Wednesday, 23 February 2011

K-on! houkago live!!

Gamespot score:n/a

my score:8.0

(+)Pros:-Great song selection,-vareity of different charts and playstyles ,-good replay value with different characters and song difficulties,- costume unlocks provide more initiative to play,- overall cute visuals,-great co-op play features

(-)cons:-only 19 songs,-no particularly very challenging songs

gameplay time:20-30 hours(average)

K-on! is a popular japanese anime that speaks about 5 girls that attend a light music club and do nothing all day long. Fans waited for a game, since k-on had quite a collection of songs. The fans waited and waited, and finally, late last year,k-on! houkago-live!! was released. Published by sega, which also published the well known project diva games, its more of a rock-band based game unlike project diva, which was just a flat out music game. Sharing many similarities with rock band, guitar hero and many other music games, the concept is there. Rather than using instruments of course its the PSP controls. Equiped with a co-op feature too, houkago life is ready to take the fans for a ride, and it sure succeeds in that area.

Im still no good wif jap( bear with me, I'll probably learn it next semester), but the story is easy to guess. It follows the events of the anime, after azusa joins the group. Basically its just the band playing songs over and over for practise, and later the game introduces the several different characters. Some of these include ui, yui's sister, sawa-sensei, the club teacher in charge and nodoka, yui's childhood friend. Needless to say, in a music game like this, the story plays little role, in the end, if you want to know more its much btr to jus watch the anime.

Houkago live is a pretty solid game for the music genre, especially for the fans. For one, there are 19 well known songs all in this game, each with normal and hard mode and 5 playcharts, one for each of the characters, yui,mio,ritsu,mugi and azusa. Each of the playcharts are different, and the one that differs the most is mio's, since its all arrows(shes left handed). That kinda adds variety, since you can play a song 10 times to fully finish it (5x 2 difficulties). The song selection is kinda solid, though sadly its missing season 2 songs. Still, we get songs like fuwa fuwa time, sweet bitter beauty song, heart goes boom, and the signature openings and endings, cagayake girls and dont be lazy. Most of these 19 songs are a blast to play, and playing them with different characters will still feel different.

Of course theres more to that. Now I shall explain the gameplay, though its kinda simple since its concept its kinda same as many other music games. Its kinda like djmax, but slower, and instead of the vertical notes its horizontal. You will see a bunch on notes appear on the horizontal bar, and there will be a moving slider. Every time the slider comes in contact with a note, hit the corressponding button to clear it. Kinda easy, though sometimes there are pretty crazy moments ( mass jack hammers, etc). Also, you get only a couple of songs in the beginning, and continue to unlock more as you play. The visuals you see during songs are the models of the girls, which if you ask me are pretty well done. The mode selection character chibi models are so damn cute to boot! Theres co-op, which you can join up to 5 friends to play as any of the girls, kinda like rock band, it works, and its pretty good. Finally, as an incentive, you unlock costumes for your girls each time you get great grades for your songs with them. Keep playing to unlock those swimsuits boys!

With only 19 songs, the song amoung is pretty inferior to many other games of the music genre. Sure most of them are great, but 19 is still too little, even with the different charts and all, its better to play new songs rather than play the same song with just a different character. And since theres only 19 songs, its really hard to find an extremely difficult song, like disappearance from project diva or nightmare from djmax. Hope if they release another game, it'll have more songs and particularly some hard ones.
Houkago live does the k-on series justice, its a great game, and it boots up some really good songs. Though more songs would have been better, houkago is still a good impression on the all so popular k-on anime. Maybe they'll do another one for the season 2 songs, who knows? Lets just hope they do.

Happy gaming!