Review: Fret Nice
Developer: Pieces Interactive
Release Date: February 02, 2010
Price: $14.99 / €14.99 / £9.99
Demo: Yes (194 MB)
Players: 1-2 (Local)
What I Liked:
Decent Graphics and Sound
The controls are at least responsive
What I Disliked:
The controls are frustrating, and the guitar controls only make them even worse.
The gameplay is boring and uninspired.
Level progression is locked behind unlocking a certain number of medals. This is never a good idea.
Fret Nice is a great game in video form. The Art Style looks good, the music is nice and upbeat, and seeing somebody breeze through the levels, picking off enemies with relative ease looked like an extraordinarily fun time. Playing Fret Nice, however, is an entirely different experience, with bad controls making an already uninspired game even more frustrating.
Taking the role of “The Vibrant Chordblasters”, you are tasked with ridding the land of the black… gunk brought about by a group of… things. I don’t really know how to properly explain the story, as it is told so nonchalantly in the opening cutscene that I honestly didn’t care by the end of the game, or even by the end of the opening cutscene. All I knew was that I needed to get through an indiscriminate number of levels, and defeat some kind of evil force with the power of song.
Fret Nice looks pretty, with a cardboard cut out aesthetic and peppy songs at least making the game easy on both the eyes and ears. Where the game really comes apart is the controls. While the core running and jumping feels responsive enough, it’s how you defeat enemies that truly serves as Fret Nice’s biggest misstep. In order to properly vanquish your foes, you have to play a number of frets at the same time, a number that should correspond with the number of facial features on an enemy. However, this is quickly made more and more exasperating by the fact that multiple foes tend to come towards you at once, and some have more than one of each feature. While the game would have you playing epic guitar solos in order to dispatch all of these foes, the reality is something closer to having a seizure on the shoulder buttons. Don’t even think about using Fret Nice’s most keenly hyped feature, the ability to play the game with a guitar controller, as this just makes the game even more frustrating to play. Whoever thought that tilting the controller to jump was a good idea needs to be thoroughly examined, as they may very well be inflicted with a severe case of the crazies.
Fret Nice just isn’t fun, with poor controls marring an already uninspired experience. While some stages break up the monotony with clever boss battles and segments with a jet pack, these aren’t enough to propel the game towards mediocrity. The game has some interesting ideas, but seems intent on sabotaging its own stage show with dodgy pyrotechnics.
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