Deemo: The Last Recital tells us the story of Alice a young human girl and Deemo a weird stickman/slenderman looking fellow who seems to be wearing a tuxedo. Alice is a little girl who just suddenly drops through Deemo’s glass ceiling while he’s playing the piano and they discover when he plays the piano the magical tree on top of said piano grows. With that it is now up to Deemo to continuously play the piano to try and make the tree reach high enough for Alice to climb out.
The tree also ties into the way songs are unlocked in the game with the higher the tree gets the more songs are available; although songs can also be found by clicking on certain objects in the background of different rooms. With the any rhythm game you can complete songs on multiple difficulties with more score for the higher difficulties and with that it increases the points you can collected for the growth of the tree. Even though Deemo is a pianist the game doesn’t confine its track list to just piano recitals but also includes multiple genres ranging from classical to jpop.
When it comes to the gameplay it’s exactly what you’d expect from a rhythm game which is having to time the descending “notes” with the clicks of your finger if you hit a note perfectly you are greeted with a “charming” notification letting you know how awesome you are. The game sets itself apparent from the others in the genre by having multiple columns of notes with many patterns to keep the player on their toes and with that there’s also a downside which is the notes are all one colour; black and that makes for a problem when things really pick up since everything kind of blurs together. With the way it’s structured it makes for another issue with clicking the notes as the Vita screen is quite wide and can be an issue when there’s notes on opposite sides of the screen. Another complaint is the game looks really beautiful throughout except during songs where it’s just a bare screen almost.
As previously stated the game features some really beautiful art that really compliments the game’s music and theme. Again as stated above the animations during the actual songs aren’t on par with the rest of the game and detract from the games charm as a whole. Musically the game is fantastic featuring songs from all genres and with that everyone should be able to find a few songs they really connect with but if you’re like me and enjoy different kinds of music this game will be very kind to you. The game also has a DLC bundle of 12 songs for the price of $34.99 which to me is ridicules and left me thinking it was a little shady.
Overall Deemo: The Last Recital does what it sets out to do and that is to give the player a well-rounded rhythm game. The game has a very loose story but with most games of this genre it doesn’t really matter, it’s the gameplay that matters. Unfortunately, the actual gameplay is quite bland when compared to others like Persona 4: Dancing All Night or Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X and is quite disappointing after seeing the game’s beautiful art.
Luckily the game’s music really shines and makes for an enjoyable experience that balances out the games dull animations, but seeing the DLC bundle really made me feel like I may be missing out on something important and with such a high price I will have to pass. In the end if you’re looking for a rhythm game to get into the genre I would recommend you go elsewhere but if you’re a veteran Deemo: The Last Recital is something you should try.