No Straight Roads: Encore Edition PC Review

If you've yet to experience No Straight Roads then the Encore Edition is a must-play.

By Grayshadow, Posted 27 Oct 2021

Taking simple concepts to create something mesmerizing takes a great degree of skill. No Straight Roads accomplished this last year with dazzling adventure teeming with incredible music in this simple platforming adventure. The Encore Edition celebrates the 1-year anniversary by adding fan artwork and addressing issues of difficultly while giving those seeking a challenge that option. No Straight Roads: Encore Edition offers a lot of quality-of-life improvements and difficulty changes but maintains the same exceptional adventure.

No Straight Roads: Encore Edition,NoobFeed,

No Straight Roads stars Mayday and Zuke, 2 rock musicians seeking to bring back rock to Vinyl City. As Bunk Bed Junction they perform in front of the leaders of Vinyl City called NSR and are cast out, worse is that rock is banned afterward and the elite are given priority for electricity during a city-wide blackout. Since music generates and Mayday and Zuke learned their performance helped generate more power than what was shown they decide to start a music revolution. Bring back rock music and give the power back to the people by taking down NSR.

No Straight Roads plays as an action-adventure platformer. Players must take back each district within Vinyl city by defeating the local leader of that area. Each boss fight is themed after the musician such as space DJ, classical pianist, or an avant-garde artist to name a few. Each boss fight is exceptionally designed to complement the fight in both music and gameplay. With distinct tracks that each take the artist's personality into account. On music alone, No Straight Roads would get a perfect score.

The gameplay is pretty simple, Mayday and Zuke hit stuff and jump over obstacles. Occasionally you'll need to shoot things using musical notes but the biggest gameplay system is parrying. On normal difficultly parrying is optional but on Crazy and Parry options these become paramount and the parrying system requires a great deal of time to get used to. The game is unforgiving in the parry system but some upgrades are available to make it easier but that's not saying much.

No Straight Roads: Encore Edition,NoobFeed,

The developers did listen to the community and implemented some balance changes. Health items are much more common now in boss fights, especially against DK West where the player base was very annoyed. This does make the game much easier but there are still the Hard, Crazy, and Parry Perfect options if you're looking for a challenge. And getting that S Rank won't be easy as you can't just beat the boss but must avoid damage, maintain a high combo, be speedy, and have a high parry count.

Batteries are still optional but the developers reduced them significantly and the number of items needing a charge. You can still charge them for extra fans but the fewer amount makes it more manageable. To help encourage this fan artwork is littered around that you can use on your guitar case. It's purely cosmetic and all artists are credited, plus there is some insane artwork made by the community. As a fan, this was a joy just to look through.

Another quality of life improvement is upgrading. Players still earn fans that serve as the game's leveling system along with mods and stickers. Fans are ranked based on the rank of each boss you defeat with the total unlocking new tiers and the expense allowing you to unlock new skills for Mayday, Zuke, or both. Stickers serve as permanent upgrades and mods allow for special skills and finishing attacks. Now the player can equip these at any time without having to be in the sewers.

No Straight Roads: Encore Edition,NoobFeed,

Mayday and Zuke mostly play the same other than slight differences. Mayday is a heavy melee fighter and Zuke focuses on combos. You can switch between the 2 at any time or play the entire game in local cooperative play. If you play solo the AI will just follow you around and won't perform any actions but also won't get hurt, making more of a tag-team duo.

Mayday, Zuke, and the rest of No Straight Roads are incredibly written and diverse. Each character has a distinct personality and the voice-actors did an outstanding job of bringing them together. The jokes hit and the overall presentation is bright, colorful, and sometimes dark. The narrative seems simple on the surface but all the real questions that come with overthrowing a powerful political figure are brought into the light. It's during the finale but the writers didn't just sideline important consequences that come with a revolution of this scale.

Visually No Straight Roads is incredible. Everything shines and while you cannot interact with everyone the city feels alive. People are everyone, working daily lives, and fans of EDM artists yearn to speak about their favorite artists. The districts are uniquely designed to fit the artist of that area showing a lot of care went into designing Vinyl City. You only get a small part of the city to explore but what is presented shows a vibrant and robust city full of culture.

No Straight Roads: Encore Edition,NoobFeed,

The game isn't free from issues. The biggest comes from texture pop-ins with the fan art. The other was during the game's finale where the credits failed to load and didn't appear well after the closing song played. But these are minor issues that will likely get resolved soon.

No Straight Roads Encore Edition is the same exceptional game with several quality-of-life improvements. It is much more accessible than the original but offers the same challenging options for those who seek it. Mayday and Zuke are exceptional characters and the overall narrative, while light-hearted most of the time still touches on difficult subjects like family, loneliness, and responsibility. If you've yet to experience No Straight Roads then the Encore Edition is a must-play.

Review Copy Provided

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC
Publisher(s): Sold Out
Developer(s): Metronomik
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Music
Release Date: 2021-10-21

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