The current state of rhythm games is a wreck, and that’s a shame. Because back in 2001 a masterpiece was released by iNiS that gave a crystal clear picture on how the genre can grow beyond its arcade roots and become truly, magnificent works of art. It’s more than a little discomforting to see iNiS retreat a step or two with the Ouendan series, but let’s just assume that’s because those were Nintendo DS titles and had to be designed the way that they were for the sake of portability.

Nevertheless, Gitaroo Man is an experience like no other, offering a supremely enjoyable adventure thanks to its insanely charming setting, a wonderfully endearing art style, great music, and an abundance of heart. Here, music is war. You’re not just pressing buttons to the beat of a bunch of random, unordered songs. You are literally saving the world via the game’s brilliant rhythm mechanics that elegantly transform your DualShock 2 into a potent, musical weapon, all without even the need for a single extra plastic accessory!


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