Hands On at E3: Orgarhythm (Vita)

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

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I need to open up this hands-on preview with a bit of disclosure: I’m not a huge fan of rhythm games. Now that I got that out of the way, I can honestly tell you that Orgarhythm is a blast to play and completely worth checking out.

Orgarhythm is a strategy/rhythm game hybrid that has you issuing commands to the beat of the music. It took me a few tries to get the hang of it, but once you figure out what you are doing, the process becomes almost mechanical as you get into the groove.

Gameplay is actually incredibly simple. The center of the strategy revolves around the rock /paper/scissors concept that red is more powerful than yellow, which overtakes blue, which is then able to take down red. You command your troops to attack with a series of three taps to the beat; the first tap selects the color of troop you want to send out. With the second tap, you’ll choose what type of attack you want to issue, whether ranged, melee, offensive, or defensive. You can also fill up a special attack gauge that is color neutral and attack enemies directly. After selecting your troop type and which attack command you would like to issue, a third tap of the screen will execute the attack (or defensive maneuver). After you issue the attack command, you send your troops out by swiping the screen to direct them to battle, or drawing a circle around your main character so they can act as defense for your leader.

This all happens in a matter of seconds, and you level up by issuing these commands to the beat of the current song. If you perform well, you level up; if you perform poorly, you actually level down. AI in the game will remember your strategy from previous play sessions, so when you choose to replay missions, enemy strategy will be altered.

To put things into perspective, I walked into the game thinking it would simply be another rhythm game, and walked away surprised with the depth and strategy contained within.

The retail version of the game includes ad-hoc multiplayer co-op and competitive play options, and the ability to download additional songs from a growing roster of indie artists.

Orgarhythm is published by XSEED Games and will launch Summer 2012 for PS Vita.