Gitaroo Man - PS2

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Gitaroo Man (PS2)
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Rhythm: Timing
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Koei Soft. Co.: Koei
Publishers: THQ (GB)
Released: 21 Jun 2002 (GB)
Ratings: 3+, ESRB Everyone
Accessories: Memory Card, Dual Shock Joypad
Features: Vibration Function Compatible


If the name alone doesn’t hint in such a direction then the minute the PS2 boots up will almost certainly tell you – this game is bizarre. But this is in no way a bad thing. Gitaroo Man sits quite comfortably in the weird, Japanese, yet fantastically compelling niche, which is generally found in your local retailer’s import section.

In a similar vein to PaRappa the Rapper and other similar rhythm-action titles, Gitaroo Man places the player in the shoes of a rather dissipated and unfortunate boy named U-1. To summarise the already simple plot, U-1 is regularly subjected to bullying by various music-playing supervillains. When this happens his pet dog turns into a robot and throws him a magical guitar, which subsequently transforms him into a cross between Hank Marvin and one of the lads from Battle of the Planets. Following this, a strange battle scenario commences in a kind of ‘Duelling Banjos-on-acid’ style, involving some serious rhythm-action button pressing.

The gameplay is fairly simple: with attention focused on the centre of the screen, the player concentrates on a long, meandering line, which comes in from various angles from around the screen. Using the left analogue stick, the player must aim towards the incoming line, pressing button combinations as they hit the centre point. This forms the basis of the ‘attacking’ part of the battle, with successfully timed button-pressing making Gitaroo Man play some ‘serious riffs’ whilst dealing damage on the opposition. Defence comes in the form of the more familiar, PaRappa-style button combos, which must be played in time with the bad guys’ tunes in order to deflect their damage.

To use the word ‘niche’ in describing this title is, perhaps, a little unfair. Although still a simple rhythm-action game, Gitaroo Man is an extremely original concept. With ten levels in all, accompanied by a host of extra features, it holds a much greater amount of replay value than others within the genre. Graphics are engaging and the tunes are excellent. This should, at the very least, be considered for rental. Everyone needs to experience it.


Gitaroo Man - PS2 Artwork