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.