Title: Cytus α
Developer: Rayark Games/ ESQUADRA
Publisher: FlyHigh Works
Genre: Action, Music, Rhythm
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 25/04/19
Price: £44.99 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Cytus Alpha is a rhythm-based game developed exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. It is a reimagining of the first instalment in the series previously released for IOS and Android back in 2012.
Throughout growing up, I have always shown an interest in music-based games. Starting with Vib Ribbon, through to Gitaroo Man, Lumines, Guitar Hero and Osu! I’m not sure how the fascination with this genre started: maybe with the variety of custom soundtracks created for them, perhaps the fact that each had its own way of play that was nowhere near similar to each other. This is why I kept my eye on Cytus Alpha. The monochrome, futuristic art style combined with the ever-popular Japanese Vocaloid music genre enticed me.
In terms of visuals, the overall appearance of the game is very clean, very uniform, and very simplistic. Steering away from vivid colours, instead opting for grey tones, still makes way for some striking backgrounds within each level. Each chapter panel aswell gives focus to its single subject matter, usually referenced in the narrative of said chapter.
For audio, in my opinion, I feel its generally favourable with its audience. However, it probably would not entice a newcomer of the rhythm genre as much as someone who shows a particular interest. It is a soundtrack you could more than likely see in an action-filled anime or within a JRPG. The music is the first thing that gripped me, and I wasn’t even really bothered with the gameplay aspect. In honesty, with 70% of the games I have played in the last year, having a good soundtrack has played a massive role in influencing which I lend my money to. This one fits a subgenre of music that I am attracted to, so it was indeed a winner for me.
The overall mechanics of this game are something unique to something I have ever played before. The only one showing some similarity is Osu!. I have only played this in portable mode on the Switch: some games I feel are better played this way for a better experience. Even within handheld, you can either control using the touch screen or through the Joy-Cons. I tried playing both ways, and I preferred playing using the touch screen. It was a lot easier to navigate, however, the positioning of the screen while playing was limited: I was literally balancing it on my lap or on a table as it was the only manageable place to play.
I suppose there is some replayability. With each level there are varying difficulties, so as you master one, you can advance to the next and give yourself a new challenge. As far as the narrative, it isn’t this game’s main selling point: I would say it is an added extra and gives a context of illustrated characters to the player. It would be the kind of game I could see myself continuously playing in quick intervals of time, rather than a game I would sit and play for a regular 8-10 hours every day. It isn’t the kind of title you need to commit yourself to, which is something I find very positive with it.
To conclude this review, I will say I am satisfied with this game. Would I say the price justifies the style of game? In some cases, yes. If you are in the market for a fun rhythm game that is portable, and available to play with friends online, then this is a good investment. However, I feel some people may be turned off by the steep price point. I know when I first heard of the game, I was conflicted with how expensive it was as a digital game, meaning I wouldn’t be able to exchange or sell it if I wasn’t entirely happy with it. But thanks to this review code that I have been provided, it has opened my eyes to a fun game I can hop in and out of from time to time: that’s something I may have missed out on otherwise.
Rapid Reviews Rating
The game is available for purchase through the Nintendo eShop here: https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Cytus–1549355.html