Genre: Action, Indie, Rhythm, RPG
Publisher: Kasedo Games (PC), Akupara Games (XB1, PS4)
Release Date: Aug 30, 2017 (PC, XB1), Aug 29, 2017 (PS4)
Edited by KnightAvenger
Last year, I wrote a review on what would eventually become my game of the year for 2016-The Metronomicon. Since then, a sizable chunk of content has been added to the game, sizable enough to be designated a name-Slay The Dance Floor.
This chunk of content also marks the game’s release on the PS4 and XB1 consoles, bringing the DDR-RPG game to even more gamers. Of course, the PC version was not neglected; this content, by now, has already been patched in as a free update.
Because the underlying game remains the same (and can be read about in my old review), this review will focus mainly on the new additions.
This was a much requested feature from various people. It seemed a bit odd that a game with four lanes, similar to the Rock Band series with multiple instruments, did not feature local multi-player of some sort, so that feature has been built into the game. Impressively, this mode works throughout the whole game-Story mode, Freeplay, just to name a few.
While I did not mention it in the original review, I felt that Freeplay mode was relatively useless in the original game; your own specific build combination would easily trump the pre-selected Freeplay builds. This is now addressed with a competitive scoring system in multi-player, where you can compete with the other player to get the most kills, crits, etc., and all with that specific fixed party build to really test your skills with a fixed combination.
My main gripe is that it does not support multiple difficulties simultaneously. See, I feel that nothing but Hard mode is an adequate challenge, but my brother is not even on my level and struggles even on Easy mode. It’s fine, though, as there are still a few cons with this implementation-namely, the fact that I’d be unable to sight read the next lane if the game keeps switching lane difficulties in and out.
The other issue is that this is local only and does not support online multi-player, BUT I fully understand why it’s absent. Coding for online play has never been the easiest task for any game developer, regardless of the game genre, simply because there are factors like servers, latency and whatnot to take into account. As such, this isn’t really a drawback for me (even though I would have liked to team up with some other top-scoring leaderboard personalities to obliterate scores in multiplayer).
Endless Mode, Passive Abilities, and a new character
One of my criticisms of this game was that the RPG elements became much less relevant endgame; with almost any decent party build, you could survive, no problem. This new mode is one of these modes which I can see more than adequately countering this criticism. Endless is a new challenge mode where you have to survive as many songs as you can, and, after each song, you are gradually afflicted more and more with drawbacks (called mods), ranging from character delevels to equipment shattering to abilities being locked, and, even the worst of all, characters being knocked out.
Progressing through these songs earns you a new currency called Battle Points, which can be used to buy perks (buffs, debuffs, even more mods) during Endless mode runs or to unlock new passive abilities for each character outside of Endless mode runs that power up your characters even more across all zones in the game.
Because of the number of unlockables and the two separate leaderboards for most Battle Points and most songs survived (necessitating different strategies for both categories), this adds way more replayability to the game. There’s even a new secret character to unlock with a thought-provoking move set that can fill in a lot of various holes in your party composition. (For those that already own the game, here’s a hint: his unlock method involves a specific sidequest in each of the five main worlds and this mode.)
This part also addresses my issue of the RPG elements falling away in the endgame. Previously, the score was only judged based on how many notes you hit and how accurate those hits were. Now, it also counts enemy kills as well, changing up the whole scoring meta thoroughly.
I’m rather ambivalent on the change; ideally, I would have wanted it to remain the way it was where it prized superior note-reading and rhythm skill, but, at the same time, I relish the challenge in trying to find a new party build that rapidly kills enemies and neatly refocuses attention on the RPG elements once again.
Since my old review, three more challenge packs of three songs each and one free DLC song have been released, bringing the total official DLC song count up to 13. There is, at least, one more challenge pack in the works. A song editor has also been added, so players can choreograph their own songs, and the game also now supports StepMania song files.
- Amazing blend of rhythm and RPG mechanics
- Good strategical depth in RPG choices with regards to equipment/skills
- Varied and impressive soundtrack–generally no duds, appropriate song sequencing
- Vibrant and over-the-top visuals paired with quirky dancing animation
- Packed with the Puubas’ unique brand of humour everywhere–item descriptions, cutscenes, etc.
- Various difficulty settings make it simultaneously newbie-friendly and catering to rhythm veterans
- Daily challenges and high score leaderboards add a LOT of replayability
- Wide support for controllers, guitar controllers, dance pads
- HIGHLY polished
- Soundtrack may not appeal to some people due to the indie nature of it
- Somewhat wonky controller control placements
- RPG aspects become slightly less relevant endgame
K3W3L gives The Metronomicon: Slay The Dance Floor a Drastik Measure 9.9 out of 10 (99).
If you’re a rhythm game/DDR fan, there is now absolutely no reason not to get this on Steam immediately. The vastly improved replayability and avenue of local co-op make this an essential purchase, and, now, XB1 and PS4 players can join in on the fun.