Despite Parappa the Rapper and Um Jammer Lammy performing well in the UK, Gitaroo Man flopped when it debuted on PlayStation 2 back in 2002. Which is a shame, really, as it took the rhythm action genre to a whole new level, with nifty analogue control and bizarre but loveable characters. What weâ€™re really trying to say is that this is the sort of PlayStation 2 conversion that we donâ€™t mind seeing on PSP, as so many people missed out on it the first time round.
In fact, it suits the PSP a whole lot more. Itâ€™s ideal for playing on the move, with each level lasting around five minutes, while the analogue slider is perfect for the tricky ‘guiding a cursor through winding paths’ bits. Itâ€™s still a really hard game though, even on the easiest of the difficulty settings. And donâ€™t worry if you played the original to within an inch of its life – thereâ€™s some new content for PSP, including new two-player modes.
The story sees U-1 given a magical gitaroo by his dog Puma, which grants him super powers – the power of rock! But bad men want this power too and are out to find all three gitaroos in existence, so U-1 must battle them with musical instruments. The battles feature three stages – charge, battle and defence. All three of these can be completed by tapping the correct buttons as they appear on screen and manoeuvring the analogue stick through the aforementioned winding paths, while pressing the circle button to start and end chords. What makes this good is that the better you do, the better Gitaroo Man plays, and ultimately the more you enjoy playing it.
The biggest problem with this conversion is the loading time – thereâ€™s a wait of over thirty seconds between levels. The voice acting is just as cheesy as before too, although some might say that it suits the game. Our only other gripe is that if you miss a note, the screen shakes for a second which is really distracting, and it gets worse if you miss more than one. But with decent songs and a good variation in levels, we would take this over the recently released Elite Beat Agents on Nintendo DS any day.