A Musical Story Review (Switch eShop)
Why is there a lot of views on YouTube for “Guitar Hero Blindfolded” but not for “Guitar Hero Ear Plugs”?
This Music – You do not need see This. With Musical History, Glee-Cheese Studio bet on the idea that music is what you really listen to. Which Kind of music? With a rich brown color palette and a delightful funky prog-rock vibe. We have a love letter to the 1970s that practically prints the word “groovy” in reviews all by itself.
This is the story of a band that sets out on a journey to fulfill their dream at a festival. With love and strange adventures along the way. The game is structured into story sequences that need to be played through sequentially, flowing smoothly through animation and rhythmic sequences from start to finish. The visual presentation is stylish, focusing on a small area for the interactive sections and then luxuriously filling the screen for the rest. OLED screen owners will appreciate expansive blacks and vibrant colors.
The gameplay is characterized by the complexity of the rhythms and the desire to make you listen, not read.
The musical “score” is shaped like a horseshoe with notes running counterclockwise from top left to top right. The musical phrases are introduced as you watch the animation of the story and then repeated, with the notes appearing in the score as you listen to them. The phrase then loops again and you have to repeat it like a parrot, the track moving on if you’re successful, or looping until eventually, you’re successful.
Glee-Cheese Studio emphasized listening, using limited visuals and long, rhythmically subtle phrases. The score has no markers to measure and nothing to indicate tempo. This is just a brief memo to complement the intuitive musical understanding of what you have just heard. What you remember is perfectly rhythmic: there are only three “notes” – left, right, and both at once – and they are clearly shown in the score.
There is real musicality in this
Simon says instructions that suggest they were written first as music and then as level design. They are four-bar, syncopated, polyrhythmic, and often without a beat. This is a real challenge. Soon we wanted a more detailed score to take into account these subtleties, but the Musical History does not oblige. You cannot think your way: you have to feel it.
However, the visual interface can be disappointing.
The left/right/both notes are hard to distinguish, there are colored circles that overlap each other and disappear when skipped, so it’s hard to prepare for the next attempt. Since the count is a horseshoe rather than a ring, there is no visual continuity as the phrase is repeated, allowing the beginning to take you by surprise. If you repeat a phrase, then you are already fighting, so it seems unfair. There’s an assist mode that kicks in to alleviate some of those grumblings, but that’s a compromise. Ultimately, “practice makes perfect” is a weird bookish message you hear from a bunch of wagon-driving hippies.
On its mission to make you listen to your music, Musical History practically hands you a blindfold. The story begs you to relax in its cool jam session but is a bit harsh with its insistence on repeating long phrases until they’re perfect. However, it looks and sounds amazing and will reward persistence and repeated play.