No Straight Roads

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No Straight Roads – Preview

No Straight Roads” by Metronomik tells the story of the Indie band, Bunkbed Junction and their ambitious quest to get rock music back into the mainstream. The band is made up of Mayday and Zuke, two friends who reside in Vinyl city, which is currently run by the NSR, a company that converts music into energy and insists only Electronic Dance Music is acceptable.

Gameplay
This game, while gorgeous to look at, unfortunately had unreasonable performance issues. I cannot say for sure what was causing these issues, but multiple different hardware and software settings were tested, and every time, without fail, the cutscenes would desync.

Audio played seconds before the animations caught up, and scenes would tend to linger too long after the final sentences of the shot were spoken. I am unable to speak for others, but the computer used to run this game is fairly powerful, so it seems very strange that a majority of the 3D cutscenes broke, regardless of the quality settings.

This problem carried over into gameplay too. It runs perfectly fine when in a room or hallway, but the moment a stage light or attack effect is thrown in, the game starts to chug. This is a massive shame as the game is themed very fittingly around music and timing. Enemies attack in time to music beats, so this game is equal parts rhythm game, platformer and beat ‘em up. The initial starting attacks the characters start with are fairly basic, but you can equip stickers and mods to their weapons to increase their skills and abilities.

The problem with this however lies in that your character doesn’t feel like they are as in tune with the music as the enemies. You have to wait for a window to safely attack, but due to your swift motions, you end up wailing on them out of tune with the music. This is hardly a deal breaker though, just something that was a little distracting at first.

The bosses of this game are all larger than life, and the game really pushes the scale of their fights to the limit. The introduction to the heads of No Straight Roads is especially great at introducing the player to things to come.

ArtStyle
No Straight Roads uses a very appealing colourful artstyle. Everything is rather blocky and shapely, giving the characters a very strong presence and silhouette. Every character is distinct and uniquely designed, especially the bosses.

Sound
The music in this game is absolutely wonderful. It is almost a shame the main characters are fighting against EDM, as the game makes a big case for its popularity with its own soundtrack. Each boss represents a different subgenre of Electronic Dance and each has a memorable fun beat to battle them too.

While overall incredibly solid, there are a few gripes I have with the game, personally. The start of the game has the player enter an audition stadium, and to get there, the player must run down a hallway, then jump over obstacles. Simple. Then later on in the game when you first get taught how to battle enemies, a prompt is shown telling the player to press spacebar to jump. This sort of thing makes no sense the player has already proven they know how to jump, otherwise they wouldn’t have made it this far.

Overall, a sound enjoyable game, but hopefully a few glaring operational bugs will be patched out for a more fine tuned experience before final release.

The Good

  • Gorgeous appearance
  • Distinct and uniquely designed characters
  • Larger than life bosses
  • EDM explosion of sound

The Bad

  • Some performances issues
  • Redundant tutorial features in the actual tutorial
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Written by: Christopher Hubac

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