Anyone who has ever played a fighting game seriously can tell you that they have a rhythm to their gameplay, and nothing exemplifies this more than the Marvel VS Capcom 3 Dante TAC Infinite type beat video. So it was only a matter of time for someone to marry the concept of fighting games with rhythm game aspects, enter God of Rock! A mysterious force is collecting fighters to pit against each other to see who is the strongest, with the winner receiving a wish that will fulfill their deepest desires.
A fighting game lives and dies on its art style and character design; your game could have fantastic core gameplay but if your characters don’t look cool during, the players will lose interest quickly (R.I.P Marvel vs Capcom Infinite). God of Rock’s character design is very fun and well realised, taking design inspirations from both fighting game character archetypes and music genres, giving players a wide array of characters to gravitate to.
Something I did not expect this game to have before reviewing it is the ability to create your own note chart for each music track. This is a fantastic inclusion; after a while, you’re going to remember the general flow of each song’s note chart so the ability to create your own will keep the game forever fresh.
It wouldn’t be a fighting game if characters didn’t have Super moves. Each character has a total of three Super moves and an Ultra move which will cause more notes to appear on your opponent’s note highway. But what makes things interesting is how they are implemented to keep this rhythm game still feeling like a fighting game. Each Super move can be countered with another Super move in a kind of Rock, Paper, Scissors style fashion; a level 2 Super beats a level 1, a level 3 beats a level 2, an Ultra beats a level 3 and a level 1 beats an Ultra. All three Super moves and the Ultra move all have separate meters instead of sharing one like Fighting games traditionally do, which gives the players a fun back and forth that the fighting game genre is known for.
- Well realised and fun art style
- The ability to create your own note charts
- New and fun implementation of fighting game Super moves
God of Rock’s note highway requires you to use all of the face buttons on the controller. With some moves, you are often required to hit multiple buttons at the same time, including some that are awkward to push when holding the controller normally or in some cases, hold one button down while alternating between two or three other buttons which becomes a real headache to comprehend. What I’m saying is that this game requires you to hold the controller “Claw Style” to play it effectively. For those who don’t know what that is, it is when you wrap your index finger around the top of the face buttons, the index finger is to press the X and Y buttons while the thumb is used for A and B. The average player holding the controller like this can lead to serious hand cramps or even more serious hand injuries.
God of Rock has a lot going on on-screen and is certainly very visually interesting, but you won’t be seeing it all too often. The way the user interface is laid out, you’ll only be focused on the note highway and will completely miss all of the other information the game is trying to show you, most importantly each character’s health bars. It wasn’t until I messed around in the training mode that I realised how much visual information I had been missing, things like Super attack properties, my opponent’s health bar and additional effects are all just lost in the visual noise of the player’s peripheral vision.
- Mandatory use of “Claw Style” controller grip
- Focus on the note highway leads to a lot of lost information
Final Score: 6/10
While I adore the idea of God of Rock, in execution, it feels a little clunky. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun playing and ultimately came out with a positive experience, and I can definitely see the passion behind the game’s development. I just feel like it needs a bit more revision with its user interface and general gameplay, make all the relevant information around the note highway and cut it down from a four button highway to three.
Thank you for checking out our God of Rock Switch review, thank you to Modus Games for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: