Akihabara – Feel the Rhythm Remixed (PC) Review
Not all the songs are terrible
Is a clone the wrong parts of better games
Lack of instructions in different modes
Some of the best games that have ever come out are clones of successful titles. FPS games were called Doom clones forever, and the same with Diablo-like titles. But without people taking inspiration from what came before there wouldn’t be entries in the genre that simply did them better. For this reason alone, there is nothing wrong with Akihabara – Feel The Rhythm Remixed on the surface—its flaws all happen to be directly of its own making, from poor choices and buggy design.
The game borrows heavily from Lumines, changing mainly only in two key areas. The first is that two blocks drop in a 1×2 line instead of a 2×2 square dropping that can be moved around. The second is that the line that moves with the rhythm of the music only clears blocks if the player hits a button to prompt it to do so, rewarding the player depending how on the beat they were when they cleared. There are minor differences, mainly that when Lumines would clear a block any sound made would mix in with the music, and Akihabara makes a general computer type sound. Akihabara also has a stunningly smaller playing field, making the game feel entirely more claustrophobic.
Most of these changes would be fine, and the game could work if the music was good enough –which it isn’t. The real problems start to come out with general issues with oversites in the game itself. There are three “modes” in the game. The quotation is used because there isn’t any explanation to explain that there is a difference between these choices, and on first choosing them it would be easy enough to assume it might just be music. That would be foolish. One of the modes has the clear bar disappear off screen if blocks aren’t cleared after enough time—although that amount of time is never explain, so good luck figuring that out. The other mode was annoying enough to not even warrant trying to figure out what was going on.
If things ended with design choices that might be another thing, but there are odd bugs as well. The game doesn’t “natively” support a controller, but it will happily allow you to use one when playing the game. While playing the game with a controller, in one of the aforementioned modes, the button to switch which side a color block was on stopped functioning. It wasn’t the controller, it had suddenly just moved to another button. There is also noticeable input lag; a problem that is most present when clearing block and having to prompt the game to do so. Missing a beat will cause lower point to be awarded, but not clearing at all is more of an issue as blocks are constantly piling up. So the solution, after the game decides to drop an input, is to simply jam on the button until it decides to respond and accept whatever points it is willing to allow.
When the prospect for this title came along I was honestly happy, as it looked like a competent clone to a game that I enjoyed very much in the past. Sadly what was presented was a flawed, buggy, and ill-conceived knock-off that isn’t worth watching let’s play on YouTube. The thought of having to pay the suggested retail price for this title is insane. Don’t even consider picking this up on a Steam sale. Avoid at all costs. It isn’t even worth it for the cringe factor.