Gitaroo Man Lives!


A few years ago, a friend of mine was telling me about a sleeper hit for PS2, Gitaroo Man that he spent all night playing with a friend of his. Being a huge fan of Parappa the Rapper, I was extremely interested in playing it. However, due to limited quantities from Koei, and my lack of a PS2, I never actually got the chance. Now that Koei’s ported their game to the PSP, I’ve finally gotten a chance to see what the buzz was about.

U-1 is introduced to the world of Gitaroo by his dog, Puma, who suggests that he save the world to impress the girl of his dreams, Pico. During his little adventure, U-1 has to battle a few enemies to procure the ultimate gitaroo. The story is completely off the wall, and really helps the game along.

The most important part of a rhythm game is obviously the mechanics. U-1 and your opponent each have a health meter, and the meter to deplete loses the match. A level is split into three different parts; Charge, Battle and Final. Charging gives you a little boost to your health. To charge, a line will come from some side of the screen and you have to point the analog stick in that direction. On top of that, the line will have circles for where to press a button and how long to hold it. In the battle part, you will have to attack and defend your opponent. Attacking is done the same as charging but it’s usually more difficult. To defend, you’ll be bombarded with face buttons coming from one of the four sides of the screen. You have to press the correct button right when it passes the middle of the screen. The last part of a level is the Final battle. This means the end, and it’s like the solo of the song. It’s done the same as the charge and attack modes.

Charging usually involves slower parts in the song, which are usually pretty easy. In the later part of the game, Attacking and defending is completely ridiculous. Some people might find it easy, but it was definitely a challenge for me. The later part of this game is not for everyone and doesn’t take it easy on you at all. For those of you looking for a challenge, this game happily obliges.

The graphics of Gitaroo Man Lives are very bright and colorful for the most part and give the game a very interesting style. The characters are a cartoonish 3D, and have huge heads for the size of their bodies. The cut-scenes are done really well and really help the story along. You can of course skip them, but they really add to the game. The graphics of the levels aren’t much different, but because they’re not pre-rendered, they definitely don’t look as good. But, they’re good enough for what the game needed to succeed.

The soundtrack of Gitaroo Man is easily the best part of the game. It’s a great compilation of rock, reggae, blues and others. All of the songs are in English, but sung by Japanese singers, which makes them a bit harder to understand. However, the instrumentals are great (especially the guitar, duh) and sound awesome when you’re actually doing well in the game. This game is definitely headphone worthy. Hell, if you’ve got some good speakers, plug in your PSP for sure.

For those of you looking for a multiplayer experience, you’re going to need two PSPs and two copies of the game. There’s a VS mode, and a duet mode. I never got to try it out, but it’s an added bonus that helps the replay value of this game. The game itself is extremely fun and definitely worth playing again. Master mode will be a challenge to most everyone, and will makes you play it again. Pick this title up for sure if you’re a fan of rhythm games. If you liked Elite Beat Agents/Ouendan, Parappa the Rapper or UmJammer Lammy, you’ll definitely enjoy this game.

-Originally Posted by Knives