- System: PC, Xbox Series X
- Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
- Developer: Tango Gameworks
- Release Date: January 25, 2023
- Rating: T for Teen
- Genre: Action, Rhythm
- Players: 1
- Official Website: https://bethesda.net/en-US/game/hifirush
Good game developers know how to please gamers. You need to keep creating what they like and only change the formula a bit to keep things from growing stale and repetitive. Excellent game developers though take risks, they see games as a medium that only excels when their games go above and beyond. Yes, their next creation might be a flop or only loved by a few but…eventually, they will find that perfect game that will have people screaming for more. That, readers, is what we found in a recent game by developer Tango Gameworks (The Evil Within, Ghostwire: Tokyo) and published by Bethesda Softworks.
Hi-Fi Rush, this action game’s title is 100% in tune with the gameplay as players will step into the role of Chai—love that name—to take down robotic enemies and baddies via a rhythm action style we don’t see created too often. From the opening, it should be obvious that Hi-Fi Rush was loved by us here at Honey’s Anime but we know you readers want to know why YOU will love it too! Here’s our review of Hi-Fi Rush for the PC which should make you want to grab some headphones, raise the volume and jam out!
The Rhythm Machine is Here…His Name is Chai
Hi-Fi Rush stars Chai, a wannabe rockstar who gets involved in more than he expected when he chooses to get a robotic arm prosthetic. During the procedure. Chai’s MP3 ends up being fused to his heart creating a strange power that involves music and his special junk-made guitar. Considered a defect by the system now, Chai is being hunted by Vandelay Technologies who want to ensure their “perfect” city is untainted by Chai’s existence. Luckily for Chai, his new musical power is going to give him the power to ensure he isn’t going to go in peacefully.
Hi-Fi Rush grabbed us immediately when we got thrown into Chai’s world. In many ways that captured more than the visuals or just gameplay—more on these in a moment—as Hi-Fi Rush pumps out individuality, unlike most games. From snarky robots to villains who just scream goofy, Hi-Fi Rush’s story and narrative will be one of the reasons you even want to keep playing. However, this is only one thing we love about this game…Hi-Fi Rush has some other stellar beats—no we aren’t going to stop with these rhythm-based puns just a heads up—that make this already one of the better games to release this year.
Feel That Futuristic Beat Baby
Hi-Fi Rush is like fusing two gaming genres in one and seeing what comes of that concoction. At its core, Hi-Fi Rush is an action game where Chai can land light attacks, heavy attacks, and dodge, and is graded by how well he does during combat. However, if it was only an action game, Hi-Fi Rush would be boring and that is where the rhythm gameplay makes for an entirely new experience. Due to his comically strange new heart, Chai’s world now literally is a giant playlist. Every attack and movement Chai does is based on rhythm. When you land a light attack, you can time it with the rhythm of the song playing in the background to not only increase your score but also land more damaging attacks. When you eventually team up with the cutest robotic cat 808, you’ll discover even more abilities and moves that Chai can unleash!
Think of how a fighting game requires you to land a light punch in a specific moment to follow up into a special attack, Hi-Fi Rush does something similar but without the overly complex systems. There are combos you can learn but even failing them won’t destroy your momentum, just lower the points earned. You can very much just play this like Bayonetta or Devil May Cry and unleash light/heavy attacks till your enemy falls but there’s more fun to be had timing everything and finding that perfect groove. Even dodging has an added rhythm element making sure that the players who master this system can really get the most out of combat. It will take some getting used to but there is a handy assist icon system that can be displayed to really help those who might need more visual aids in combat.
Don’t worry if you think there isn’t more to learn or do after the pretty lengthy first area. As you run around and explore the various levels and defeat baddies, you’ll earn scrap which is Hi-Fi Rush’s form of currency. You can purchase stuff from a shop that opens and gain more attacks, special moves, and items. It’s a bit more incentive to really break all those boxes you run into while playing! There are also plenty of standard collectibles that will increase Chai’s health so be sure to not miss these very useful items!
Headphones On, Volume Up
Hi-Fi Rush wouldn’t get very far if it didn’t have an amazing soundtrack to really make combat engaging and toe-tapping, which Chai does often and he even snaps his fingers while outside of combat! The soundtrack in Hi-Fi Rush is spectacular and even has some impressive talent supporting it such as Nine Inch Nails, The Black Keys, and a few other great artists. Developer Tango Gameworks even included a streamer mode so Twitch/YouTube streamers can play Hi-Fi Rush live and avoid the possibility of getting into trouble for using copyrighted songs (DMCA takedown)! Seriously though, we had to stop playing Hi-Fi Rush a few times just to listen to the music and jam out with our boy Chai.
Anime Meets Saturday Morning Cartoons
Aside from the funny/quirky story that grabbed us, we’d be lying if we didn’t say the visuals for Hi-Fi Rush took us by utter surprise. Hi-Fi Rush—akin to its gameplay—blends together that anime feeling with the visuals of series like Avatar: The Last Airbender or Voltron: Legendary Defender. Everything in the world of Chai has substance and feeling to it. You’ll want to explore every nook and cranny just to see the world and find the random NPCs who usually will make you laugh with their strange dialogue. Hi-Fi Rush is stunning visually and really kind of makes us wish an anime or cartoon was released alongside it.
Are you going to jack into the world of Chai and play Hi-Fi Rush? Comment below if you are going to and/or if you are playing it already! Be sure to keep stuck to our jamming hive here at Honey’s Anime for even more game reviews and all things otaku!