Dear Neilo and XSEED Games,
My name is Dr. Robert Finnegan and I am writing to you on behalf of Ryan Winslett, who finds himself unable to operate a pen or a computer keyboard at this time. He is currently under my strict orders to lie perfectly still on the flat of his back, and so contacting you regarding his medical bill is simply out of the question.
I am a chiropractor, you see, and Mr. Winslett has been under my care for the past several days following interaction with your PlayStation Vita game, Orgarhythm. I’m not entirely sure what a Vita is, much less an Orgarhythm, but Mr. Winslett assures me that your rhythm-based strategy game is to blame for the massive trauma he has sustained to his right ankle, neck and lower back.
To be blunt, Mr. Winslett insures me that the $857 worth of treatment he has received over the past few days was strictly due to your game’s “funky fresh beats,” as he found himself unable to play Orgarhythm without hunching over his handheld gaming console, foot tapping and head bobbing incessantly to the “fantastic” soundtrack, as he stated.
I must admit that, being a fan of music, I am rather intrigued by what Mr. Winslett has had to say about Orgarhythm, despite the obvious trauma his body has suffered as a direct result. He said that it was very similar to Patapon but, again, he might as well be speaking German when it comes to these newfangled video game things. The difference, according to Mr. Winslett, is the deeper element of strategy seen in Orgarhythm. Playing as the god of creation, he said that he and his color-coordinated followers had to march across a dozen battlefields in order to wage war on the forces of destruction.
If I’m being honest, I gave serious thought to contacting the authorities as Mr. Winslett explained the game to me. All of this talk of ancient gods, massive dance battles and controlling an entire game with carefully timed taps on a touchscreen sounded more like the ravings of a mad man than the confessions of a patient. But he insisted on his sanity, and so I allowed him to continue.
Orgarhythm, he explained, required that he play a game of paper-rock-scissors within another game of paper-rock-scissors to be successful, all while keeping his actions in time with the soundtrack’s rhythm. He said that troops come in three colors—red, blue and yellow—and that each is more effective against troops of a different color; red to yellow, yellow to blue, blue to red. Each troop, he said, also had the ability to fight as a ground soldier, an archer or a catapult, again set into a triangle of effectiveness against one another.
According to Mr. Winslett, as the god of creation, his avatar marched across the battlefield in constant motion while a catchy rhythm built in the background. As he progressed further into each map, enemy soldiers would appear to hinder his progress, also taking on one of three colors and one of three attack abilities. In response, Mr. Winslett had to choose which type of soldier and which color to respond to the ever-changing circumstances, and that making his selections in time with the music granted him additional bonuses.
My understanding is that the player’s avatar also has a few abilities of his own, allowing him to heal his soldiers, make them stronger in battle or defense, as well as unleash an earth-shattering attack.
My patient said that, at the end of each level, he had to wage war against a massive boss; each able to change its own color alignment on the fly and requiring unique tactics to overcome. Mr. Winslett made it sound rather exciting and said that, when he’s tapping out commands in perfect time, the music builds in layers and intensifies.
Mr. Winslett’s performance, of course, is also what led to his unfortunate condition, as he discovered much too late that he simply could not play Orgarhythm without his entire body getting into the beat. “I didn’t even realize I was dancing around on the couch so much,” he told me. “I was just playing, having a good time, and then the pain set in.”
I must confess that a few aspects of Orgarhythm had me mildly concerned. Mr. Winslett said that his soldiers would sometimes stray, randomly give up on their objectives or get stuck on part of the world’s geometry. He also said that limiting the multiplayer to “add hawk” – or something like that – means that he will likely never have the opportunity to play against another human being but, given his current condition, I’m not sure that is entirely bad news.
He also said that, at just 12 levels, Orgarhythm’s campaign was over quicker than he expected. He mentioned that additional levels via DLC – whatever that is – have been rumored and that unlockable abilities and changing enemy tactics add to the replay value. Still, I’m not sure playing your game again would be advisable. In his condition, his next head bob or toe tap could very well be his last.
However, at just 20 bucks through something called the PlayStation Network, my patient said the game seems to have plenty of content to warrant a purchase for those who are fans of the genre. Considering that Orgarhythm has gone on to cost my patient nearly $1,000 in medical bills, though, I’m not entirely sure he’s seeing the “big picture.”
Mr. Winslett informed me that he played Orgarhythm in short bursts, tackling one or two levels at a time in order to prevent the gameplay from feeling too repetitive. Otherwise, he said that he could have listened to the game’s driving, energetic soundtrack endlessly. As a music-based strategy game that requires quick reflexes, careful timing and actual skill, Orgarhythm, my patient decided, is a resounding success. I can only hope that his enjoyment of the game was worth what will likely be a long, painful road to recovery.
Mr. Winslett and I await your response and payment for the role you played in his injuries.
Dr. Robert Finnegan
Orgarhythm is a notable title in its genre.
The review based on a PS Vita copy of the game provided by the publisher.
About the Author:
Ryan Winslett is an Arizona-based journalist and freelance writer. He is a contributing writer for Gaming Blend and his work has also appeared on Joystiq, Gamasutra and Joystick Division. His only crime is loving too much.
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