|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Red Rocket Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Red Rocket Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 20, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Youcef Baouchi
Music and rhythm games like Guitar Hero have dominated console sales, but they have yet to dent the PC market place. Red Rocket Games, intends to change that with their latest rhythm game, Mevo & the Grooveriders. Mevo is aimed at casual gamers. The developer chose to use very straightforward but also yet challenging gameplay, stylish graphics, and a simple storyline.
The plot is very simple. The main character Mevo has to reunite his band (the Grooveriders), bring funk to the universe, and the defeat the enemy, Silence. The game moves Mevo through several different worlds: Ocean, Jungle, Desert, Space, and a Wormhole. You start the game by watching a nicely-crafted cartoon introduction. Afterward, you will be taken to the world map where you can access a total of 17 different levels including the tutorials. The first part of the map will be accessible, but the others will open up as you progress further into the game.
The game is played on a rail system, so you can't actually control the platforming. As Mevo moves across the level, he will encounter notes. You tap two keys, left shift and right shift, to the rhythm of the music, while right and left arrows display the notes. The first few levels of the game are very simple, but as the game progresses, it can become frustratingly difficult. The beats become more complex, going from basic single notes to a rapid barrage of notes, eventually progressing to long ones with breaks and combinations. There is also a freestyle section in all the levels where players have to tap both keys as fast as possible. This is a good way to rack up huge combos and points, but there is no skill involved whatsoever. If you miss a note, not only does it ruin your combo, but it will also drain your health bar. You can regain it by picking up heath packs, but if you lose enough, you will have to restart the level.
Some levels have multiple routes, so you have to choose which path to take using the shift keys. Right to go up and left to go down. You have the option to complete each level up to three times, so you can earn a silver, gold, or diamond disc. Each level is more difficult, and each has different circumstances on how to earn the disc. For example, in some levels you can't miss more than one note, or you may need to complete a very long combo. This was just a way to lengthen the playtime, because Mevo & the Grooveriders is, unfortunately, too short.
Before you move on to the next world, you must get no less than one diamond disc from at least one level. When you complete levels, you will earn "funk," earning in-game items used to access power ups, including autopilot (the game is played for you for a few seconds), perfect boost scoring, shield up, and slow motion. You can use funk to buy different dance moves like ballet and items for accessorizing. There are many items you can buy to customize your character, so there is a lot of replay value if you like to collect items.
My only complaints about the gameplay is, at times, it can be too simple and tedious. Using only two keys can get old, so the developer tries to stick notes together so close that it can sometimes be impossible to hit them all. Although, I do understand that this type of gameplay can be limited on the keyboard. However, I did notice that the music can be out of sync. I became frustrated because I lost long combos when I shouldn't have. Red Rocket Games should've created an online multiplayer mode. The only online option available now is the online community of www.mevoworld.com, which offers players a chance to showcase their Mevo characters and customized avatars. It also features leaderboards and high scores. The game does have achievements, so it will keep some players coming back until they unlock them all.