Hi-Fi Rush Review: “A Huge Surprise”

by Ana Lopez

Hi-Fi Rush Review: "A huge surprise"

Images via Tango Gameworks

There is a sequence quite late in Hi-Fi hurry which uses a licensed track to stunning effect. It’s hard to imagine a developer could come up with such an idea, let alone make it work in reality. It’s a testament to how incredibly fun the experience is, and it’s all the more surprising that it comes from the developer behind it The evil within series.

Xbox surprised the world when it fell into the shadows Hi-Fi hurry late last month, with players around the world jumping in and hugging each other the game. Word of mouth has spread like wildfire, leading to one of the most successful Xbox Game Pass launches to date.

That said, that kind of hype can lead to disappointment, leaving you wondering if you missed something everyone saw. Can Hi-Fi hurry really be that good? The answer is yes, and it’s one of the best Xbox first-party releases since the Xbox 360 era.

I have a good feeling

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Immediately, the onslaught of vibrant colors, cel-shaded graphics, and comic book-esque aesthetic bombards you from the opening moments. In any other game this could be abrasive, but developer Tango Gameworks has so much personality embedded it’s hard not to get swept up in it.

You play as Chai, who is labeled defective after applying for robot enhancements. What unfolds is a story where you fight against the system that disowned you and overthrow the six overlords who decide everything. What they say goes.

You are not alone on this adventure. During your time in Hi-Fi hurry, new characters and even a cute robot cat will join you on your journey. Each has its own unique personality and not only works to aid Chai in his quest, but also helps him grow as a person from his immature roots.

The story is pretty crazy and offers few surprises. However, it’s the personality that shines through, alongside the genuinely funny humour. You won’t walk away after experiencing a transcendent experience from the story, but it’s enough to make you move from set piece to set piece.

Don’t blame the Boogie

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The real star of the show Hi-Fi hurry is his rhythm-based combat. You’ll defeat a series of robot enemies with each encounter, and while it’s fine to cut knots, using combos over time with the exciting rock tracks will increase your damage.

Hi-Fi hurry does a fantastic job of being easy to learn, but incredibly hard to master. Sometimes this can be to the game’s detriment as the sheer amount of things happening on screen and the amount of sound being pumped out to the player is hugely overwhelming.

There are accessibility options to help in situations like this, but it can be quite easy to get overwhelmed by the combat, especially in later battles. However, once it clicks into place, few games can replicate the feeling.

As you progress, you can buy new attacks and upgrades for Chai, while naturally discovering new gameplay mechanics. For example, the friends you meet along the way can be enlisted to aid in combat by laying gunfire on an enemy to destroy their shields or even overcome environmental puzzles such as dispelling fire blocking your path.

Jump for my love

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Even the non-combat moments are incredibly fun, reminiscent of classic platformers from the PS2 era. You spend your time smashing boxes, collecting scrap metal and platforming your way through various obstacles.

What makes this so much fun is how each level works in sync with the music. Platforms appear in time with the beat and grapple lines let you slide along the guitar riff. It all comes together in an orchestral way that continues to surprise throughout the 10-12 hour story.

After the credits roll, there’s a lot more to do. You can replay levels to discover new side paths with skills you’ve unlocked, tackle challenge rooms, or even test your strength in the never-ending Rhythm Tower.

For a game that fell into the shadows without any warning, it’s amazing how much content is on display. It’s all incredibly polished too, with little to no bugs, glitches, or performance issues. At a time when games are consistently popular and plagued with problems, it’s worth applauding Tango Gameworks for the work they’ve done on Hi-Fi hurry.

You’re simply the best

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Overall, Hi-Fi hurry is a huge surprise. It comes out of nowhere and has already made a name for itself and created a new mascot for Xbox in the form of Chai. Everything comes together beautifully, with the combat, platforming, music and visuals complementing each other perfectly.

It can be a bit overwhelming at times, but if you put the time and energy into learning the systems, Hi-Fi hurry will be an incredibly rewarding experience. Of Star field, redfalland Forza Motorsport they are all set to come out this year, they will have to be pretty extraordinary to dethrone Hi-Fi hurry as the best Xbox first-party release of 2023.


Reviewed on Xbox Series X.

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