Xbox Oldies

The Gaming Network for Experienced Gamers

God of Rock – Review

God of Rock promises a pioneering swing on the rythym-action genre with rythym-fighting action but is it a knockout hit or struggling to connect.

In God of Rock, you have 1v1 battles with a host of a dozen characters, across a variety of stages and over 40 tracks. During “combat” you’ll need to match button clicks to the beat similar to most other rythym games, but there’s the added special attacks which make things more difficult for your opponent by throwing extra notes over to their side. The more beats you hit and dropped-beats from your opponent means your attacks will start to connect and with enough damage you’ll eventually knock-out your opponent for the win.

Arcade mode offers a line of vs battles against other characters with increasingly difficult audio tracks and a final battle against the God of Rock himself, most players will want to start off on easy mode where anyone familiar with Rhythm-action games shouldn’t have too much trouble, but for a better challenge sticking to normal difficulty is recommended, there’s a multitude of higher difficulties with Hard, Very Hard, Extreme, Insane and God of Rock, but being honest most of these are pointless as the AI quickly becomes unfair making anything above hard near impossible to enjoy.

The actual storylines of the arcade mode are bare-bones at best, you’ll get a line of dialogue between your chosen character and opponent, which do add a little padding, but it took me half the game to work out what they were vaguely relevant and not just random comments. For instance, Hilde mostly talks about food and then the grand finale upon defeating the God of Rock himself is, you guessed it. she gets to eat.
That’s it, no fancy FMV, no secret outfits or modes, just a single screen showing her tucking in to a buffet, which is greatly disappointing when characters are otherwise well made, look packed with personality and are detailed, colourful and easy on the eyes.

So, the depth of arcade most isn’t the best, so let’s take a closer look at actual gameplay, as you’ll see from the screenshots, the game screen is split into two areas, the top shows the characters battling which looks great on screenshots and entertaining for people watching you play, but in-game you’ll have your view fixed on the lower portion of the screen with the bottom bars showing the beats you’ll need to match as they arrive at the centre.

Your beats are all colour coded to either A, B X or Y, but having all 4 buttons makes the game over complicated. Having visual positioning helps, with A at the bottom and Y at the top, but B and X in the middle just confuse matters, and I’d find the switch and combo-presses of X and B tough to keep up with. You can generally keep the beat pretty well, especially on the easier tracks, but when things get tough, it’s the button configuration which makes you lose the flow and not the beat or overall difficulty.

I would have loved to see just three buttons (Y, X, A) which would have given a much easier “top, middle, bottom” configuration and freed up the B button for special attacks.

Speaking of special attacks, and this is what sets God of Rock apart from other rythym action games, you can hold LB for a charge, or input directions followed by RT to trigger one of a handful of special moves visible through the pause screens move list. The resulting impact will vary dependent on the character you are and the move you’ve chosen, but most try to make life more difficult for your opponent by throwing extra beats or obscuring the view slightly.

I sadly found these attacks difficult and inconsistent to apply, rather than freeing up that B button and allowing one attack on that, you’re tasked with accurately inputting a command such as “up, right, down, left, up, RT” which sound easy enough, but this isn’t a street fight, and a simple “circle” will be lucky if it registers even half of the commands.

While the arcade mode will provide the odd hour or two of entertainment, outside of arcade mode you’re left with two options, local which allows you to set up a match against another player on the same console or the AI, and Online mode gives you the choice of quick-play, playing a friend or ranked mode.

Battling another human is more balanced than the AI, however with the difficulty of using all 4 face-buttons, I do feel that long-term only purists will stick with God of Rock making those online battles an equally tough uphill battle.

Another dissapointment is the £25 asking price, there’s just not enough longevity to warrant the price-tag which will put off even more players who might have otherwise helped populate the only long-term option of online play.

God of Rock is a good-looking, well-presented game, that sounds like a first-round knockout, but after a few battles you soon realise some fundamental weaknesses and the unbalanced AI leaves the game feeling sluggish and lacking any knockout punch.

God of Rock

Review by Lee Palmer



God of Rock is a good-looking, well-presented game, that sounds like a first-round knockout, but after a few battles you soon realise some fundamental weaknesses and the unbalanced AI leaves the game feeling sluggish and lacking any knockout punch.


About Author