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Gitaroo Man Lives! PSP

Published by Koei
Developed by Koei
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £29.99

Gitaroo Man Lives!, an introduction.

As you all know not every game is ideal for deaf gamers. If they were there would be no point to this website. But with that said it is unusual that a game is either pointless or a complete waste of time. When such a game does arrive for review, it’s difficult to know how to treat it. Gitaroo Man Lives! is one such title but whilst it’s an excellent game it’s not a game that deaf gamers are probably going to purchase.

What’s the game about?

The story in Gitaroo Man Lives! is about a young boy by the name of U-1. U-1 is picked on at school and goes unnoticed by the girl of his dreams, Pico. What U-1 doesn’t realise though, until his dog Puma informs him that is, is that he has a special power and is the last of the Gitaroo Men. It’s his destiny to save the planet of Gitaroo and protect it from the evil Gravillian family. U-1 will have to win a series of battles, carried out with the guitar, if he is to protect the planet of Gitaroo.

What’s good about the game?

Like Loco Roco, Gitaroo Man Lives! is quite unlike any other game you’ve played on the PSP to date. In fact it’s one of the best games we’ve played on the PSP. The game features Single Play and Multi Play modes. In the Single Play mode you’ll take U-1 through a series of battles against some very zany enemies. Battles consist of three phases. There’s the charge phase where you have to attempt to fill your power meter. Essentially you’ll have to follow the line, which passes through a blue circle in the centre of the screen, with the analogue stick and press and hold the circle button to play the right notes and fill your meter. After the charge phase comes the battle phase and here you’ll have to attack (using the same method you used in the charge phase) and defend your opponents attacks by pressing the square, circle, X and triangle button as their icons pass through the centre of the screen. Once you’ve got your opponents meter low enough, you’ll enter the final phase where you’ll attack to finish off the battle. The defending part of the battles is actually quite difficult on the default normal difficulty level but you can drop the difficulty to easy if you want to.  The Multi Play modes include a VS and Duel game type.

What’s bad about the game?

Gitaroo Man Lives! Is aimed at hearing gamers, of that there is no doubt. The battles are the heart and soul of the game and without the ability to hear the music and the guitar that you’re battling with, it becomes a button pressing exercise that just isn’t that good. Is that a fault with the game? No not really but it’s a major consideration for any deaf gamers who may consider trying the game. Aside from slightly long loading times and the lack of subtitles there aren’t any real complaints with the game.

How does it look?

The game has its own crazy and unique appearance that perfectly suits the mood of the game. The characters in the game, ranging from the bobble headed humans to the wacky UFO’s, are both bizarre and humorous. During the battles you’ll see all kinds of crazy happenings but it’s not likely you’ll have time to appreciate it all as you’ll be focused on concentrating on what buttons you need to press.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

There are times when it’s frustrating that a game isn’t deaf gamer friendly and there are times when it’s heartbreaking. Gitaroo Man Lives! Is definitely one of the latter cases. The game is excellent but we have to be completely honest here and say that the game just isn’t deaf gamer friendly. Music is a key part of the game and it’s all pretty much pointless for deaf gamers. To make matters worse the cutscenes that deliver the game’s story aren’t subtitled meaning you can’t even derive any satisfaction from the rather zany story. Strangely enough though, the tutorial messages are shown in text and there is some dialogue that isn’t voiced and this is shown in text too, although this is scant consolation.

Final thoughts.

As we mentioned earlier this is one of the best games we’ve seen on the PSP and it’s a massive shame that the game just isn’t for deaf gamers. Still there’s not much that can be done about it as the game is music based and this would have been a difficult game to have made deaf gamer friendly. Essentially then it’s a great game but it’s just not one for deaf gamers.

Overall Game Rating: 8.6/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:

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Gitaroo Man Lives! is quite simply a great game that's just not for deaf gamers, which is a shame.