The most fun console game I've played this year

And that's not a lie! Throughout the year I had only played 1 game on a console, Girls Und Panzer: Dream Tank Match on the PS4, until I found out about K-ON! Ho-kago Live!! and imported it immediately. Can you believe it? Never released in the UK... what a joke!

So what is K-ON! Ho-kago Live!!?

On paper, it's a game I should hate. It's a simple rhythm game, with a limited song list, with no real scale of difficulty and not much else to it. But you know what? I bloody well love it!

The last rhythm game I played was a Tap-Tap game, when they were all the rage, on iOS. And before that it would have been a Guitar Hero game when visiting my partner at the time. Whilst it was fun playing with them, I could never really enjoy the gameplay mechanics of Guitar Hero, or similar games, even when using the cool guitar controllers.

But Ho-Kago Live seems to have changed my mind on the genre. From the cute backgrounds on the levels, to the beat-maps, the game is very reminiscent of the K-ON anime. And seeing as I thoroughly enjoyed the anime, that definitely helped me get into the game.

K-ON! Ho-kago Live!! was also the first game I'd imported which didn't have any form of English translation, so to begin with I did struggle slightly as my Japanese isn't great, and trying to navigate the menus was sometimes a little awkward, but this didn't detract from the game at all... actually, if it wasn't for this, I probably would have ignored the character customisation, as I accidentally clicked it after saving the game once.
Along with the the minor issue with translations, I did have a hard time getting used to the Japanese standard for controls (at least, I assume is standard). I don't get why, but in all of the Japanese games I own, circle is the accept button and cross is back, compared to what is standard, at least in the UK, with cross being accept and circle being back. This control scheme did cause a few issues to begin with, but you get used to it quickly.



Hours Played:

Posted on:

14/Sep/2018 at 19:51

Now to talk about the all important scores

Story has been given a 1 simply because I skipped over a majority of the dialogue in the beginning due to the language barrier, and the only dialogue I see now is when I finally get a perfect on a song... Seriously, screw you Gīta ni Kubittake... the most painful song, still yet to get an A, let alone an S/star on it >_<... So there may have been some story to the game, but I can't really comment on it.

You can easily lose a few hours to this if you're a perfectionist

"Damnit! I how did I miss that!?" - Jordan, 2018. I don't have the best reaction times in the world, so when I miss a note, I know why... but I still know I can do better. So sometimes I end up re-doing the same song 3 or 4 times, just to get a perfect section, even if the rest of the song goes terribly. As such, by the time you have finished a couple of songs, you can easily have lost a few hours. 

Saying that though, the immersion score is low because whilst the characters all have their own unique control scheme, e.g. Mio uses the D-pad primarily, whilst Mugi uses it very little but instead uses the triangle most out of all characters. The controls aren't always that great, I always hate playing Mio as I think the D-pad controls aren't very good (may just be my controller) whilst I prefer not to play Ritsu because it sometimes feels like a button-mash fest.

But other than my personal gripes with the control scheme, it is a very easy game to get immersed in, and the character customisation allows you to make the band your own.

The two art styles complement each other very well

In the game there are two art styles, the in-play art and the in-menu art. Whilst the in-play art looks amazing, and looks very much like the anime has come to life in a more 3D style, the in-menu art seems to fit the expectations of the anime - cutesty, and chibi... not serious at all.

Along with this, the use of stills from the anime, being played in the background of songs sometimes is distracting, but it plays very well into the song, and just adds to the beauty of the game.

In-Game Art In-Menu Art

Music straight from the anime

But only season 1's songs! I really love the K-ON soundtrack, both the background music and the music the band sing. So the sound score was always going to be high... but the song list for K-ON! Ho-kago Live!! is only the band's songs, and only from season 1 of the anime. As such, I can't give it the 10 I'd like to, because a few of my favourite songs are from season 2. Also, it would have been nice to have some of the background music, just as a bonus, at least the more common ones, such as Pinch Daisuki.

But other than that, the music is spot on, and cannot be faulted in any way.

That wraps up another game review! When I loaded up the site to write a review, I was actually going to do a review on Rocket League... but then I thought it would be fun to do a non-PC game, especially as this was a more positive review than Rocket League would have been. Maybe next time? I would like to do game reviews more often, but I seem to be playing less these days, as I am finding myself watching more anime, or spending more time coding, then when I do play, I go back to Hearts of Iron IV as it's just an easy way to waste a day. 

But as and when I come to a point playing a game I feel I have enough time to give it a review, I shall do so. I was going to do one on the Battlefield V Beta, but I decided against it due to how little time I played it, and how little fun I had. Maybe a few weeks after the game comes out, I'll do one - if I get it.