HomeNewsHi-Fi Rush PlayStation 5 Review – Chai vs. the World

    Hi-Fi Rush PlayStation 5 Review – Chai vs. the World

    Developed By: Tango Gameworks

    Published By: Bethesda Softworks

    Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, PC, PS5

    Reviewed On: PlayStation 5

    Review Code Provided By: Xbox Game Studios

    Having previously played and reviewed Hi-Fi Rush on my old PC with older specs via Gamepass brings tears to my eyes to celebrate as the transition to PS5 feels more seamlessly dynamic, resembling the gameplay combat dynamics of Kingdom Hearts or Devil May Cry with music mechanics of Guitaroo Man/Space Channel 5/Parappa The Rapper/Elite Beat Agents music mechanics.


    Where beating up enemies to the beat of music amplifies the combo and damage to deliver this gem pack rhythm-based experience reminiscent of these music-based classics to the next level. While waiting for Stellar Blade, this title is worth giving a shot if you haven’t already especially on PlayStation 5 as it offers the same solid action gameplay experience with vibrant character designs, gratifying music, and personality. Here is my review experience playing Hi-Fi Rush on PlayStation 5.

    Animation, Level Designs, and Cinematic | Design Sings Loudly by Itself

    The cutscenes and cinematics have some odd transitions at the beginning turning from one cartoony art style to a 3D in-game cutscene. Hi-Fi Rush truly boasts that sense of Rogue Galaxy-esque cell-shaded comic book art style, blending cartoon vibes with science fiction elements under bold lines and vibrant colors, complete with environments pulsing in lively animations synchronized to the music.

    While my old PC didn’t quite capture the full buoyancy of these jumpy environments to the music, on PS5, I now experience smoother, more immersive bouncy movements of the environments to the music. And yes, music is everywhere in both combat and exploration.

    Having said that, the character designs and animations showcase a broad range of personalities, portrayed on the big screen, as it’s not easy to make enemies and allies relevantly interesting, funny, and whimsical. Making the world in itself interesting yet fun to play in and explore as their voice lines in both enemies and allies are also hilarious in both in-game cutscenes and cinematics which still makes me chuckle to this day.

    Furthermore, the level design as a result is bursting with life with pulsing gears and foliage as mentioned, synchronized with the music. With level designs ranging from bustling production lines to the CEO’s seat in a robotic factory, the journey has been nothing short of captivating with many different assortments of gear-based scientific level designs throughout so no two places are very much alike.

    Music and Gameplay | The Power Of Music, Nakama And Anime On My Side

    On the personal preference level, the overall gameplay is everything I wanted on PlayStation 5, beating up enemies that play like Kingdom Hearts to the beat of the music that goes hand in hand with listening to the beat of the music to time your dodge, parries, and combo your way into the enemies as Chai (main character) with a makeshift guitar on his hand.

    In the lulls between combat, players can jump and explore the environment going from linear point A to B but also sidetrack around to look for secrets and interact with the robot employees and QTEs (quick-time events) your way to unlock chests and power-ups. The change of pace injects a welcoming variety for the campaign; ensuring that it is not dulled out and ideal to scour through the nooks and crannies of the environments.

    Nevertheless, combat rewards players with gear currency, but performing QTEs, platforming, and puzzles into the scoring system should provide additional gear currency at the end results page. Particularly because chip purchases and upgrades remain very expensive. These chips enhance Chai’s abilities in stun timer, attack distance, and more, and yet their full potential isn’t utilized even after the end of the main campaign which is still a bummer.

    Speaking of power-ups, the good thing is now the collectibles have indications of how many are left to extend the said health or power reverb bar, accessible via the pause button. Although my gripe is, that the save points/quicksave or even the logo to show the autosave checkpoint is missing hence I am not sure where the game’s checkpoint is – exit at your own risk.

    Back to gameplay, beating up enemies with light (square) and heavy (triangle) buttons in sequence can pull off exhilarating powerful combos with a follow-up of a visual ring called the Beat Hit to be pressed at the right time to deliver that glorious finisher. Suffice it to say that this is the main meat of the game by hitting it to the beat.

    Although the game excels in many aspects, I still find myself needing a lock-on button or prompt, especially when facing speedy enemies like the bicycle robots and the formidable fridge mini-boss aka Smidge in the end game.

    During the heat of combat, I still often find myself struggling to remember the right sequence combo sequence, to dish out the best combos and I just realize I do need to have button prompts on the side to keep my combos on track – just wishful thinking.

    Besides that, although the PlayStation controller support does give a standard vibration during the action, it does not have the small scrutiny of heavy and light pulsating changes in sensations needed via haptic feedback throughout the whole experience. That may be a slight miss on what makes being added on PlayStation 5 special in the first place to make this musical experience even more truly special.

    In terms of voice acting, having played the campaign numerous times, it is safe to say that the character’s tonal approach of Chai and the entire cast, including allies and foes, remains fun, quirky, and still engaging and never loses their charm and touching listening to them multiple times. The game’s music pumps its high-energy beats with strings of guitars and drums that are part of the gameplay and environment.

    Having also tested the steamer mode (accessible via options) provides a safer soundtrack for streaming, and retains similar vibes to the music even though with lesser catchy tunes and vocals. But to me, this streamer mode alternative soundtrack adds a layer of more replayability, allowing players to experience different sets of tunes from the same artists across various stages.

    Endgame | Fast and Furious

    There are two end games in the form of an accessible arcade placed on the hub after you finish the main campaign with two modes of “Power up! Tower Up!” or BPM Rush, which I didn’t play much of because it requires prowess and timing to the beat more with two distinct modes that push even seasoned players to their limits. Enemies will hit hard and with some new harder attacks not seen in the main campaign – mind you I am playing on an easy difficulty. With each stage introduces new power up/abilities and faster songs, but with heightened difficulty. Mastering parrying and executing strong combos without effort is essential in the end game as each mistake can land you a few hits to game over.

    There are rewards of new special attacks, costumes, photo mode filters, and more, making the playthrough worthwhile. However, I couldn’t help but yearn for more platforming sessions with challenges and narrative depth to incentivize and further enrich the game’s world.

    Story | Chai vs. the World

    Now I understand why I do love the story so much after many playthroughs, besides the witty Spiderman voice and comebacks of Chai – the storytelling is basically Scott Pilgrim versus the conglomerate corporate bosses and their robots instead. Each with their a funny and quirky personality that is easily agitated further by Chai’s comments – making it even more entertaining. Throughout, the game retains the same delivery of humor that hits home with amusing NPC banter and witty email office exchanges.

    Even more so as the main story unfolds, transitioning from a goofy shaky beginning to a heartwarming camaraderie between Chai and his newfound friends.

    What I Liked About Hi-Fi Rush

    Animation and Level Design – Cell-shaded comic goodness with good character and environment designs where almost everything moves to the beat.

    Music and voice acting – Still, the benchmark of what makes this gem even shinier, be it consistently upbeat and catchy. Making me care about the characters more and my body jumps to the beat too.

    Gameplay – Accessible and forgiving combat music rhythm. Platforming with multiple minigames, alongside exciting boss combat. Multiple types of enemies and ways to fight them as well. Assists from teammates are robust, with multiple benefits from added combo, counterattacks, and stun enemies and bosses alike.

    Storytelling – Think “Scott Pilgrim” meets corporate chaos and robots. With the witty humor shining through entertaining NPC dialogues /witty office emails as well as the game’s storyline as it unfolds with Chai and his team.

    Endgame – Two fast-paced electrifying endgame modes, “Power up! Tower Up!” and BPM Rush, post-main campaign completion in a form of an arcade. While challenging, they introduce new attacks and formidable foes, rewarding players with rewards.

    Streamer mode (accessible via options) – A safer soundtrack tailored for streaming, retains the essence and vibes while dialing down the catchiness and vocals. Yet, I find this alternative soundtrack enhances replayability.
    Lastly on PlayStation 5, I do notice that they removed the option to place multiple special attack chips as it may confuse players in utilizing which special attacks to use during combat, especially when they have added two or more into their arsenal. This is a welcoming point that they change to not disrupt the flow of combat for players.

    What I Wished Was Better

    Haptic Feedback – is missing on the PlayStation Support. Just standard vibration is applied in this game.

    No save points/ save anywhere option/checkpoints log – Still the same issue , I did notice some new checkpoints in between but only a handful. This still force me to restart at some point but not too far off from the last destination.

    Lock-On is still needed – The lock-on feature is a necessary addition to the game, as it assists players in focusing on a specific target that needs to be addressed first, especially the fast-running ones.

    Upgrading and slotting chips are still very expensive – The full potential of upgrading chips remains underutilized post-main campaign, which is sad. To me, these chips are still very expensive and look to be geared towards the endgame content or needs repeated plays on campaigns to garner the currency.

    Endgame – A small drawback regarding the arcade difficulty, especially for players playing on easy-campaign mode – to tone down the challenge to make it more accessible.

    Verdict – Still Gives Me A Rush

    Playing this on PlayStation 5 gives me immense joy, especially since I was uncertain about the game’s availability past release on Game Pass/Xbox. This fulfills my dream of an action-packed beat ’em up infused with music akin to Guitaroo Man. Beyond the fun beat ’em up gameplay, the storytelling, and world-building resonate with me, offering me a humorous take on rebelling against the corporate departments and their robots. Even more so with added QTE’s minigames, vibrant design, memorable characters, and outstanding soundtrack, Hi-Fi Rush sets a high benchmark for other games to follow.

    Although, I know I’ve said it before I will say it again, Hi-Fi Rush still sets a high benchmark for other action games to follow.

    Besides Helldiver, Hi-Fi Rush remains one of the most entertaining, and enjoyable experiences I’ve had to date, and would recommend trying it out. Setting a benchmark of a rare gem for other future action game releases. Immersing me with an expert blend of music with the environment and combat as well as its vibrant world and engaging funny written characters.

    Like the game’s story, in an industry where corporate decisions turn some triple-A games delivery into somewhat underwhelming or incomplete products. Hi-Fi Rush still stands tall, even more shinier on my PlayStation 5; proving that gaming products should first prioritize being fun, complete, and satisfying before profiteering, not after. Here’s to another fantastic release in a fantastic year.

    Score: 9/10

    He is actually very shy, introvert but no choice, have to go out to buy games. He likes food and food likes him. He somehow manage to find a job with the right time accommodate to gaming. He has a very short attention span, therefore has to finish a game fast or else a simple pun can distract him for the entire day. Yes a Pun, he loves puns as much as he loves games; easily distracted, whichever comes next.

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