|Dev: 24 Caret|
|Pub: 24 Caret|
|Release: August 21, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Mild Fantasy Violence|
There are ten different levels in the game, each with their own techno-inspired background track. Each of these levels comes in several different difficulties. Beginner mode presents only two-note streams with rare beats and enemy lasers, while harder difficulties add more and more note streams with incredibly hectic patterns to keep track of. There are also a number of challenges to undertake and leaderboards to climb your way to the top of, but the overall gameplay experience is actually rather short. You can beat all ten levels in a little under an hour, and since the game starts you on beginner mode without even really asking you if you want to change difficulties, you will probably blow through that first.
Here lies the biggest issue. The game is far too short. The music in the game never changes or gets longer at higher difficulties. There are, essentially, only ten tracks to play throughout the whole game. Not to mention, many of these tracks simply crawl along. I'm a fan of techno music, but this isn't the hard thumbing club beats that you would expect from a rhythm game like this one. Rather, they are all kind of slow mechanical rhythms that would be better situated for a late night chill session rather than a space shooter. Frankly, I just didn't feel like listening to them all again to conquer the levels at a higher difficulty.
The cool thing about Retro/Grade is that you can play it with your existing Rock Band or Guitar Hero guitars. To be fair, it's way cooler to control time and space with rock and roll than it is to control time and space with a controller. However, even this starts to become dull after you've run through the game once or twice. The music simply isn't good enough to warrant coming back and playing the levels over again. Maybe if the game had more tracks, it would have more replay value, but as it stands I was done with this game shortly after I started it.
That's not to say that the game is bad. In fact, it's a pretty cool idea that is executed well. The reverse boss battles in particular were some of the coolest moments the game had to offer. The ability to rewind past your mistakes makes the game a lot of fun for perfectionists like me. For the time that I played it, Retro/Grade was very enjoyable.
The problem is that I didn't play it for that long. Ten tracks just isn't enough to carry a rhythm game, even an eight-dollar one. The replay value is just so depressingly low. I'd almost say you should get Retro/Grade in the hopes that your eight-dollar contribution will allow 24 Caret to make a sequel that is far more fleshed out. As it stands, Retro/Grade is a well-implemented fun new rhythm game concept that gets repetitive far too quickly.
Date: August 21, 2012