Friday, July 14, 2017

Deemo: The Last Recital Review (PlayStation Vita)

Written by: Red Veron

Title: Deemo: The Last Recital
Developer: Rayark Games, PM Studios
Publisher: acttil, PM Studios
Date of Release: 16 May 2017
Genre: Rhythm Music
Number of Players: 1-2
Price: $14.99 (NA)
Also Available On: iOS, Android

The rise in popularity and affordability of devices with touchscreens introduced a revolution in consumer electronics and changed the way people interact with technology. One big change was in the way of how video games are played, from simple games that only require one or two touch actions to more complex games that used different gestures replace many buttons, games changed to .

One game genre made a bit of a comeback and perfectly suited the new technology: rhythm music games. Through touchscreens, the rhythm music genre didn’t require buttons or extra peripherals, touchscreens allowed more variety and flexibility that buttons and a more natural way to interact with music games.

Rayark, whose previous rhythm music game work include Cytus and the newly released Voez, created a more traditional rhythm music game between those two games. That game was Deemo, and it had something to make it different than the many that litter the rhythm music game scene: it added a story.

Deemo, features a mysterious being named Deemo, who meets a girl who falls from the sky. This girl, named Alice, enlists the help of Deemo so she can return to her own world through growing a tree that opens up the mysterious chamber where Deemo and his piano reside. It is through playing the piano that this tree grows which represent the game’s progress, so each time the player plays a song, the tree grows a little bit.

Last Recital is somewhat of an enhanced version of the mobile version of Deemo; featuring exclusive features not present in the mobile version such as a different story, animated cutscenes with voice overs, exclusive songs, and two new 2-Player modes (Duet and Duel). However, this Vita version of Deemo came out in 2015 and is now a bit outdated compared to the mobile version that has new songs and other features such as more song difficulties.

Though Deemo has a story, something quite rare in the rhythm music genre, it is still very much a standard rhythm game with its own gameplay style and rules. It’s a rhythm music game where you tap the notes when it lines up with the black line at the bottom of the screen, kind of similar to other rhythm music games like DJMAX and Superbeat Xonic.

Deemo’s gameplay style of tapping the black line when the notes lines up feels like playing the piano, and really gets me into a song like Rock Band or Guitar Hero than other rhythm music games that use touch screens or control buttons. Experienced mobile Deemo players can still use their index fingers while playing but using thumbs to play is still an option but is only possible with the easier levels.

One interesting things about playing Deemo is that no way to fail a song like other rhythm music games where missing notes or doing badly ends a song. Every attempt at a song counts towards progress (growing the tree) which leads to unlocking more songs. This progression can be really slow and lead to replaying the songs many times, this is something that is left over from the free-to-play mobile version of the game. Rewarding all the effort in playing the game does not mean skill is not rewarded, skilled players will just progress much faster than those not as skilled.

There is an interactive part of the game where the player can touch the different parts of the environment in Deemo’s different rooms to find out more of the story and even unlock songs. The game does not tell you that this can be done unless you accidentally find it yourself or learn from someone else that knows this fact. It’s a neat feature but the game but the game doesn’t even do a good enough job to tell you this piece of information and it might slow down progress.

Deemo’s song selection has many varieties that uses the piano in some way. There are plnety of different song genres available that range from slow piano melody-heavy songs to fast electronic pop and much more. Artists featured have been in Rayark’s other titles and from different countries such as Taiwan, Japan, Korea, etc. There’s a lot of good songs of all kinds so there will be something for everyone.

The new 2-Player modes, Duel and Duet, pretty much explain what they are: a competitive versus mode and a cooperative mode. Duel plays the same song for two players and the two compete for a higher song while Duet divides a song for two players to play together. Duel mode is also good for those people who can play with two devices at once with one hand for each device.

Deemo: Last Recital is one of those Vita games that can only be played on the Vita and not on the Playstation Vita TV due to the game relying only on the touchscreen for controls.

The price is probably the biggest weakness of Deemo: Last Recital, the base version on the US PSN store cost $14.99 while the full base mobile version costs $1.99. Though there is a big difference, buying all the DLC on the Vita turns out to be cheaper than buying the mobile version and all the DLC for it.

Deemo: The Last Recital is not the most up-to-date version of the game and costs a lot more to get started compared to the mobile version. Even if it does not have all the same stuff as the mobile version, it is still a really good rhythm game that provides a lot of solid fun and gives you a few extras that are not in the mobile version.

  • Has exclusive content not available in mobile version
  • It has can get PlayStation trophies

  • Base version costs more than the mobile version (not considering the total price with all the DLC)
  • You still have to buy extra DLC just like in the mobile version
  • Is not up-to-date with the latest version of the mobile version

 SCORE: 7.5/10