NS Review – Terrorhythm (TRRT) Switch

Terrorhythm or TRRT is a cyperpunk hardcore rhythm action game in which you save a totalitarian future that has been plunged into silence by beating down hordes of guardians of the total silence in time to techno beats.

The premise sounds vaguely interesting right? How did we get plunged into a silent future, who and what are the guardians of the total silence? Well prepare to not have those questions answered as the game itself seems to contain no story whatsoever at least it doesn’t in what I’ve played for this review. I only know the backstory thanks to the games eShop page. A shame as a little story goes a long way in my eyes.

Who needs story when slashing is this stylish.

Anyway onto what the Terrorhythm actually does contain and that’s techno music. While the music wasn’t my cup of tea, the action was fun and engaging enough that I enjoyed every minute even though when I first started I sucked so bad a deaf duck billed platypus would’ve done a better job, I could only complete the first two levels before I got stuck and had to go sit in the kiddy corner and change the difficulty to relaxed which to my frustration didn’t give me experience to rank up and unlock more levels. It was like the game was mocking me for being rhythm gamingly challenged “you don’t deserve more levels peasant.” This meant I had to “git gud”. Cue generic training scene from any action film and then damn it was worth the effort as after a little while I was happily kicking and punching away at the four different enemy types seen in the first 10 levels in rhythm to the techno beats. Then I was stuck again. There are four difficulty levels so plenty of options catering to casual and hardcore fans of rhythm games alike.

I saw this screen a lot.

You attack left or right with L and R respectively, so long as the enemy is in your reach zone which is expanded by pressing B but gets smaller when you attack. Then you can charge a blastbeat by pressing X, this is used as your next attack to take down enemies with a green shield or groups of enemies. To keep up your combo and obtain high scores you have to press a button with every beat alternating attacking, expanding your reach and charging a blastbeat. If an enemy touches you, you lose HP, called signal, lose all your signal and level over, you get disconnected, this will happen a lot at first unless you’re well versed in rhythm games. There’s also a few powerups littered around levels such as a scythe that kills all enemies in a single hit and looks freaking awesome as you slash through all in your path, there’s a sword which grants you maximum reach for a few hits, a slicer that lets you attack outside your reach and a signal boost. 

As you play through levels you slowly rank up, at each rank you unlock a new level including an occasional boss fight. It’s weird that beating a boss doesn’t unlock the next level you still need to grind levels and rank up. Speaking of weird it’s extremely odd for a rhythm game to not actually keep track of whether you’ve actually completed a level or not, your score just gets put on your local leaderboard regardless of whether you actually finish the level. Also once I’d improved at the game enough to start replaying the early levels on hard the game gave me no indication of what levels I’d actually played on hard so I literally had to keep track myself. 

So which time did I actually complete the level and on what difficulty?

The art style is ridiculously cool and you feel like a total badass as you beat down multiple enemies whose sole purpose in life is to run into you. It’s just a shame that despite the main character looking like a futuristic Japanese Oni hipster the enemies are bland, samey and utterly forgettable. The action is pretty sweet though. 

There’s symbols to show what the boss will do but the game moves too quickly to really notice.

As I previously stated, techno is not my cup of tea but the beats often have a pretty prominent drum beat making for an excellent backing track to a beat down and the sound effects are crisp and do be like there’s weight behind each contact adding to that feeling of badassery. 

Off with your head!

Terrorhythm is quite forgiving with its timing of button presses or maybe it just feels that way as it calibrates to your timing the first time you play and you can recalibrate whenever you want. However when the screen is packed tighter with enemies than the London Underground during rush hour there is some extremely off-putting slowdown which resulted in me losing my signal quicker than the English strip down to barely covering their jiggly bits when they see a glimpse of sunshine. Perhaps it’s my fault for not putting enough of the mindless futuristic “guardians” out of their soulless misery, letting the screen fill like a jam donut ready to explode and the slowdown is the games way of telling me to “git gudder”. But alas after playing some more I discovered it’s not me at all, even playing the 5th or so level on hard I suffered such extreme slowdown when I hadn’t missed a beat that I could no longer hit the beats in time and we all know how that ends. 

This slowdown is a plague on Terrorhythm making an otherwise unique and enjoyable rhythm experience unplayable. Luckily the developers do know about the problem and are working on a patch. If it weren’t for this plague of slowdown I would highly recommend Terrorhythm as I’m not into rhythm games or techno music and was still having a great time till the black death reared its ugly head.

Terrorhythm (TRRT) is available digitally on Nintendo Switch eShop for £8.99/€8.99 and as if writing is 50% off if you own a Forever Entertainment title. Thank you to Forever Entertainment for providing the review code.

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