HomeReviews3.5/5 ReviewInvector: Rhythm Galaxy Review 

Invector: Rhythm Galaxy Review 

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Guitar Hero or Rock Band. Fantasia: Music Evolved or Taiko no Tatsuijin. Drums Rock or Beat Saber. If it’s a rhythm game that is available for play, I’m right at the front of the line to play it. 

That was the case with the release of AVICII: Invector back in 2019 too, even if my own personal music tastes didn’t particularly align with the works of the late great AVICII. It did however turn out to be one of my favourite rhythm experiences of the last few years; a game that I still dip into on a fairly regular basis, as I look to become one with the flowing tunes and tight gameplay.

With the music the star, you’d think that the Warner Music collaboration that is found in Invector: Rhythm Galaxy would therefore be nailed on to be a success, taking that addictive Invector gameplay and merging it with some bands, artists and tunes from a range of genres. Unfortunately though, this is a musical experience that is just a beat or two behind.  

invector rhythm galaxy review 1
Blast off with Invector: Rhythm Galaxy

Running along similar lines to AVICII: Invector, Invector: Rhythm Galaxy has you attempting to navigate a ship through a variety of worlds, all via the medium of action rhythm gameplay. You should know the drill by now if you have played any game of this ilk – grab your controller like your life depends on it, mashing a variety of buttons as they come hurtling down a ribbon of musical joy. The better your timing, the bigger your combos and the higher your score. And the more you’ll begin to feel like a conductor, immersing yourself into the sounds. 

Rhythm Galaxy does just that when things get into full flow. Whether that be thanks to the world navigation of the campaign, as you dip into your favourite tunes via the single player tunes roster, or even through local multiplayer. There can be some real joy delivered to your eyes and ears as you get into a flow. 

There’s joys in the fingertips too. With various levels of difficulty, it’s up to you how tricky you want Invector: Rhythm Galaxy to be. We’d highly advise starting off on Casual and slowly building up through the speed and additional presses of the face buttons, bumpers and sticks that are found in Normal, Hard and Ultra modes.

The issue is, very much like EVERY SINGLE RHYTHM GAME EVER MADE, Invector: Rhythm Galaxy fast becomes out of reach for many. Casual plays are fine, Normal is mostly doable too. But fancy trying your worth on Hard or Ultra and it all feels very much out of reach. But hey, that’s a vibe we’ve felt with all games before it; Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Fantasia, Beat Saber… Perhaps we could spend hundreds of hours honing skills, but this Invector iteration has other issues too. 

invector rhythm galaxy review 2
The difficulty soon ramps up

It’s not helped that Rhythm Galaxy isn’t the smoothest of games. We’ve played through the entirety of the story, and have spent a good few hours more picking at individual tunes, but stutter and slowdown has occasionally popped throughout. There’s even been full game crashes occur, as if too much is going on on-screen at once, Xbox Series X having none of it. And remember, that’s mostly having played on Casual and Normal. If we had the skills to last for more than a few seconds on harder, more intense offerings, that slowdown may just become all the more real. Strangely though, taking to the Galaxy with local friends via split-screen and rarely has any of that stutter come to the fore. 

And whilst we’re on the negatives, the story that plays out is, frankly, dire. It tells of a bunch of space cadets, hopping through the galaxy in order to live out a granny’s dying wishes. Or at least it’s something like that. We fell asleep tapping our way through the stilted, unconvincing static screens of text that would try to convey the story. Yes those textual screens can be skipped, but is it really needed when the star of the show should be the music?

Focusing on those tunes, and the tracklist of Invector: Rhythm Galaxy is alright, but it far from wows. I’m more than happy to listen to a wide range of tunes from various genres, but much of what is on offer is a bit hit and miss. Linkin Park’s ‘Lost’, Tuna Turner’s ‘The Best’ and Disturbed with ‘Down with the Sickness’ seem good additions. And we guess at a push Notorious from Duran Duran and Boom Clap by Charli XCX come up as highlights. We’ll even give you Space Man by Sam Ryder if you must. But KSI? Bausa & Zuna? Dropgun? When you go crawling to your kids in hope of inspiration, thinking you’re going to be met with a cementing of your age, but they still aren’t interested, there just has to be something wrong with the collated tracks in place. 

Of course, track listing is very subjective. One person’s love will be another’s hate, and so that may be the case here. We reckon you should peruse the songs on offer – if you like what you see, chuck another half point onto the score at the end of this review. And maybe hold out for some DLC. We’d suspect a ton will hit Invector: Rhythm Galaxy in the weeks and months ahead; there’s even a DLC segment in the main menu. Quirkily though, or through lack of overall polish, the DLC on offer, linked to the Xbox Store, fails. It’s not available yet on Xbox, so why the hell is it showing? Perhaps that will get fixed alongside non-popping Achievements and Gamerscore. 

invector rhythm galaxy review 3
Split-screen multiplayer is a blast

What isn’t subjective is found in the visuals. Invector: Rhythm Galaxy looks great, full of colour, easily detailed and simple to know – even in the heat of the hardest levels – what needs pressing for Action Notes and Basslines. With a ship shield depleting as you miss notes, and a combo rising as you perfect things, we’d personally like a bit more clarity, a change in colour perhaps, of the combo and ship icons, if only so we can be teased with them in our peripheral vision, but don’t need to go taking our eyes off the ever flowing button presses that are needed. But otherwise, Invector Rhythm Galaxy looks the business. 

With high scores to go chasing, S+ rankings to hunt, secret songs to unlock and the opportunity to dip into your favourite songs on a whim, Invector: Rhythm Galaxy may well appeal to many, especially those who previously loved the AVICII instalment. But a boring campaign story, mechanical issues, and a track roster that will split opinions will all need to be overlooked. 

If you need to feel the thrills of a rhythm game, we’d still point you to the vastly superior first game in the franchise. AVICII Invector or Invector: Rhythm Galaxy? There’s only one winner.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Looks great, sounds great
  • A handful of tunes are superb
  • Plenty of challenge, if you want it
Cons:
  • Stutter, slowdown and game crashes
  • A boring story
  • More than a handful of tunes feel like strange picks
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Hello There Games
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 8 February 2024 | £20.99
Neil Watton
Neil Wattonhttps://www.thexboxhub.com/
An Xbox gamer since 2002, I bought the big black box just to play Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee. I have since loved every second of the 360's life and am now just as obsessed with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S - mostly with the brilliant indie scene that has come to the fore. Gamertag is neil363, feel free to add me to your list.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Looks great, sounds great</li> <li>A handful of tunes are superb</li> <li>Plenty of challenge, if you want it</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Stutter, slowdown and game crashes</li> <li>A boring story</li> <li>More than a handful of tunes feel like strange picks</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Hello There Games</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 8 February 2024 | £20.99</li> </ul>Invector: Rhythm Galaxy Review 
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