E3 2017: Hands-On with Metronomicon

Two of my favorite genres are rhythm games and RPGs. The two are pretty far apart on the genre spectrum though, so it’s very rare that they meet. Which is why I was pretty interested in The Metronomicon Slay the Dance Floor once I heard about it. The game boasts a melding of rhythm and RPG in an interesting way.

The basic gameplay should be immediately familiar to any rhythm game fan. There is a note track on the screen where notes drop down and the player has to hit them in time with the music. But where Metronomicon changes things is by having four separate note tracks, each tied to the four party members currently in the player’s party.

In a way, it reminded me of Amplitude, where the player is swapping back and forth between these different tracks after completing a section. Playing a section on a party member’s track will use that spell and the player can ‘select’ different spells by playing successive sections on a single character.

There’s a surprising amount of depth to the RPG combat too, with a variety of party buffs and enemy debuffs available. One party member I had, for example, would cast a haste spell on my team if I played one section, and would cast a healing spell if I played two sections in a row.

Enemies drop down on the far right of the screen and can cause debuffs on the player’s party which make it harder to hit notes. Ones I saw included making the notes wobble or having them be darkened and harder to see.

Each song is a ‘dungeon’ and doing well enough will have the player fight through a bunch of enemies. If they’re leveled well enough and do well enough, they’ll eventually fight a boss at the end. And if they’re even stronger than that, they could potentially fight far enough to get more optional enemies and bosses.

What I played was more of a party or free-play mode but there will also be a full story mode with voice acted cutscenes and everything. Player’s will be able to advance and explore a world where dancing is a form of power and magic.

The game will launch with fifty songs in total. I was not familiar with the musicians in the game but the songs I played were all very good. They were heavy on the beat, the kind of songs that are easy to dance and tap along to.

One of the coolest parts though is that the developers have gone out of their way to support a variety of rhythm game peripherals. I played the game on a Rock Band controller, where the top four frets hit notes and I could swap party members with strum. The developer said they also support the Guitar Hero Live controller, the Rock Band drums, and dance pads.

I really enjoyed my time with the game and kept trying to jump back in and play more in between other press playing. As a rhythm game aficionado, the addition of having to juggle attacks and buffs adds another layer to the game. I’m really looking forward to the full game, which will be launching this summer.

Why not check out the latest E3 2017 news from PS Nation:

Written by Andy Richardson

Andy Richardson

A longtime PlayStation fan who enjoys JRPGs and rhythm games when he’s not tweeting about his parrot.

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