Impressions: HarmoKnight Demo

HarmoKnight seemed pretty interesting to me a bit ago in one of Nintendo’s press releases.  With the release and utter enjoyment on my part of Theatrhythm, I thought I would appreciate another rhythm game.  I wasn’t so correct…

*Side Note* Keep in mind that I’m not the biggest fan of rhythm games due to my natural lack there of.

The Good:

At first it seemed super easy and it was almost a turnoff.  Like most games though, you need to get through the intro levels that “teach” you how to jump and hit things.  I get it, but still ugh.  Either way, I got gold on a level and that unlocked a “secret” level.  Needless to say it kicked my butt for a bit, but eventually I got the pattern down and knocked it out of the park.

It was mildly fun, but I think I may have enjoyed it because it was made by Game Freak, the creators of Pokemon.  That didn’t carry the game though as the “not being a cake-walk” part is honestly was the only good aspect to me about HarmoKnight.

The Bad:

While the controls seemed spot on and while I not be the biggest fan of the music or that good at rhythm games, playing to the music didn’t seem to work so well.  I felt I more had to play it as an 8-bit NES game and catch the pattern than move with the rhythm.  I hope I’m the only one feeling that because that would suck to have the timing off.  Theatrhythm didn’t do that to me so that’s why I make this point.

The art style almost reminds me of those 90's cartoons like Dexter's Lab or Samurai Jack, just less interesting.

The art style almost reminds me of those 90’s cartoons like Dexter’s Lab or Samurai Jack, just less interesting.

I also wasn’t a total fan of the art style.  Even though I dig goofy stuff every now and then, to not know if the main character isn’t a male or female is off-putting.  If it bothers me in an anime, it’s going to bother me in my games as well.  I get the impression that it’s a dude, but he’s sporting pink like it’s the 80’s and what looks like a tiara.  If it’s one or the other, that’s cool.  If it’s going to be obscure  just make the char a different color… like green and I’ll call it good lol.

The boss fights were where most of my problems lie though.  Not only did I have the rhythm/music problems here as well, but I’m not the biggest fan of how they do them.  Most of the game was played out just throwing things at you and having you figure out the timing whether you needed to jump or hit stuff.  Boss fights are broken up into different parts with different patterns.  They, however, demonstrate them first and let you repeat what you just saw.  Couldn’t I have figured out that I needed to hit the things flying to my face?

In the end, the purpose of a demo is get me to get me interested enough to want me to buy it.  Needless to say HarmoKnight failed to achieve this from me.  I played this on my hour lunch and deleted it near the end of it.  If you aren’t too into the rhythm game genre, just forget about HarmoKnight.  If you are totally into the genre, at least download the demo they’ve got as it’s free.  Maybe it will click with you.  Remember, I don’t hate all rhythm games as I liked Theatrythm.  HarmoKnight just didn’t feel as… rhythmie I guess.

Jonathan Amarelo Sig


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