Music is a universal language, one that all of us can relate to in some way or another because of how impactful it is. Rhythm games haven’t really been showcased quite often recently in this ever-growing industry, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t titles that stand out from the rest. Neowiz is a master of the trade and constantly push out rhythm-based titles that never disappoint, illustrating just how fun and stimulating these games can be, not just from the music itself but the exciting gameplay that comes along with it. TAPSONIC BOLD is their latest title and it boasts a heavy roster of music genres such as trance, acid jazz, rock, anisongs, and more. Anyone who’s a fan of rhythm games will not want to miss out on the opportunity to dive right in and be enchanted by all of the wonderful mixtures of melodies, all of which are unique and provide a rollercoaster ride of excitement each time you play.
What to Expect
TAPSONIC BOLD uses the keyboard to give players easy access to performing quick sequences, with the option to customize your key bindings to ensure comfort. The default settings have each note set to S, D, F, J, K, and L, which is very straightforward and allows players to become accustomed right away. WIth over 80 songs to choose from and a variety of in-game customizable layouts for backgrounds, notes and more, TAPSONIC BOLD is jam-packed full of action.
The moment you load the game up you’re immediately greeted with a powerful dub track with the bass at maximum, and that gets you hyped up for what’s to come. You can choose from a selection of modes such as Solo, Arcade, and Missions, all of which come with their own unique form of gameplay for players. If you loved the DJ MAX titles, then you definitely don’t want to miss out on this awesome experience!
It’s quite uncommon for a rhythm game to place priority towards its visuals, since the core of the experience revolves around the music and gameplay. However, TAPSONIC BOLD really sets itself apart from the rest with an incredibly clean and minimalistic approach, focusing on less to provide players with more. What we mean by this is that the overall presentation isn’t oversaturated with a lot happening on screen, it’s very simple and easy on the eyes, which is a very good thing. It’s all very attractive and stands out in its own way with very cool-looking artist illustrations and customizable features that give you the freedom to choose how your layout should be while playing.
This of course is the creme de la creme of TAPSONIC BOLD, and we have to say that we were totally blown away by the library of titles you get to choose from. With 82 titles in total and more promised in the near future, TAPSONIC BOLD is like paying 20 bucks for an ipod filled with custom tracks, with each one carrying its own significance. Whether you’re a fan of trance or rock, TAPSONIC BOLD has a solid selection of original titles that all really evoke emotions of excitement, euphoria, and charm. Admittedly, there are tracks that have returned from previous Neowiz titles, but it doesn’t rob you of the experience at all.
TAPSONIC BOLD is very straightforward and doesn’t cut corners when it comes to overall performance. Players can easily jump in and immerse themselves in the music for as long as they desire, without feeling too overwhelmed by what’s happening on screen. The tutorial does a decent job of explaining how each mechanic works and how to optimize them, but we do wish more explanation was provided so that brand new players to the genre can keep up with the veterans. Solo Play is where you can test your skills and aim for a global ranking for each song based on its difficulty, with the Easy option of course being the starting point while the Expert option provides you with a very challenging experience. Mission mode is quite similar to Solo Play, with the only major difference being that now you’ll need to attack certain objectives and see if you’re able to complete them in order to progress. It’s a very fun mode that really encourages you to play at your absolute best, in order to score high and clear missions fast.
On the other hand, TAPSONIC BOLD does provide cool mechanics for players to optimize, but we feel this area could use a little more refining. We understand that accessibility towards newer players is important to generate a new fan base, but veterans of the series may find the mechanics to feel lacking in a way. There isn’t much variety in the lane-changing mechanic so that can be both good and bad depending on who’s playing, but when you go into the harder modes, it would’ve been great to have a wider selection of lane-changing mechanics implemented. In other titles like DJ MAX, you have preset button modes such as 4B, 5B, 6B, etc, which all incorporate some form of difficulty for each mode. In TAPSONIC BOLD you’re relegated to just the 4 difficulty options, so once you’ve completed all of the modes (especially Expert) there’s not much else to do.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Be that as it may, TAPSONIC BOLD is still an absolute blast to play and we wish to see a lot more variety in the music selection through future DLC packs. If it’s even possible, perhaps get the rights to some official music so that players can really dive in and jam along to a track they recognize. You’re getting a wonderful mixture of tunes that all derive from original artists, DJ MAX tunes and more, so there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t pick this up if you’re a fan of rhythm games! As we said earlier, this genre is quite niche, and so this is the perfect opportunity to snag a brand new title and truly get the best of your 20 dollars.
82 original tracks that are all awesome to jam to!
Really simple and clean UI which is awesome.
Solo Play and Mission offer hours of gameplay and replay value. Arcade mode is great for extra practice.
Lane-changing mechanic could use a little more fine tuning.
Honey's Final Verdict:
If rhythm games are your thing, then look no further than TAPSONIC BOLD! It’s the most recent rhythm game from Neowiz, and it has all of the meat and bones that any rhythm game fan will most likely love to chew through, down to the gristle. Hours upon hours of gameplay will keep you occupied and with Expert mode being a huge challenge, we expect players to keep coming back to master their favorite tunes.
We hope you enjoyed our review! And as always, for all things gaming, be sure to keep it locked right here on Honey’s Anime.
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!