While many free-to-play gamers find gratification in the depths of a enormously sized role-playing game or the furtive tactics of a first-person shooter, others associate the term “MMO” with an impenetrably complex pastime. Fortunately, for players more enamored by the breezy pastimes found on Pogo.com or PopCap‘s flash-based diversions, the amount of recreational options have mushroomed in recent years. One game that admirably bridges the chasm between those divergent audiences is R2Beat, which mixes familiar rhythm-based mechanics with the depth and options typical for most massively multiplayer titles.
Gamers who have ever played a round of Guitar Hero or Rock Band will instantly recognize R2Beat‘s inspiration. Using their keyboard’s four arrow keys, players tap out combinations in tempo with on-screen prompts. Yet instead of traveling down an abstract highway packed with music notes, gamers control a rollerblader- who dodges, jumps and crouches underneath obstacles while dashing to the finish line. Like any rhythm game, it may take players a few racers before they acclimate to R2Beat‘s pacing. However, after a few training runs, the title’s cadence become unmistakable, allowing gamers to fluidly weave around any succession of obstructions. Additionally, players use the control key to either initiate a boost, or fire any offensive measures found on each course.
As plastic instrument veterans will admit, replaying the same songs can grow tedious. Smartly, R2Beat includes a slew of modes- from heated team battles, baton-passing relays, or solo competitions, each variant allowing participants to select if items are distributed across the course. For players unable to decide which type of race they want to compete in, the game will even generate custom challenges to carry out. After each match, players are given RCoin based on their performance, which can be used to access new stages, pets, or even new clothing for their avatar. Within a few races, I was able to afford an eye-catching panda head cover and stylish pants. The title even starts players off with a hearty bankroll.
With adorable, cell-shaded avatars and a palette bursting with vibrant hues, R2Beat recalls the graphical charm of a first-party Wii title. Despite the client’s diminutive 371 MB size, the title visuals are consistently attractive, as participants dash across underwater, urban, and park-like environments. Special events are commonplace, with Halloween and Christmas stimulating themed events and festive costumes. Even with a capacity match of six on-line participants, the title displayed no noticeable lag- even at a low bandwidth-impaired wireless hotspot. Sonically, the title’s collection of K-pop is almost unswervingly catchy; the game has even spurred its own official soundtrack.
For players who crave a friendly, social competition, but are intimidated by both the complexity and intimidating community common to many massively multiplayer titles, R2Beat may prove to be a worthwhile destination. With a affable learning curve and uncomplicated control scheme, participants can become capable competitors within a few hours. Don’t be surprised to find that the thrill of victory is accompanied by the obsession to persevere in an effort to procure that adorable Nerocon pet.