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Pre-TGS: Hands-on: Gitaroo-man

"We play Koei's music-rhythm game for the Sony PlayStation 2."

As part of its pre-TGS press event, Koei revealed the latest playable build of Gitaroo-man for the Sony PlayStation 2. The music-rhythm game follows the story of U-1, a young elementary school student, who is despised and ridiculed by most of his peers. However, U-1's friends don't know that he is a descendant of the legendary Gitaroo-man. So, when the land of Gitaroo is in danger, it is up to U-1 to recover the famous Gitaroo and save his land. Gitaroo-man has two primary modes of play: offensive and defensive. During any given level, the gameplay switches at random between these two modes. During the offensive gameplay portion, a series of circular and cylindrical shapes move toward the lead character, in the center of the screen. These shapes are attached to a twisted line that extends from the edge of the screen to the center and randomly rotates in 360 degrees around the main character. The objective is to press a face button as the circles and cylinders move past the center of the screen, while following the rotating line itself with a miniradar that can be moved using the left analog. The defensive gameplay system is much simpler: In this portion, icons corresponding to the four PlayStation 2 face buttons move to the middle of the screen on both the vertical and horizontal axis. Players must press the corresponding button as the icon passes through the center axis.

In addition to the main single-player game, Gitaroo-man will feature an extensive multiplayer mode. The game has a two-player versus mode and co-op play mode for up to four players. Interestingly, Koei decided not to use a split-screen for the four-player mode. Finally, according to Koei, the music in Guitaroo-man will span several different genres, but the level we played had some generic-sounding techno beats.

Gitaroo-man will be released for the Japanese PlayStation 2 in June. Koei has not announced a specific North American release date at this time.

Posted on Mar 29, 2001



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