This Surprise New Game Pass Gem Feels Like Moshing Through A Battlefield

Chai 808 looks equally nervous with the cat on his shoulder.

Screenshot: Tango Gameworks

Have you ever caught yourself walking to the beat of a song you played? If so, you will probably be shocked Hi-Fi Rush. I’ve put a few hours into Tango Gameworks’ rhythm-action game, and I’m impressed with how satisfying it is to gel with a game that more or less asks you to dance with your enemies. It’s an accessible action game for the rhythmically challenged, and since I come from a musical background, losing myself in its pulsing rhythms feels especially rewarding.

Hi-Fi Rush– You can Play today on Xbox Game Pass, by the way – stars Chai, a cyborg rockstar wannabe, mistakenly outfitted with a chest-mounted MP3 player that resembles an old iPod but is legitimately different. Since it wasn’t part of the plan, the company that gave him his cybernetic upgrade wants to eliminate him as a bug, but like Kiki D before him, Chai has gotten the music inside him and it affects every robot he sends to dismantle it. Now, he wrestles with a guitar, swings, kicks, jumps and dashes to the beat of the music in his chest.

As a retired musician, Hi-Fi Rush Taps every rhythmic and melodic element I have. Where are similar games Devil May Cry Relying on visual cues to time attacks and dodges, I was able to get through some of Chai’s scrapes by feeling the beat of which Tango Gameworks level or boss battle was set. Whether you actively reward timing with the music, or when you input your light or heavy attacks, Chai is built to land this swing to the beat and so are his enemies. It’s so satisfying to feel my movements and attacks in an action game like a freeform improvisational dance where every hit and dodge feels like it adds up to an orchestra of movement and sound.

An mp3 player appears to have been built into Chai's chest via a mechanical implant.

Music as the heart Hi-Fi Rushs creation and in the heart of its hero.
Screenshot: Tango Gameworks

A few of my favorite moments Hi-Fi Rush It came when Chai’s gun-wielding companion, Peppermint, chose the musicality of her gunshot-like action to perfectly shoot the boredom trio when I called her into a fight. The beat of the music pulses through every action and animation in the game, and watching the design of an action game intersect with the sounds of its songs made for a joyous and emotional expression that I think will resonate with musicians.

Along with some of the originals on its soundtrack, Hi-Fi Rush There is also a Selection of licensed tracks Chai fights are very unique in their genre. There are some great choices here; Nine Inch Nails appears with “1,000,000” and “Perfect Medicine”. The Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy” is heard at the start, but I haven’t been given a game look as far as I’ve gotten, and I dig that song, so I hope it shows up again later. The Prodigy, The Joy Strong, and other names are also featured, and all the songs are great, I think I’d be interested to see more genre diversity. But given the game’s slapstick rocker vibe and its main character, these are probably the best. match in tone.

Chai is shown bringing down his guitar as he jumps to attack a giant robot.

Every enemy, from ground troops to giant bosses, fights to the beat of the music.
Screenshot: Tango Gameworks

I think musicians will get the most out of it. Hi-Fi Rush Still very accommodating for musically challenged players. Battles are all played to the rhythm of the music, but don’t actively require the player to press buttons in time. The animations for Chai and his enemy are all to the beat, but those who feel like they have two left feet can still rely on visual cues to excel and excel in combat. The game doesn’t punish you for not playing in tune, but actively rewards you for doing so. Each battle and the entire level is scored based on your timing, and if you want a high score, you’ll have to swing your guitar in time with the music. Thankfully, Tango Gameworks has implemented visual features like a metronome to help. It may not be enough for everyone, but the game at least has an awareness that some people dance the way your uncle dances at weddings and may need more accommodations.

I am still very early HI-Fi Rush, but each battle has a kind of magical feel that could be choreographed to a piece of sheet music. It’s great in style and humor, has some great music choices, and despite being a rhythm game, it lacks the depth and skill you need to play an action game. I’m excited to see where Chai’s silly story takes me.


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