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Stanshall

Groove Coaster Wai Wai Party!!!! (Arcade Rhythm Game)

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H2x1_NSwitchDS_GrooveCoasterWaiWaiParty_

 

This is a gorgeous, fully-featured Japanese rhythm game with lots of tunes by the legendary in-house Taito band, Zuntata, which means some really cool surprises alongside the usual J-pop. Having only ever previously played this at Arcade Club, I've just stumped up for the Switch version which I only found out about today.

 

What an utterly glorious game.

 

At the arcade, I found it baffling and overwhelming, not least because it was all in Japanese, but also because the music was unfamiliar and also clashing with the sound of several other games nearby. Headphones on and in my hands, it's a very different proposition and it's already one of my games of the year so far.

 

Rather than tapping in time with notes falling down the screen, your avatar sweeps around a 3D space as if on a roller-coaster track, hence the name, and the note icons appear in your path. This might sound confusing but it's very straightforward for the most part and adds a great deal of eye candy and variety. The patterns and background animations really bring a lot of personality to each tune. I'm sure that some will be a bit more rote but of the dozen or so I've played so far, many have been superb. I just played a remix of a tune from the Darius Gaiden soundtrack and the background was full of neon vector mechanical fish bosses. 

 

Beyond the core gameplay and flair, there's an unlock structure to the Mission and Challenge modes which makes you want to try different songs and get better at them, rather than dismiss them because the first few seconds don't sound appealing. That's often my issue with rhythm/music games, I end up playing only the same few tunes until I exhaust them. This should mean greater lifespan, but the reality is that the actual game is so much fun I'll be playing it on and off for a good while, anyway, I'm sure. The unlockable stuff is the usual, predominantly skins and avatars and titles, as well as different sound effects, but there are also some unlockable in-menu 'navigators' who chat away while you're selecting different options. It all feels bounteous as fuck, quite frankly. 

 

Caveat emptor: Aside from the odd dip into the Zuntata back catalogue with Bubble Bobble and Darius and some anime soundtrack stuff (like the fantastic theme from Neon Genesis Evangelion), it's predominantly J-Pop with a lot of throbbing basslines and glistening synth lines. It's not at all my usual kind of thing but it complements the gameplay and flashy visuals very well and adds to the arcade experience. There's also a fair bit of DLC available as is the way with these games, including Undertale and Touhou soundtracks, but there are a hundred songs in the base game so you won't run out quickly. 

 

A hearty recommendation. 

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I really, really want this but can't justify the price tag. £49.99 is just too much, particularly as there's no physical version. It's on my wishlist when it's on sale, though. 

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4 hours ago, mdn2 said:

I really, really want this but can't justify the price tag. £49.99 is just too much, particularly as there's no physical version. It's on my wishlist when it's on sale, though. 

 

It is expensive for this type of game, I totally agree. I'm doing OK at the moment with my 'approximately one game per month' rule so I can square it off. It's not going anywhere though and it's not something where being 'part of the conversation' is as important but hopefully it'll come on sale soon! 

 

How's Raging Loop, by the way? I've seen you put a good few hours into it. I'm tempted by another visual novel and the premise sounds cool. 

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9 minutes ago, Stanshall said:

 

How's Raging Loop, by the way? I've seen you put a good few hours into it. I'm tempted by another visual novel and the premise sounds cool. 

I completed it a few weeks ago and enjoyed my time with it. I posted a bit about it in the Visual Novel thread. It lost its way a bit at the end, but it was great up till then. Worth a look if you can get it cheap enough. 

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Having put a good few hours into this over the last couple of days, I have a much better feel and understanding for how it plays and it's even better than I thought. It's almost impossible to jump straight in nail it on anything but Easy, because you really have to get a good feel for the song and the placement of notes. While it does sometimes have you tapping in time with the beat, pretty often you're tapping and holding and sliding around with the vocal phrasing and the little fills and riffs. It's so much fun when you really get to grips and start feeling in sync. I'm pretty crap at rhythm games and always have been but this one has brought me in. 

 

I'm also really enjoying the music, which is a bigger surprise. Headphones on, in handheld, this is awesome fun. 

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20200216-214227.jpg

 

It's only on Easy Mode but this was so much fun and absolutely solid. For Perfect, every single note has to be spot on including the invisible ad libs. It's all the intensity and excitement and precision of shmups but you're also being injected with liquid Skittles. It makes me feel really happy. 

 

What...have I...become?

 

Less prejudiced, basically. 

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Moving through the gears now, really warming up to this. Holy crap, what a game. It's expensive for what it is, but I've already got more enjoyment out of this than I did recently from plenty of full-price games I won't mention to avoid being inflammatory so it's money very well spent for me. I got my first Normal difficulty Perfect. Such a distilled euphoric experience. 

 

20200217-123959.jpg

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Took some working out (I was using USB headphones) but with the Flip Grip you can only use normal headphones.  Also as the volume buttons are hidden you can hold the Home button down for a second and this allows you to change the volume on the screen.

 

:wub:

 

image.png.1451ba892f1d7b3044efe44062e4650f.png

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It's the game which made me get my FlipGrip out of the drawer again. I got it to play shmups originally and the stick isn't the best for that type of movement but it's no issue whatsoever for Groove Coaster. An absolute joy. Also, HD Rumble really adds something to it, as well. For this type of game, I genuinely can't find fault. I really would love to see a few more folks on here give it a go, but I appreciate that it'll be more appealing when it goes on sale. 

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I picked this up over Xmas as it was on sale. It is a lovely thing. It has the bubble bobble theme in it. Yay!

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This is currently on sale on the eShop. Still coming in around 40 quid even so but if you're tempted, it's just become a little bit more appealing. 

 

I captured a vid of one of my favourites in the game, really surging 90s Euro-trance thing mixed with Vocaloid. I am unrecognisable to myself and I'm having the time of my life.

 

 

 

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