As a hardcore rhythm game aficionado, I find the lack of rhythm games on the PC platform to be very disappointing. Oh sure, every once in a while we'll get an Audiosurf or a Bit.Trip, but for the most part PC is pretty barren when it comes to rhythm games. I keep searching for good rhythm games and I rarely find many good ones. Thankfully, Retro/Grade is here to serve my beat-matching needs - with a twist.
At a quick glance, Retro/Grade may appear to be a typical space shooter, but it is actually a cleverly disguised rhythm game. The idea is that you are catching the bullets that come in on the right while avoiding those that enter on the left, sometimes simultaneously. In a neat twist reminiscent of DJ Hero, you build up a meter that can then be used to rewind time back if you make a mistake. You can either play the game more like a space shooter by moving the ship up and down the lanes, or you can play it more as a rhythm game with a guitar controller.
The game's soundtrack is ... alright. It's essentially chiptunes with hip-hop rhythms and techno melodies. I really enjoyed one or two or the tracks, but felt that the music was a bit too laid back for what should have been a frantic and fast paced experience.
The graphics are goregous. At the highest dificulty, the game explodes with a psychadelic array of colors that are impossible not to look away from.
The downside is a fiarly short game length. With only ten songs, you may find yourself staring at the credits (the real credits) faster than you might think.
As one of the few great rhythm games on PC (believe me, there aren't that many), this is something that I like to come back to from time to time when I just want a groovin' experience to melt my mind.