A young man dreams of a better life as he struggles with memories of his past. Through the medium of music, he slips into a dream state, moving through time and space before finding himself in an ancient China and stumbles upon a mysterious poet.
The story is intertwined with historical anecdotes and music inspired by jazz, pop, and classic masterpieces from famous poets.
Nintendo Switch is gathering quite a few musical games on eShopas of late, such as Deemo, Thumper, and the rather addictive Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun! Which has all been received pretty well by the community.
One of the most critical aspects of any music game is its music. VOEZ comes to mind with its vast selection of songs which is continuously being updated still to this day.
So where does Lyrica stand amongst the pack? Well, it can hold its head high as it is just as enjoyable as the rest. RNOVA Studio has done a great job with the game and here’s what makes this a gratifying musical experience on the go.
Note: This game only uses handheld mode – touchscreen.
Beauty is in the details!
What is apparent from the very beginning is how lovely the presentation on Lyrica is. Everything makes you feel as though you’re playing a triple-A title due to the high quality on display. Every screen flows nicely into each other, making navigation a breeze.
Button prompts can be used for menu selection, but when playing in the music section of the game, you can only use the touch screen. Thankfully, it all works great, and I didn’t experience any lag whatsoever.
By selecting the story mode, you’ll be presented with two options: the first one will become unlocked after a brief tutorial, while the second one will be unlocked later on.
What is nice here is each piece of the story is told through portraits. Parts of these portraits are missing and completing songs will reveal the rest of the picture. These pictures can then be viewed in the photo album in the achievements screen.
You can pick between two characters: Chun and Yang, and each move through the selection of portraits, telling the tale of these two individuals.
Music in Lyrica is just lovely to listen to and even more enjoyable to play. And just like any other music titles, Lyrica has a set of unique inputs that are required to do during each poem/song.
Tap to the beat!
You can simply tap on the screen to the beat while the song is playing. There are a few different types of inputs you can do, such as tapping, swiping, holding the screen, as well as sliding your finger along the screen. All these inputs work well with the music being played. But if you are struggling, you can view the tutorial option in the menu.
Something I’d say beats VOEZ is each tap makes a sound that fits the tone and musical melodies of each song. You can even change tap FX in the options menu and unlock more through achievements.
There are 57 songs in the game, and more can be unlocked by levelling up by completing songs. Every song and every action you take gains you experience, and after completing a song, you can level-up your student card to unlock new themes, character avatars, and new tracks, so you’re always unlocking something new by just playing.
Song list has a range of different types of musical arrangements to play, from jazz, pop, and rock, to even ballads. Each piece is fused with classical Chinese poetry from Lo Bai and Du Fu, bringing each song to life which can help ease your mind, soul, and body. I found it to be a great way to unwind and relax.
Also, each song is inspired by music from other cultures, such as the indigenous people of Taiwan.
I think anything that exposes a little bit of other cultures in video games is a good call and allows more people to become familiar and learn something new.
Become a master!
Each song has 4 difficulty settings: easy, normal, hard, and master. Moving through each one will throw in new inputs and beats that will challenge even the best musicians out there.
Completing songs will take you to the result screen, where you will see the difficulty and song name, as well as the perfect rating, good, bad, misses, and combos. Your total score will then be added up, and you’ll receive a ranked letter from D to S rank. Each difficulty has to be completed to earn a gold box which appears after every song you’ve got an S rank on.
Art of music!
The flow of tapping to the beat is a little different in every music game-like experience, and here it’s no different.
A little black arrow will fly across the screen, moving over the circles that you need to tap to hit each beat. While the arrow is flying over them, if you hit the circle as the arrow is directly over it, you will receive a perfect hit/score.
The arrows make it feel really unique, and they are constantly marking the next circle you need to tap, so you’re always prepared for the next beat. As you move through the difficulty settings, more arrows will appear, making each song more difficult to do as they will require more inputs to be performed.
I really enjoyed the song selection and enjoyed trying to hit and unlock all the gold boxes by getting that perfect S rank on them all!
Lyrica also has a challenge mode available to play. Each challenge has a target goal to beat, and difficulty settings are high here. Your skills will be tested by each teacher, setting you the challenge. So far, I’ve seen 5 teachers, but successfully completing a challenge will unlock a new one.
This is a great mode to test your skills in, and it’s another area where you can unlock new characters and themes. These can be viewed in the achievements section. There are 23 achievements to unlock, and these may require clearing challenge mode 10 times or achieving a rank of B or higher in song charts. Completing these will unlock more extra stuff to play with.
Other options that you can view in this section are the photo albums where you can unlock 23 portraits through the main story mode. These can be viewed here as well as your statistics too.
There’s also an option in the menu that you can take a look at by pressing the – button. Here, you can view the speed, tap, and volume, as well as change you FX and SFX which can be unlocked in the achievements section. Also, you can view the tutorial here too.
Audio in Lyrica is just lovely. Each of the songs are charming, from soulful jazz tunes to more relaxing ballads. Sounds are especially good with headphones on, but I did enjoy the music quality coming from the Switch’s speakers. The game has a great music selection that hits all right notes.
Visuals & Performance
There’s something quite pleasant about the presentation in Lyrica. It reminds me of VOEZ with its Japanese-inspired artwork and sleek presentation. Everything flows. Each of the 23 portraits are lovingly crafted, looking really nice on the Switch’s screen.
Performance has been great. I’ve not experienced any issues whatsoever. Everything just works great.
The game supports screenshots and video capture too.
The icon depicts a group of individuals sitting under a tree with the logo presented above.
With 57 songs, a levelling up system that grants you unlockables every time you reach a threshold.
Story mode has 2 characters and multiple chapters. Challenge mode has unlockable FX SFX, characters, and music, and multiple difficulty settings to try more challenging songs.
There’s a lot going on here, and I think that with its price point, it is completely worth it, especially if you love music titles.
Unlockable songs, themes, and challenge
Only uses handheld mode