Game Review: Hi-Fi Rush

Hi-Fi Rush is a pretty fun game that does not come up often because it’s a rhythm game. You play as Chai, a person who wants to be a rockstar and signed up for a program called Project Armstrong. The thing you are fighting is Vandelay Robotics, who surgically replace useless or missing limbs with robot parts. Chai’s music player falls on his heart and because the machine didn’t care they just implanted it as his new heart, and now, because of their mistake, Vandelay sees him as a defect and must kill him for some reason. Now when you get to finally play, you quickly notice that everything was on beat; from Chai’s footsteps to random parts of the level everything is on beat and you must hear it to properly fight. Now, you’re not alone because you have companies that help you with puzzles and combat. Peppermint, your only ranged attack, deals with electric shields; Macaron, a big 350-pound wuss deals with a type of armor called Z-Shielding that can only be damaged by him; and Korsica creates tornadoes to stun enemies and make it easier to break their armor (her attacks don’t hurt people directly; it only helps you deal more damage).

Now the villains in this game are pretty fun themselves. There are 6 of them you have to fight, and “Why do I have to fight them?” you ask. Well, because Vandelay has this AI called Spectra which, when paired with Vandelay tech, can mind control whoever has one on to their will. The reason is the dumbest one I have ever heard: it’s to sell more products, not to take over the world, not to become the sole powerhouse, it is because they need to sell products to people. But the heads you have to fight are pretty fun; they have their theme music, their patterns you have to follow, things you have to look out for, etc. Their names are Reca, Zanzo, Korsica, Mimosa, Kale, and Roquefort.

Reca: The head of production, she has robotic arms that, when they get powered up, can shock the entire field. Zanzo: A Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure reference. From the moment you meet him, he is posing as the head of development, but is a major perfectionist; if it doesn’t work according to him, he scraps it. You don’t fight him, you just drain his budget in simulations. Koraica: The classic bad guy turned good and the head of security. Same as Zanzo, you don’t get to fight her; but instead of draining a budget you have to parry her attacks, and yes, she throws tornadoes at you. Mimosa: Her dress is her weapon because it can turn into wings and fly around the field. And her voice blows you up. You can only damage her when her armor is down. Roquefort: The head of marketing and a wolf in disguise… he has no personality. Kale: Has the best tech out of all the heads. His suit has Doc Ock-esque arms, drones that shoot lasers, and a lightsaber that can change its size and can shoot lightning and firewalls at you.

Now how are you going to fight these teched-out people? Well, Chai’s arm can change to anything he wants. The base form for him is a guitar and for some reason, it can turn into an actual guitar if your ranking is high enough (yes, this game has Devil May Cry-style ranking; the more flashy and on-beat you are the higher it will go). The scrap guitar is not your only tool; there’s also a grappling hook in your arm, and 808 (your cat companion) is used to “see the beat,” summons your companions into battle, and is communication between them. You get to play as the cat at the end but only for a short moment.

Here are my complaints: this game forces you to get good at parrying. From the moment Chai learns how to parry, it becomes a major gameplay changer: there are these laser drones that Korsica creates, and the only way of destroying them is that you parry all of them; if you’re off-beat and miss even one, the game restarts the pattern until you get it right. Some of the enemies have their own pattern as well as the dogs, samurai, and birds; after you do enough damage they go into a pattern you have to parry. Now, fortunately, the game gives us some mercy and we are allowed to miss some of them, but if you mess up the pattern too much they do hella damage to you, and at times you have to do it again. But, if you do it correctly, then you can end them in one hit after hitting a mark at the right time; if not, the fight continues, but they still have the same health so it won’t take too long to destroy them. My second complaint is that there are no ranged attacks; Chai is a melee-only fighter and, as I said before, Peppermint is the only way of doing ranged damage. I don’t get to shoot lightning after a combo; the only way that I can shoot anything is to do an air combo and summon Peppermint. It becomes annoying at times when I have to fight the birds and Mimosa; they fly around too fast. For the birds, if I grapple onto them one at a time they just grab me and throw me into the ground; and Mimosa just straight-up slaps me and then slams me into the ground. So, having a ranged attack would be helpful, but no, I have to have parrying. But besides these complaints, the game is really fun and the art style is good; there is this one time when Chai gets hit so hard it changes into three different styles of animation, which is better than Seven Deadly SinsHi-Fi Rush is currently on Xbox GamePass, so go try it out!