Orgarhythm is one of those unique games that come around from time to time that are hard to explain. It features a lot of elements seen in other series, but combines them in such a way to stand out from the rest.
I have to tip my hat to developers that do this. Breaking out of the mold of standard genres is hard to do, but Acquire does a good job of breaking the mold. A few problems keep the game from being great, though.
Before hopping into the gameplay, let me quickly recap the story: two gods that are also brothers are fighting each other, and you’re trying to put a stop to it. However, the story is rarely mentioned and really doesn’t add much to the game.
The gameplay is a mix of rhythm and strategy, while taking pages from Pikmin and Patapon. There are three color troops to control, red, yellow and blue, that top each other similar to roshambo. Each unit also has four different abilities they can use: melee, archery, catapult (which does more damage but uses more units) and sacrifices (who are a one-time use for big damage). In addition, the god the units follow around can use abilities over time such as healing, attack buffs or even an attack when fully charged up.
You may be wondering how Patapon fits into this. Well, to select troops and abilities to use you have to type along to the rhythm of the music. The more accurate you tap, the higher your level will go and stronger your team will be. After tapping, you can then swipe your finger to determine how many troops to send and where. Successive taps will also add more members to your army.
In addition, leveling up also adds more music to the level. In the beginning, it starts off pretty basic, but it quickly absorbs you into the beat as you progress. In a game about music, it features one of the better soundtracks this year.
Before I go away from the troops, I want to mention the biggest problem I ran into: the troops were very finicky. About a quarter of the time troops would just run by enemies without attacking or run into a wall instead of shooting arrows, among other things. In addition, troops would sometimes attack enemies they’re weak to that were standing right next to enemies they were strong against. It was problems like this that can cause the fun to stop quickly.
In addition, troops will only attack for a short amount of time. I noticed this especially with the catapult troops. They would launch two attacks at an enemy far away, then disband and come back, letting the enemy get a few cheap shots on the way back. Other troops would sometimes do this, but they’d often kill what they were targeting before returning, except during boss battles. Sure, you can call troops back using the rear touch pad, but I never found the need to because they would return on their own.
As you progress through the stage, your god and followers will follow a set path with enemies scattered throughout. This makes trial and error be able to work if you select the wrong units or miscalculate a key attack. At the end of a stage will be a different boss with new strategies to pick up and use against them. The bosses vary in difficulty, including some insanely annoying battles later on.
After beating a stage, you’ll get a rank and experience, which can give you new abilities to equip, before progressing on. Overall, the story will only take you a few hours on casual, but new difficulties can be unlocked. Enemies can sometimes be a bit unforgiving on casual, and can quickly ramp up on harder levels. There’s also an AI feature that can be turned on to let enemies adapt as you progress, but I never noticed much of a difference.
There also is a multiplayer and co-op mode, but I wasn’t able to check either option out. The modes are ad-hoc only, and I know no one around me that has the titles.
Orgarhythm is a good title for the Vita that uses the controls effectively. Players that just want to play the game without trying for high scores may be a bit disappointed by the length of the game. However, players interested in completing everything will find a good challenge here, even with a few hiccups along the way.