Yet another potentially addictive RPG+Minigame mashup, but lacking the variety and depth of other similar titles.

User Rating: 6 | Sequence PC
Yet another game gets a late port from XBLA to PC. Sequence is a mashup of the RPG and Dance Dance Revolution style rhythm game genres. If you can't imagine how that could possibly work, you can think of it as another game in the line of "like Puzzle Quest but..." titles that have been cropping up recently. It lets you customize your character's spells and equipment and makes you fight enemies by playing a minigame of another genre.

You play as Ky, an unsuspecting young university student who wakes up in a mysterious tower and has to fight his way through seven levels to get his answers as to why he is there and how did he get there. Supporting him is Naia, who acts as your 'shepherd' and talks through an intercom and provides advice and occasional corny and snarky comments. Speaking of which, I felt the writing of the game often tries way too hard to be 'hip' and witty. It may be too pretentious for some people out there.

As far as the presentation goes, the art is well done but the game doesn't have a lot of assets. One backround per level, and only a few characters and monsters. This also shows in the music selection. The tracks are catchy but you'll grow tired of them in no time as there are a very limited amount of them, you cannot use your own music, and every monster has one track and one track only attached to it. This could lead to great tedium because the point of the game is getting the unique items that these monsters drop.

Said drops are required to synthesize items from recipes. You get a set amount new recipes on each level. You are only required to make one item on each level, the key that unlocks the next, but making the rest helps a lot. The problem is that some of the drops have a really low chance of appearing so you may end up fighting the same monster listening to the same music for 5-10 times. This is an unnecessarily grindy game mechanic obviously placed there to artificially increase your game time. Another thing is that synthing an item doesn't have a 100% success rate. You must pay for the process in experience and the more XP you pay, the higher your chance of success will be but the price scales to irrationally high levels so you won't want to go above 70%. You can even drop in level and get marginally weaker but since your stats don't influence your game drastically, you'll ultimately feel that paying such a meaningless price for it is just an annoyance that seems pretty redundant. This is another game mechanic that could be labeled as dumb.

Similar games usually offer you more things to do as well. In Puzzle Quest for example, you get an open world with lots of side quests to keep you busy along with rune gathering, mount training, city capturing, forging hundreds of items freely from rune combinations, etc. This game on the other hand is pretty straightforward. Your stats are distributed automatically and it also lacks the strategic depth of different character and item builds and advanced spell combinations to keep the game fresh as you go through it, this could possibly make all your battles blur together and result in you not getting much enjoyment out of the game unless you absolutely love playing DDR, and even then the decision of not offering more variety in music cheapens the deal.

As mentioned above, the meat of the game - the fighting itself is done in DDR style, but with a twist. You have 3 panels. One to attack, one to defend, and one to recharge your mana. You can switch freely between them to match the situation you're in. There is a very lengthy tutorial to explain all this to you but it's really easy to get. You attack by spells and you unlock new ones and more spell slots throughout the game. These new ones have to be synthesized first and then learned through an accuracy minigame that you also have to pay experience for, yet again creating a false sense of risk and reward.

The PC version is available on Steam, and with the game priced at 4.99$ / 3.99€ / 3.99£ and providing about 10 hours of gameplay, it could be a fantastic value for you. The developers have been busy patching all the bugs that were present on release day so the game should be virtually bug-free now. It also comes complete with Steam Cloud and Achievements, but too bad there isn't a demo since this game is really hit or miss. It could possibly become your daily dose of rhythm gameplay for a while but the limited amount of tracks, the lack of depth, the grinding potential and the awkward writing can make even this simple concept more tedious than it should be and therefore make it hard to recommend this game over others of its ilk.