Bunka! Junka! Shakalaka! BAM!

Title: No Straight Roads
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PS4 (reviewed)
Developer: Metronomik
Publisher: Sold Out Software, Mastertronic Group
Release date: Out now.
Tl;dr: A truly funny and entertaining action RPG that pits Indie Rock against EDM!
Price: $40/£35
Family Focus?: Click here for more information

No Straight Roads is an action RPG that follows MayDay and Zuke two upcoming musicians who want to revive rock in a world flooded by EDM, oh did I mention that it’s a rhythm game as well? So does this unique premise hold up in the current gaming climate? Find out as we go on a magical journey!

No Straight Roads is a corporation much like Monsters Inc., where the power of music fuels Vinyl City’s citizens with the power to go about their everyday lives. The story opens with our two bandmates of Bunk Bed Junction, you’ve got the fiery and passionate Mayday alongside the chilled and laidback, Zuke as they attend an X-Factor like an audition to try and bring back Indie Rock in a world filled with EDM (Electronic Dance Music) However, the judges weren’t a fan of Bunk Junk Junction as they believe rock is a dead medium.

Upon leaving May and Zuke see themselves on TV and notice their music provides way more power than EDM ever could much like laughter in Monsters Inc., Mayday says they should fight against No Straight Roads but Zuke disagrees as Vinyl City is comfortable with the way things are. Until a blackout occurs and NSR only provides back up power to their most elite members so Mayday and Zuke decide it is time to end NSR’s tyrannical reign over Vinyl City!

As mentioned above No Straight Roads is an action RPG blended with a rhythm game as you fight the different elite of NSR and their different types of EDM like Techno. All enemy attacks follow a rhythm that you can easily pick up as they fire different attacks either yellow or purple while the latter can be parried for extra damage. Upon defeating a boss you gain a score depending on how you did, these categories are; time, damage, combo, and parries. I assume the highest rank is an S rank as that is the highest I was able to achieve.

Before the bosses, you have to make your way through various platforming sections whilst beating the many different colored robots all of which have different rhythms you must follow in order to avoid damage but I don’t think the overall rank of a stage is affected by the build-up to the boss as I got wreck in one of the build-up sections but hardly took damage during the boss encounter and got a high rank for hardly any damage.

Now, graphically No Straight Roads has a very Pixar style with wildly out of proportion character designs but that adds to the wackiness of the game. The only qualm is that Mayday braided pigtails occasionally have a panic attack and start flapping all over the places but other than that the game is a wonder on the eyes, popping with such a vibrant palette of colors.

The soundtrack for No Straight Roads, a total head-bopping affair, and I hope they upload the soundtrack to Spotify as it will be dropped straight into my playlist! Each track has different versions you can unlock throughout the game including rock versions that are unlocked for fully powering each of the game’s districts.

Seriously, do NOT sleep on No Straight Roads! It is an incredible game that deserves a lot of attention from the soundtrack, gameplay, story, characters and graphical style, yeah so the whole package is super duper amazeballs! That’s not proper English but I don’t care this game is definitely one of the games that stands out to me this year and thanks to this unfortunate pandemic I’ve played a hell of a lot of games this year!

The Good

  • An amazing story full twists and turns with some hilariously comedic moments.
  • A catchy soundtrack that will have tapping your feet and bopping your head.
  • An amazing cartoon-style that’s akin to Steven Universe and Psychonauts.

The Bad

  • A slight graphical glitch that isn’t too distracting when it happens.

Family Focus

No Straight Roads is rated PEGI 12 and T for Teen by the ESRB. No Straight Roads is a cartoony action RPG that has you beating enemies with your guitar and/or drum sticks.

This review is based on a retail code of the game supplied by PR for the purpose of review.