Being a fan of RPGs and Rhythm games it’s sort of weird to realize I’ve never considered the possibilities of mixing the two together. It might seem like mixing these two genres would be a bit weird but Metronomicon manages to meld them into a wonderfully entertaining and exciting package.
The story set-up for Metronomicon is dancing isn’t just something people do for fun and to cut lose, it also can actually be used to fight and destroy. As such there are bunch of marauding villains roaming the countryside destroying everything with their sick dance moves. The only hope of stopping these villains is a band of recent graduates who have mastered the “rhythmic combat arts”.
The world is divided into various regions and within each region there are various song challenges which will need to be beaten. If you successfully make it through the mini-bosses the team will take on the area boss at the end. You can switch between characters pretty freely and without penalty, but there is a lot of strategy to it. For example, if you are on the mage character when you choose to switch out of controlling her will decide what type of spell is used. This is denoted by the lane above the character changing color while you control that character. So for example switching out while the lane is blue will cause a lightening attack to happen.
Two things I particularly struggled with were timing moving between the characters and not looking away from what I was currently doing before moving away. This cost me a few times as I would be doing pretty well then miss a bunch of steps and as a result the ability would be really weak. There were also a few times where I was able to narrowly save my party from death by getting a heal cast right at the last second. I say all of this knowing I was playing on the easy setting which really just highlights it’s been too long since I’ve spent time on rhythm games, but it was nice to be challenged a bit.
One thing which surprised me about Metronomicon is the music isn’t affected at all by how well (or badly) you perform the moves. After thinking about it for a minute I realized it makes sense for the game to work without this aspect because you aren’t playing the music you are dancing to it. No matter how badly someone dances to music they can’t ruin the music.
During the demo at PAX East I didn’t get the chance to tryout the RPG elements of the game but players can improve their characters through increasing their stats and acquiring stronger gear. This game does not have an open world map so there isn’t any wandering around and helping random people. You’ll pretty much be preparing for battle by improving your characters or fighting.
Overall I really enjoyed this demo and I’m looking forward to Metronomicon releasing later this year on Steam for Windows and Mac.