Rhythm, racing, and infusion. Three words can mean a lot of things to many people. Some could think of the speed as you race with some adrenaline of the music. Others might think of a combination of sorts that is all mixed in different ways. But if you were to add a pair of starfighters to the mix, what would be your thoughts then be about space or another world? If you thought about any of this, you would not be wrong. So does developer DB Creations show us what it’s like to bring arcade-style shooting for us to enjoy? Let’s find out with Rhythm ‘n Bullets for the PlayStation VR.
Rhythm ‘n Bullets is an arcade-style SHMUP that combines a traditional shoot ’em up with rhythm elements as you try to defend the core by guiding a pair of starfighters and shoot enemies from all sides. So before you get into the action, there are a few things you will want to do. For one, make sure your Move controllers are fully charged. You do not want to go into battle thinking you can take whatever comes at you and have one Move controller run out of juice only to represent that one starfighter of hope not even being able to live out its dream. Second, decide if you want to play standing or sitting. I played sitting and had no issues whatsoever, so if you have a favorite chair, find it, use it, and embrace it. And finally, like anything, go through the training as it will help you out in the long run. So with all that said, let’s continue.
Rhythm ‘n Bullets is about shooting the enemies and defending the core at all costs. The enemies will come at you from all sides. So with the Move controllers in your hands that represent your starships, you will need to shoot at the enemies which are pretty simple by just holding down the trigger buttons. But the thing about the enemies is are they are represented by colors. So in order to shoot the enemies that may be red, green, or white, you then have to press the X and O buttons to change the bullet colors. So you can see how things may get a little intense later on. There are power-ups to collect such as bullet fire which increases the rate of the bullets you are firing, missiles which just may be my favorite, fires missiles into the enemies, and slow down, which will slow down time allowing you to help avoid enemy firepower, but also affects the audio.
But being that Rythm ‘n Bullets has rhythm in the name, if you can shoot on the beat of the music, this will home on the enemies and raises the multiplayer faster so that it makes your score increase. You do also have a defense in that of shields which are activated by pressing the Move buttons and helps break the enemy’s shields which is good, but remember, part of the game here is color, so when enemies have a shield, they may or may not have a different color from behind the shield.
Enemies not only will come at you in different colors but in different shapes and sizes. Some ships, when hit, spawn off other ships adding more fun to the mix of this color-changing arcade shooter. Now, it wouldn’t be a shooter without boss fights and just when you think you have the color-changing down, the power-ups figured out, and even the rhythm in place, with the boss battles, will have shields and will fire at you having you to try and avoid everything else and try to use your shields to direct the bullets back at the boss as you try to weaken the shield to and the boss’s reign of terror.
There are different modes to the game with Campaign, Relax, and Endless. Relax is exactly how it sounds as it is a more relaxed time playing and endless, being, of course, endless enemies to try and defeat so you can rack up that score. There are also different challenges to try and complete for new skins to unlock along with new levels to unlock as you try to climb those leaderboards. And for those that may be prone to color blindness, there is an option here for you as well.
Let’s talk about graphics and sound. Looking at the graphics of the game, they are simple here but work quite well. Changing from the different colors as you are trying to hit the enemies along with seeing the different backgrounds is very easy on the eyes. Out of the different levels, Japan Garden just is one that I kept coming back to play. Maybe it was the red sun spinning with the rays of red light just shining down, but it really was quite beautiful to look at. Sound-wise, the music is on point and has the techno sound and feel to it that I found enjoying. But it’s when the speed of the music changes that makes it feel like a different game at times.
There are a few things I would love to see added. For one, more themes. Right now, there are only five themes. I think adding additional themes or even a way for players to design their own themes and then upload it to have others play. Then you could add the leaderboards based on the additional levels that would be great for the community. And the second thing I would love to see is the ability to import music and have the game generate the enemies based on the song you are playing would just add another level of playing here.
Rhythm ‘n Bullets brings the bullets and infuses them with the rhythm of the music and mixes things up by adding color mechanics to the game. It shows that when that there is an interest in trying to make things better based on inspiration, sometimes it’s that type of thinking that can help others be inspired in the things that they do. And couldn’t we all benefit more from the inspiration we get from others as well as from those that we give it to?
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have a leaderboard to climb.