Developed By: Nippon Ichi Software Published By: Nippon Ichi Software America Categories: Platformer, Rhythm Release Date: 10.30.20
Is it a platformer? A rhythm game? It’s kind of both. Mad Rat Dead has you in control of a Mad Rat…who’s Dead. He’s hellbent on taking revenge of the humans who experimented on him and with the help of Rat God granting his wish and his speaking heart, he’ll stop at nothing, even if everyone thinks he’s crazy.
It’s heavily music based, but not quite the rhythm game you’d expect. You don’t follow notes, and you can’t really fail a song. The goal is to move every which way at the beat. It stays mostly the same for each song, but your obstacles and in turn, what moves you need to do are all different to accommodate. The change is stage layout and soon boss fights or chases can make staying on beat maybe a tad awkward if you don’t buffer everything. Jumps, double jumps, dashes, hard drops, and even a homing attack ala-3D Sonic. Outside of score and maybe some pride, there’s no real penalty to missing a beat. If you get hit by an enemy or fall into a pit killing you, you can just rewind time and start over. Hitting the beats consistently and getting a long chain is incredibly satisfying, so it’s not like you should just slog through. If you are trying for a full chain however, I would not recommend doing so in the story mode as each song has quite the long intro cutscene, which cannot be skipped, just sped up.
The game has a nice handful of songs, all of which are catchy little tunes of a good few genres and artists, all feeling good to platform to. This is to say, it’s perfect for the gameplay. If that’s not good enough though, songs in free play can be modified for speed and difficulty too.
I really like the game’s “punk” artstyle. The titular Mad Rat is crude and the game’s artstyle fits in well with it, while still being a bit cute where it needs to be. The Rat God is angelic and cute, the random lab rats are dopey, Mad Rat looks determined, and the enemies all look gross. It should be said though, the game is a tad graphic and in the introduction in particular, a rat is sliced open and his guts pour out. It’s all cartoony and kinda silly, but I’m sure it’ll bother a handful of players.
It’s not quite what I expected from a rhythm game, but all wrapped together, I enjoyed every bit of Mad Rat Dead, especially the somewhat rare now adays jerkass protagonist.
Buy Now: $39.99
*Game Download Code supplied for review purposes