The Metronomicon DLC: Keeping the Music Alive
At its launch, The Metronomicon proved itself to be a ridiculously enjoyable experience, infusing elements of an RPG into the pure fun of a traditional rhythm game. But there were still questions to be answered: would it have long-term appeal? How do you keep people coming back and playing after they’ve played through the main story?
Kasedo Games has done a phenomenal job at supporting The Metronomicon post-release, releasing three DLC packs since the game’s release on September 29: Chiptune Challenge Pack 1, Chiptune Challenge Pack 2 and Indie Game Challenge Pack 1.
Each of these packs has included three new songs alongside three new challenges in Arena mode, offering up powerful new pieces of equipment. While the songs are definitely of a higher difficulty level, if you can make it through each test, the rewards are certainly worth the effort.
Many of the items give you boosts and stat increases unlike any that you could achieve through the standard story quests or the base Arena challenges. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your characters will be all-powerful if you are able to earn this equipment. Some of them come with debilitating status effects or require more skill to wield than others. Just because you have the equipment does not mean that you are ready to use it.
The most valuable of these items arguably came in the first DLC, Chiptune Challenge Pack 1. By getting through the wicked mayhem of DDRKirby(ISQ)’s “Flow Unlimited”, you can win the Pretty Pink Ribbon, an accessory that grants the character full immunity from any status ailments. Even though status ailments don’t seem to be of too much importance during the early stages of the Story Mode or the lower leagues of the Arena, they are a nightmare once a player hits the more challenging stages of the game. Having anything to make the “Bleeding” cease for a moment is an absolute blessing.
Indie Game Challenge Pack 1 really helps to add depth to a playlist that tends to all have a very similar sound. The three additional songs in the pack are from the classic indie games 2064: Read Only Memories, Whispering Willows, and Retro/Grade. The theme from Whispering Willows stands out in particular as having a distinctly different appeal than the other tracks, despite still being a dance remix of the original song.
One ongoing issue has been that, so far, the songs that have been released are on relatively high tiers of the Challenge mode in the Arena, having high difficulties. There hasn’t really been a great distribution of songs across the board. Of course, one can simply play the game on a lower difficulty if they are unable to beat that song, but for purists who want to beat rhythm games on Hard (like me), The Metronomicon has made the achievement of finishing the songs mean something.
One other aspect that has seemed odd to me since launch has been the lack of a global leaderboard within the game’s Challenge mode. When you play through the story of The Metronomicon, you can see a global leaderboard for every single song, which caught me off-guard as it is not a game with online multiplayer. It seems like it would make sense to extend this system to a part of a game based around constantly beating your score and getting better and better (the Arena). By not including this leaderboard on the main screen of the Arena, there is no way for players to compare their scores on these downloadable tracks. This might not be important to the casual player, but for someone who is replaying track after track for the smallest improvement, it’s something that’s obviously missing.
By rolling out these new songs, challenges, and pieces of equipment, Puuba has done a superb job of maintaining and building the level of hype surrounding The Metronomicon’s release. Each piece of DLC is absolutely worth the $1.99 pricepoint. The constant stream of new content has kept the music alive far beyond the launch weekend, a trend that should certainly continue.