You know, I’ve often wondered what Guitar Hero would be like if it was a cute platformer full of birds. Well, actually I never have. But clearly, someone did because here it is.
Songbird Symphony stars Birb, a little bird of unknown origin, who sets out to find his family and where he came from. This involves some Metroidvania-lite platforming but instead of unlocking new skills to reach new areas, you unlock new musical notes which you tweet at locked doors and stuff to progress. In fact, apart from jumping around and sometimes pushing blocks, the main gameplay is tweeting.
And here’s the Guitar Hero bit. You have to sing along with various characters to “beat” them, using your unlocked notes. To start with, you just have one, but by the end you have six, mapped to left, up and right on the d-pad, and Y, X and A on the face buttons. Each “foe” gives you tunes to repeat, but in different ways. Sometimes it’ll be notes falling from the ceiling very much like Guitar Hero. Sometimes it’ll be coming in from the sides or in a pattern, like Gitaroo Man. In fact, it borrows from Ouendan, Taiko no Tatsujin, Dance Dance Revolution, and pretty much every other rhythm action game you can think of for these sections.
The platforming bits are really simple, with a bit of exploring and a handful of puzzles (block pushing, switch pressing, that sort of thing), nothing taxing at all. The singing though? Completely impossible. There’s no way I could complete most of them with an A or B rank, but luckily it seems you can’t fail no matter how bad you do.
The story has a big twist which I did see coming, and your identity is pretty obvious from early on, but if you don’t get it then I suppose that’s a big “ohhh!” moment for you.
It’s not the best game in the world, and the “variable pixel sizes” (where different things seem to have different sized pixels – a real turn-off for me) annoys, but it’s cute and unusual and does have great – if impossible to perform – music.