Author Topic: Super Crazy Rhythm Castle (Switch) Review  (Read 522 times)

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Offline allysoncygan

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Super Crazy Rhythm Castle (Switch) Review
« on: November 25, 2023, 05:00:00 PM »

Can this new game live up to Konami's rhythm game pedigree?

http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/review/65606/super-crazy-rhythm-castle-switch-review

Super Crazy Rhythm Castle was one of the games I was most intrigued by out of the September 2023 Nintendo Direct. This looked like a fun, chaotic rhythm game experience, but most intriguing of all was this was a Konami-published game. While Konami has become a controversial publisher in AAA games, in terms of rhythm games Konami has a deep catalog of classics. Would Super Crazy Rhythm Castle join that pedigree?

Super Crazy Rhythm Castle takes place at the titular castle; you (and up to three other players) are challengers, looking to unseat King Ferdinand and become king of the castle. To do this, you need to play a number of rhythm-based challenges, though a lot of these have you juggling several different other tasks at once–think something like the chaos of Overcooked. You might need to move obstacles, collect items, or deal with enemies while also trying to keep playing the relatively simple three-button rhythm game. While things can be played solo (which I did in writing this review), it feels like it would be a game better served for people to play together, as these tasks can often feel overwhelming alone.

Rhythm game-wise, things are pretty basic. Each level has you pick up a controller in-game to play the rhythm sections, and then hit three keys to play. It feels decent, but in more difficult moments I felt like things weren’t as accurate as they could be, but also the maps ramp up significantly over the course of the game. I don’t think it’s compelling enough to play just as a rhythm game, but you can challenge each of the songs on their own in a separate section, so there is plenty for people who want just the rhythm game by itself. My biggest issue was the controls, which can’t be remapped. Two of the buttons are the L and R shoulder buttons, which feel way too small and awkward for some of the more intense rhythm gaming. The ZL and ZR buttons end up being used for other purposes, but I wish they had been used for the rhythm game instead; that would probably feel much more comfortable.

One of the things I loved most about Super Crazy Rhythm Castle is the aesthetic. There is a surreal vibe to the entire castle, where there are walkways of pianos, escherian staircases, giant eyeballs, and an entire section made of meat. This is a game that revels in weirdness and oddities, which is one of the most fun things to continue to discover. I laughed at some of the item descriptions and some of King Ferdinand’s snarky dialogue, and a major aspect of my enjoyment was wanting to see what inventive visuals would come in next. The presentation here is really delightful.

However, where this game falters most is in its music choice. Most of the songs you play throughout are fairly generic songs purchased from various music libraries. That’s not to say the songs are bad–I found myself getting them stuck in my head at times. For one song, I actively looked up to see if there was an artist, which is how I found that it was from a Japanese music library that could be used for commercial purposes. The songs are solid, but they repeat far too much for a relatively short game. I wish they had either licensed some better music for this, or, ideally, use some of Konami’s wide back catalog of rhythm-game soundtracks. There are a few songs that you can find that are Konami songs, but these are just playable as a side activity. One prominent example is the song Smooooch, which has shown up in several rhythm games and was in the trailer (which is one of the things that drove my interest in this game). I think this is where my disappointment mainly lies in the music choice. Rather than being about the songs in the game, it’s the songs that aren’t in the game but could be.

Ultimately Super Crazy Rhythm Castle is a flawed but interesting game that is wildly creative yet doesn’t always live up to its ambitions or other Konami rhythm games. Still, this was a fun experience that I’m glad I was able to try. I’m hoping this game is only the first of more rhythm game experiments by Konami (or other developers!) because I’d love to see this Castle more polished or with a better tracklist.