The music starts slowly as the hawk moves forward. It starts to get quicker and quicker. I hit as many beats as I can but suddenly there are pillars across the track. I swerve in between them but one comes up and I dash towards it.
Music Racer is similar to games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band where you have to click the right lane to get the beats. I liked that you had obstacles to avoid but I would have liked a more dramatic reaction when you hit them. At the moment it is more a slight distortion of the track but I would have liked it to have gone nearly silent.
The music goes from slow to fast and the difficulty changes when it does. During one of the songs the speed of the song slows down and speeds up at least three times. It made it more difficult to hit the beats with my slower reaction time and having to change to the music. I thought this was a bit hit or miss with me. I liked the idea of it and it made it fun trying to get as many beats as I could. However, I would just get used to the slow pace then it would change.
There are 25 vehicles available that can be customised cosmetically. Most vehicles can be changed by their body and rim colour. The range of vehicles means that there is likely something for everyone. I found the hawk which I thought was the most fluid when changing lanes. I really liked the amount of vehicles that were available because it meant that I got to play and test different ones. Especially when I got bored of using the same one over and over. It felt like the vehicles controlled quite well.
There are 14 maps to play through each with their own unique design. One of the maps, newTokyo, has shinto gates along the racetrack which was a nice subtle design piece that didn’t distract from collecting the beats. The only issue I had with the maps was the obstacles on the racetrack were the same. I would have liked to seen a smaller shinto gate on newTokyo. I thought that it was going to be more like guitar hero where the racetrack was a solid line but it raises and dips. The dips are fine because you can still clearly see the beats but when it comes to the track raising its much harder and I missed a lot of beats because of this.
The game has different difficulties ranging from Zen, easy mode with no obstacles, to Hard, a brutal but really enjoyable mode. I found playing Zen was a really good introduction to learn the beats of the songs and then build up to Hard mode. I really liked that not only did the higher difficulties feel harder in general but they also added more beats so you really had to push yourself to get them. I would have liked to see extra lanes but I think that the three there were tough.
Even though I enjoyed the game overall I felt like it fell a bit short. I liked the music but I was disappointed that it wasn’t more popular or diverse. I liked the range of vehicles but would have liked them to be more customisable. I also really liked the amount of maps but there wasn’t enough on the track to make them different.