In Lyrica2 Stars Align, you'll journey through different genres of music such as jazz, ballad and rock by swiping, tapping, dragging and holding the screen across 20+ songs with varying difficulties. Level up, unlock story panels in story mode, play various challenge scrolls or play your favourite songs to your heart's content and try to achieve the perfect combo and rank!
I was lucky enough to review Lyrica when it first appeared on the Nintendo Switch and I was really impressed; it was a great little rhythm game that pulled at my heart strings with an extensive collection of songs. Lyrica2 Stars Align is no different; in fact, the sequel adds more to tracks this time around and it’s even better for it.
There are four main options available when you start up the game, including: Story, Challenge, Songs and Achievements.
In the Story Mode, there are two chapters to choose from, with Bai Xue being unlockable later on. Instead of picking songs to play in order, you will be presented with portraits with multiple panels covering up the image and by completing the song by achieving the song's objectives (for example, getting B rank or reaching a certain score), you’ll uncover panels as you progress. The cleared portraits can then be later used as background images for when you're playing other modes (which is a nice touch).
There are story segments that play in-between each portrait, which provides a sense of progression as you unlock more pictures and learn more about what’s going on.
There are many different types of play styles, each being as unique as the one before it. Lyrica2 predominantly features songs from Japanese, Korean and Chinese artists which allows you to experience a wide array of cultures and musical talents. So far, I’ve unlocked 40 songs but there’s well over 60 songs in total, with the developers confirming a future update containing another 15 still to come.
The game features a levelling up system after each song, earning you experience to unlock new ranks and content; this provides the player with an incentive to play songs freely in the Song and Story modes.
I’ve been playing Lyrica2 primarily in docked mode. To accommodate for this, the game allows for a variety of button combinations for all different inputs and for the most part, it works well. However, just like its predecessor, Lyrica2 is certainly more ideal in handheld mode as the touch screen makes inputs effortless.
Tapping, holding, swiping and dragging are all staples of this franchise but there are a few new implementations here, such as invisible notes. By this, it means that instead of notes falling either vertically or horizontally like in other rhythm games, Lyrica2 has small arrows which move around the screen in time with the music landing on circles and other notes perfectly in time with a counter that closes around each note; it sounds complex but it isn’t once you get the hang of it. I found it very accessible to newcomers and I am sure others will too. The charm of the Chinese characters and eastern artistry certainly allows for the visual aesthetics to pop.
The Challenge Mode is quite unique as it requires multiple playthroughs in order to build a scroll. Each song that you successfully complete adds letters to a scroll and once it’s complete, you can unlock a new one. Just like in the other modes, there are different objectives that are required, with four new difficulties to test you, as well as further challenges for those who seek it.
- 60+ songs (with the developers promising 15 more in a future update)
- Story mode
- A collective mix of genres
Rhythm games live or die depending on their music, a medium that is purely subjective. Some people may not enjoy the tracks on offer here as it specifically targets a certain niche.
The story is serviceable - it revolves around a group trying to form a band - but I have to admit, it didn’t really grab me as much as the music did and more often than not, I found myself skipping through these segments.
- Lacklustre story
- Songs may not be to everyone’s taste
Final Score: 9/10
Lyrica2 Stars Align has outdone itself by adding more tracks, a challenge mode, a story and achievements. For the Nintendo Switch version, docked mode works but the game shines brightly when playing in handheld mode. It may not tickle everyone’s fancy but what’s here is fantastic; it features great replay value in your ability to rank up, unlock more songs and achieve perfect scores. I can’t wait to see what Lyrica3 brings to the table.
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