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Gitaroo-Man Preview

"Koei takes a break from historically accurate games and rocks out on the PS2."

Koei has made its name crafting historically accurate games such as the Romance of the Three Kingdoms games. Even its PS2 beat-'em-up, Dynasty Warriors 2, has historical ties. With its upcoming release, Gitaroo-Man, Koei looks as though it's letting its hair down and having a bit of fun. A rhythm game that lacks any ties to history, Gitaroo-Man is aiming to offer an infusion of loopy weirdness into Koei's game lineup. We checked out a build of the game and found it to be well on its way to meeting that goal. Unique gameplay, suitably eccentric graphics, and catchy tunes make Gitaroo-Man an amusing departure from Koei's usual fare.


Our "hero" U1.

Gitaroo-Man's tale of music and drama is set on the planet Gitaroo, which is located somewhere in outer space. A brightly colored world that's chock-full of eccentric folk and talking animals, Gitaroo seems to be a pretty cool place to live for most people. Unfortunately, life's a bit rough for an elementary school kid named U1. Picked on by everyone, even his secret crush, Pico, U1's life kind of sucks. Things take a turn for the weird when he discovers he's actually a descendant of Gitaroo-Man, his planet's legendary hero. Before he knows what's going on, U1 is caught up in a battle with the Grabaren family as he races to collect items that will help him grow in power and bring peace to the planet. It's a daunting task, especially for a kid, but fortunately U1 isn't alone. U1's talking dog, Puma--who's surprising knowledgeable about the Gitaroo-Man legacy--is along for the ride.

U1 looking sharp in in his Gitaroo-Man gear.

U1 looking sharp in in his Gitaroo-Man gear.

While Gitaroo-Man's story is a bit random and bizarre, some of the bosses you encounter and the ensuing dialogue are just classic, the gameplay is far more orderly. Gitaroo Man differs from standard rhythm games with its challenging gameplay and use of a guitar. Unlike the more simplistic Parappa series, Gitaroo Man requires you to do more than just press a button. The game's interface has all the commands moving from the edges of the screen to a dot at its center. While you'll still follow onscreen prompts for button presses, you'll also have to use the left analog stick to keep an onscreen pointer centered on a "traceline." If you've lined the pointer up correctly, the incoming line will turn green to let you know it's aligned properly, and it will register button presses. If the line is blue, the pointer isn't aligned properly and won't register your button inputs, which will cause your power bar to decrease. If the power bar runs out during a battle, you lose. It's a challenging system that keeps you focused on the game and music.

Posted on Jan 22, 2002



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