Konami's Bemani series' less attractive cousins. Less attractive in the fact that they don't whore themselves to the great unwashed. True beauty however is in the eye, or in this case ear of the beholder. "
Gitaroo-Man will remain a heavily under-appreciated game. FACT. Sliding in silently to the music-rhythm genre, it joins Busta-A-Groove and Parappa as Konami's Bemani series' less attractive cousins. Less attractive in the fact that they don't whore themselves to the great unwashed. True beauty however is in the eye, or in this case ear of the beholder.
Gitaroo-Man puts you as U1, a young boy with no self-esteem or confidence. As it turns out though, his dog, Puma, knows more about him than he knows himself. Explaining U1's powers and destiny to him leads the 2 of them through 10 levels of musical madness.
Like all music-rhythm games, playing Gitaroo-Man is simple enough. In the centre of the screen is a circle with a radar cone, as the song plays it's your job to point said cone in the direction of lines that enter the screen. As well as facing the direction the lines are coming from, you are also required to press and hold the circle button for the duration of any expansions of the line, doing this will get the required riff from your ''gitaroo''.
Every time you hit the right note you'll be told whether your timing was ''Miss'', ''OK'', ''Good'' or ''Great'', obviously the better you do the more chance you'll have of scoring an A rank and unlocking extra trophies.
If you can manage that then you're halfway there. Getting it right during the ''Charge'' section of the song will help increase your health, and then during the ''Attack'' phase it will aid your adversary to lose theirs. The ''Attack'' phase aso forces you to defend against enemy attacks, this is done via hitting the right button as the image hits the centre circle.
As you progress through the game you'll get the chance to wield your axe to heavy metal tunes complete with screaming axe licks and riffs, set against pipe and jazz organs, an electric guitar versus trumpet in a funky blues/disco style, and not forgetting Gitaroo-Man's ''Legendary Theme'', as both the tender-hearted melody of the acoustic version and the soaring rock-ballad album version.
All of the tunes in Gitaroo-Man are excellent, without question. A few plays is all it will take to have you humming them in your sleep. With all the different styles the game throws at you it'd be hard not to find one you don't like, but chances are you will love nearly all of them. Plus, if you're good enough to unlock the ''Master's Play'' mode you can try them again, complete with improvisational notes (plus the game itself is a LOT harder).
In short if you're a fan of Bemani games and are looking to give your feet a rest definitely check this out. If you're not really a fan this could still be worth a purchase, might even get you to change your mind on the genre.
Community review by P4nd4Pwn4g3 (April 04, 2003)
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