Under-appreciated Games: Gitaroo Man!

Gitaroo Man is truly one of the most unique games I have ever played. It is a rhythm game where each stage plays out like a battle filled with five different phases including Charge, Attack, Guard, Harmony, and End. The gameplay is fairly simply but unbelievably addictive, during the Charge phase, you use the analog stick to follow along a blue line and press the “O” button to hit notes, the notes can be long notes that you hold or short button presses. You also do this during the Attack, Harmony, and End phrases, but, during the Guard phase, you use the four face buttons and the usually come by quickly to the center of the screen as you have to press it in perfect timing.

Now when it comes to the actual plot of the game, it is absolutely insane. It is very much a fish out of water story as U-1, a young kid is approached by a dog, Puma, who can speak, and teaches U-1 how to play the guitar. Afterwards, he hands the Gitaroo to U-1 and he must go save Planet Gitaroo. The plot is not a complex thing by any means, but, is just crazy, over the top, and completely hilarious. I think one of the greatest things about this game is that it tells a lot of it’s story while the stages are going on and that is a great thing. It does have a cutscene after each stage (which are usually only a minute or so long) and the stages themselves are usually 3-5 minutes long. Also, the music itself in the game is varied and fantastic. You get genres like Hard Rock, Jazz, J-Pop, Reggae, Metal, Acoustic, etc. Most of the music is noteworthy and sticks out after the game is over.

The game is only around 40-60 minutes long as it only has around 10 stages but it does not really matter. The game is so unbelievably fun during that time and is a game worth playing multiple times especially because of it’s short length. It has some of the best rhythm gameplay ever put into a game especially in the moments when it quickly switches from Attack to Guard or Guard to Attack as you have to completely switch how you are playing the game. Overall, this is a game I defiantly recommend to anyone who just love rhythm games or are a fan of just crazy, over the top stories. This game is easily one of my favorite games of all time and one I constantly revisit. It is on both the PS2 and the PSP, and either version of the game works. The PSP version has two additional stages that are in a Duet mode but otherwise, they are the same game.


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