I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have a bizarre weakness for rhythm games. I get the beat in my system and can’t get it out again. There has been a couple of indie rhythm games recently I really hope get to be made, although to be fair it didn’t look so great the last time I checked. Recently another indie rhythm game has popped up called Wandersong, a title that makes my writing degree scream in agony. Kind of like Zelda, except your only weapon is your ocarina. You play as an epileptic bard with a voice activated shield who goes around the world collecting a certain amount of something to form one super something in order to save the world from destruction. If that isn’t enough of a coincidence then it also has a witch who is gruff on the outside but nice when you know her, my Seasons and Ages players know who I’m referring to. Not to mention a whole cast of wildly unique and different side characters; on a personal note though, that fairy freaks me straight the fuck out.
While you can basically dissect and pinpoint the exact correlation for nearly every part of this game I still feel that it has a lot to offer. The characters I particularly enjoy because they all seem to have some unique characteristic, although I would like to see the Angel’s rainbow hair move a bit or even change color… like mood hair. Knowing there is some kind of solid framework in this game is also appealing when most indie games, and some AAA games, are just a mad mash up of features that made other games good but probably shouldn’t be put together. There isn’t much of a story yet, saying ‘the goddess is going to go all Noah on our asses if we don’t find her some better tunes’ is the usual foundation but not something you can stretch into a multi series game. Maybe there is more to it we are not seeing but I feel confident that is the bulk of it right now.
I like the general feel and look of the game as well; the rich and vibrant tones of the background really set the game up well. It is kind of stiff and empty at certain parts though. I do prefer the concept art more which looks phenomenal and would ask to see more of that but I suppose it would be a lot to ask. What really strikes me the most is the designs use of layering. The description mentions this was used for crowds and what not but it really helps this game to separate itself from other indie games. Not just when there is an audience around but you can see the layering effects in multiple examples of the game. I kind of question the controls as well because at this point it appears I won’t even need to use half of my controller. Maybe the control sticks to move and point my shield in the right direction. I understand it is a rhythm game but even most rhythm games get overly creative finding ways to use the entire controller.
Lastly and most important is the music… which we get very little example of or how the music is used in actual gameplay. An odd move but I suppose even my previous rhythm games didn’t provide a lot of example either, which kind of seems like a general mistake. I do like what I hear though, it kind of has a laid back vibe straight from Wind Waker itself. Other examples include Irish and other European pop influence, which while a change of pace from my usual Japanese pop music I’m still very much intrigued. The description also mentions the musicians did the sound track for Dust: An Elysian Tale but I don’t remember the music as striking in that game. What it makes me wonder is when the damn sequel is going to come out. I get the feeling there is a lot that still needs to be done, maybe more than is being let on, but if done correctly this could be a great little indie game. I think we would all like a little more actual game footage using the actual music though.