PAX West 2019: No Straight Roads

Thursday, September 5th, 2019

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No Straight Roads | Vinyl City

One of the genres I love is the rhythm game, which is why I decided to demo No Straight Roads. Quirky title aside, it touts itself as a music based action adventure game, which is mostly right. I expected it was more of a rhythm game, but it turns out it’s hard to put No Straight Roads in any box. Which is fitting, since the entire game is about rebellion and rock and roll!

No Straight Roads | Mayday

The game takes place in Vinyl City, which is ruled with an iron fist by the EDM empire of NSR. They only accept the most popular form of music, and completely ignore the talents of our musical heroes, Mayday and Zuke. Not content with being cast aside, they decide to use the power of rock and roll to take the NSR empire down, one brick at a time.

No Straight Roads | Audition

The whole plot is silly and more than a bit crazy, but No Straight Roads makes up for it with charm and style. Combat all revolves around listening to and responding to the beat of the music. Enemy attacks correspond to the beat, so you’d do well to pay attention. The tricky part is, there’s no real visual indication for when those attacks are coming, and sometimes the attack might not come where you expect. It does become somewhat intuitive after some practice, though.

No Straight Roads | Boss fight

In the demo I got to play through a tutorial and a boss fight. The tutorial taught me how to dash to avoid attacks, fire projectiles, jump over shockwaves and attack when the music was with me. You can also activate objects to work for you, such as musical speakers and such. The boss fight was a lot of fun, pitting me against an alien DJ with a hefty ego. He would scratch the stage like a record with his massive fists, as well as summoning meteors to crash into me. The fight had multiple segments, and culminated in a epic sequence where I had to counter attack after attack until I finally won.

No Straight Roads is pretty much unlike any game I played at PAX West, and I respect that about it. While the game still has some quirks to iron out, I think it could be a lot of fun when it’s finally released. The art is totally trippy, the music is catchy and the combat is challenging. If that sounds like something you might enjoy, No Straight Roads is headed to PC and PS4 sometime in 2020.

About Josh Speer

Josh is a passionate gamer, finding time to clock in around 30-40 hours of gaming a week. He discovered Operation Rainfall while avidly following the localization of the Big 3 Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s also an unashamedly giant Mega Man fan, having played the series since he was eight. As Head Editor and Review Manager, he spends far too much time editing reviews and random articles. In his limited spare time he devours indies whole and anticipates the release of quirky, unpredictable and innovative games.