Stop What You’re Doing and Play Hi-Fi Rush

Tango Gameworks’ new groove doesn’t miss a beat.

Today during the Xbox Developer_Direct, Tango Gameworks revealed not only their new game Hi-Fi Rush but that the rhythm action excursion would be available on Game Pass as well as Xbox and PC storefronts shortly after the conclusion of the event. Knowing how much I enjoy rhythm games, especially when there’s an interesting marriage between gameplay and rhythm components I spent the next few hours patiently waiting for my chance to get my hands on this showcase surprise. Although, after downloading the game to my Xbox via my phone as soon as it was added to Game Pass I quickly realized I was truly not ready for what was awaiting me on my Series X.

Hi-Fi Rush wasted no time setting the tone and subsequently shattering my face to leave an almost permanent smile shining through my beard. On the surface, Hi-Fi Rush checks boxes that would immediately intrigue me but it chooses to press so hard down on that pen that it goes through the paper and onto the desk. Possessing rhythm gameplay that immediately clicked, Hi-Fi Rush continues to offer up more serotonin when you start unlocking combos and upgrades. Taking place in a world so vibrant and alive that even just taking a moment to stand still as Chai snaps his fingers along to the beat, it didn’t take long to witness this world was bursting at the seams with charm.

Built upon the backbone of music, seemingly everything in Hi-Fi Rush is there to engage in the rhythm. Whether it’s an enemy attacking on beat, or the air pressure shooting out of some factory machine, each part of the world is both directly and indirectly reminding you and challenging you to dance across platforming segments and tether your blade to the tempo in battle. Except, I don’t feel any built up anxiety to move to the beat or force myself to constantly considering my choices in regards to the music. Instead I feel myself existing in the cotton candy coated comic world I was dropped into. Not only feeling the music, but seeing it. The best rhythm games can do that to you, and Hi-Fi Rush could end up being on that list.

Screenshot | Tango Gameworks / Pass The Controller

All else aside, Hi-Fi Rush‘s charm flows not only through the world and music but the writing and characters. The comedic cadence of the dialogue bursts through the narrative, pulling me pleasantly through the cutscenes. Easily enamored anytime a new character wiggles their way onto the screen. Whether it’s Chai interacting with Smidge or the first time you meet Peppermint, each encounter not only continued to build this world around the beat but kept me falling in love with Hi-Fi Rush over and over again.

I am still only about two hours into Hi-Fi Rush, but if it continues this pace it’ll easily make any list of favorite games coming out in 2023, and be something that resonates with me much longer than that. I somehow managed to peel eyeballs off of Hi-Fi Rush because I felt so strongly about sharing my early thoughts on what I feel is the first must play video game of the year. Now excuse me while hop back on track. I suggest you do the same.

For all things Hi-Fi Rush and rhythm game related, be sure to keep it locked to Pass The Controller. For a deeper dive on all things gaming and nerd culture, listen to the Pass The Controller Podcast with new episodes weekly on your favorite podcast platform. Want to continue the conversation with us and our community? Join our official Discord server.

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