No Straight Roads PlayStation 4 Pro Review

No Straight Roads overflows with visual and audio excellence that makes you crave more but unfortunately, the journey ends too soon

By Grayshadow, Posted 25 Aug 2020

No Straight Roads is a powerful journey through one of the most imaginative and creative worlds this year. With masterfully crafted bosses housed in lush environments teeming with detail and a world brimming with life. Mayday and Zuke are brilliant as a dynamic duo that share a deep connection that is conveyed so well you'll feel like you've known them for years. No Straight Roads overflows with visual and audio excellence that makes you crave more but unfortunately, the journey ends too soon.

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No Straight Roads stars Mayday and Zuke, talented musicians in a band called Bunk Bed Junction looking to become the next big band of Vinyl City. After an amazing performance, the leaders of Vinyl City called the NSR decides that their performance not only didn't live up to their standards but outlawed rock music altogether. In this world music is not just for entertainment, it's a power source, and depending on the type of music will yield more power. Mayday and Zuke see that not only did their performance provide enough power to fill up a Qwasa, this world's generator, but the NSR is only providing the elite with power after a blackout. Something that's common in this city. This convinces Mayday and Zuke to take action and start removing those in authority to restore musical freedom and return power to the people of Vinyl City. Both literally and figuratively.

Right away you gain a full understanding of Zuke and Mayday's personality and relationship. They're extremely close friends who trust each other completely, with Zuke serving as the calm level headed voice and Mayday carrying fire needed to take action. The 2 have an excellent dynamic as both Zuke's calming nature and Mayday's determined efforts play off each other well. Despite this being a beautifully colorful adventure the title takes sharp turns in sensitive issues such as being a parent, changing ideas, and friendship. Thanks to incredible animation, voice-acting, and complementary music all of these scenes are outstanding.

The animations are particularly astonishing. Each character model is wonderfully designed with such amazing detail and unique characteristics such as Mayday's flower-like eyes. You can tell what each character is feeling just by looking at their face and the voice actors did an exceptional job bringing life to these characters. Yes, the main cast is much more elaborate but all the supporting characters are given unique elements to help them stand out.

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Each section of Vinyl City is locked behind a boss fight that owns the sector. These fights are layered challenges with multiple phases, each with a musical theme and atmosphere. The first is DJ Subatomic Supernova, a DJ who uses planets, stars, and gravity to fight Mayday and Zuke. Each fight that follows has a specific theme and attacks based on them. The battles leading up to these epic encounters are basic combat challenges and platforming trials but the incredible visual design and musical score overshadow these mediocre sections. Once you defeat the boss you can explore their small section of the city they controlled.

Vinyl City is beautiful but has very little to offer in terms of content. There are no side missions and much of the exploring is linked to locating more Qwasa batteries to power specific objects or collecting powerups hidden throughout the city. The city is amazing to look at and each section directly complements the previous fight to further highlight the tone of that person. The city may lack substance but the cosmetic look highlights a rich and wondrous world that hopefully, we'll get to further explore in a future game more.

The standard difficulty is pretty forgiving, especially the checkpoints, but getting high rankings is not. You're graded based on time completed, parries, highest combo, and damage. You can, fortunately, replay every fight, cinematic included, in a variety of difficulty options for new rewards. Here you're truly tested as health pickups are rare and the bosses are unforgiving with increases in speed, attack, and limitations placed on the player.

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You're constantly rewarded with new musical scores, trophies for your home base, and gaining new fans which serve as the game's experience system. With Mayday and Zuke able to fully customize themselves with better upgrades that are the most basic advantages. This includes more health, ammo capacity, or increased offense or defensive options. With mods and temporary stickers that offer boost available by finding them in the environment.

Music plays a central role not only in the narrative but gameplay. With Zuke and Mayday using their instruments as weapons. Zuke is a drummer and is known for quick but weak attacks, better parrying, and healing. Mayday is the heavy-hitter with strong but slow physical attacks. Both Mayday and Zuke have unique combos that favor their fighting style, with Mayday having heavy single attacks and Zuke being an AOE strike. This extends to special abilities, which you can equip 2 of, which Mayday and Zuke can perform along with an ultimate move when their meters are full. If you choose a cooperative option is available.

Other mechanics include the ability to shoot musical notes and parry purple-colored attacks. The shooting is basic, you collect musical notes and just fire, with the notes homing into the target. You cannot spam these since they only attack specific targets and parrying is risky but rewarding since if heavily damages enemies and can be upgraded for health bonuses.

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With so much focus on music hows the soundtrack? It's exceptional, a perfect collection of tracks that each complement every battle and cutscene. No Straight Roads has one of the best musical scores this year. With the boss tracks being especially exceptional.

No Straight Roads is a short but brilliant adventure well-worth experiencing. The outstanding soundtrack complements every situation and the boss fights are masterfully designed encounters. It's a short but quality adventure that has a lot of highs and very little lows. The only serious issues I encountered were the long loading times and no control over the camera. Despite this, it never soured the experience as No Straight Roads' adventure remained a thrilling experience from beginning until the credits rolled.

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC
Publisher(s): Sold Out Ltd.
Developer(s): Metronomik
Genres: Adventure
Themes: Music
Release Date: 2020-06-25

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