God of Rock from Modus Games mixes a fighting game with a rhythm game for some interesting results. Learn more in our God of Rock review!
God of Rock from Modus Games mixes a fighting game with a rhythm game for some interesting results. The titular God of Rock has revived the souls of the universe’s greatest musicians, and they’re now fighting in a tournament for his entertainment. When you first start to play, the game might make you feel like it’s asking you to tap your head and rub your belly at the same time. There’s a learning curve with this one, but things will definitely click once you give it a chance.
You have a dozen fighters to choose from, so there’s definitely going to be at least one character that will catch your eye. You have King, a musician who defined a generation with his bluegrass and his signature hip swing. Abbess Hilde has been eating terrible abbey food for a while now, so she dives into writing hymns, hoping for a miracle. There’s also free spirit Lynn, who lives her life in full, doing whatever it is that she wants. If she feels like singing, she sings. If she feels like dropping her job and backpacking, she’s going to do just that!
God of Rock can be played either locally, or you can take the fight to the world thanks to its online multiplayer. The game offers a Story Mode, which is the main option, and it allows you to follow your favorite character as you help it get to the top. There’s also the Training Mode, where you can practice all of the basics. There’s local and ranked online multiplayer so that you can test your skills against others at home or around the world. The last option is a Track Editor, where you can add or remove notes from tracks to give them your own spin.
Since it’s a mix of genres that does take a moment for it to click, the game will kindly ask if you want to first take on the tutorial, which you should definitely play through! Once you start, you’ll notice a note highway right below your character. You’ll have to press the corresponding button on time with the beat to hit your opponent. That means that, from top to bottom, you’ll have to press the Triangle, Square, Circle, or X buttons as needed. You can also use the D-Pad for catching notes on the highway.
God of Rock will compare your performance to that of your opponent and will dish out damage accordingly, depending on who’s rocking the hardest. Being precise in your button pressing will make a big difference, allowing you to hit harder and avoid incoming attacks. A match will continue until a victor emerges. Each song will have its own sequence for you to perfect and said sequence will get harder and harder the longer it goes for. This is why you should make the most of your special attacks. After all, what would a fighting game be without special moves? Every rockstar will have unique attacks that you will activate by way of inputs with the left analog, followed by the R2 button.
You have up to three levels for your special attacks, and their respective bars will fill up based on your performance during each song. When you pull off a special attack, extra notes will be sent to your opponent’s track, which will hurt them if they don’t manage to hit them on time. During the tutorial, you’ll be playing as Hilde. Her first special attack is the mandatory – but simplified – down, forward motion you know and love from Street Fighter’s Ryu (and Ken!) and his Hadouken. The second special attack requires you to press forward, down, and back, followed by the R2 button. The third one is a bit trickier, requiring you to press back, down, forward, and then back, followed by the R2 button.
With this being a fighting game with rhythm game gameplay mechanics, you’ll also have to consider activating EX moves! Those are mapped to the L1 and R1 buttons, but before you can use them, you will need to fill up the EX Meter. This is done by hitting the right notes at the right time. The EX Meter is located at the bottom of the screen below your note highway, and it will start to blink yellow when at least one bar is full.
On top of that, there are also Ultras to consider! An Ultra will be a rocker’s most powerful ability, which can certainly turn the tide of battle in an instant. Given their massive power, they can’t be activated until all three bars on the EX Meter are completely full. Once that’s been taken care of, input the command for the Ultra – in this case, Hilde’s Ultra requires you to move the left analog stick up, right, down, left, and then up, followed by the R2 button – to see how it takes a chunk out of your opponent’s HP.
Some characters will behave differently. Take, for example, Rosetta, who doesn’t have any cooldowns for her special attacks. Instead, they’re fueled by her EX Meter. The twist? Her EX Meter won’t fill up by hitting the right notes. Then how do you fill it up? By using her EX move! While performing a special attack will drain your EX Meter, the catch is that the EX Meter will directly influence the effects of your special move.
The last gameplay element you need to keep in mind is Reversals. If you’re quick enough, not only will you be able to block incoming special attacks, but you’ll also be able to counter them! That means you’ll have to counter with a special attack that is more powerful than the one your opponent just performed. Each special move has a unique color assigned to it, and each time someone uses a special move, the circle at the center of the screen flashes in that particular color. If your opponent uses a level one special (green), then you must perform a level two special (red) or higher.
Along with that, you must also know that Ultras and EX moves are also part of the reversal system. An Ultra will beat an EX move, and an EX move will beat a level three special move. That means that you’ll have to juggle hitting the notes on the note highway on time, filling up your EX Meter so that you can unleash EX moves and Ultras, making the most of your level one, two, and three special attacks, all while keeping an eye on your opponent so that you can activate reversals as needed – and if possible! As I said before, the game sometimes feels like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time.
And then, we have the trophies. God of Rock has a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy, split into 12 Bronze trophies, 12 Silver trophies, and 5 Gold trophies. There’s plenty to do in this one. And yes, since it’s technically a fighting game, that means there are tons of online fights on your path toward that Platinum! There’s a trophy for completing all tutorial segments (and no, the two tutorial segments you can play when the game prompts you don’t count and need to be replayed from the tutorial menu), one for winning more than 100 online matches, another one for reaching a 200 combo streak, one for taking on more than 50 quickplay matches, a trophy for landing a total of 1,000 perfect or flawless notes, one for playing through every song at least once, and one for activating a reversal on an opponent’s reversal. As I said, there’s plenty to do in this one, so it won’t be a short trophy run!
God of Rock is an interesting experience that mixes elements from rhythm games and fighting games for something that feels pretty out there. As mentioned before, the game will make you feel like you’re trying to tap your head while rubbing your belly, but all it takes is some practice for things to click. You’ll then be landing flawless notes as you collect notes, hold for longer notes, land double notes, and complete trickier segments, all while unleashing special attacks, an EX move or two, and an Ultra thrown in for good measure. God of Rock is out on PlayStation 5 with a $29.99 asking price.
This God of Rock review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Modus Games.