I didn't know what to expect since I never played Crypt of the Necrodancer but out of all the Zelda spin-offs, this is the one I'm most interested in. Sign me up for a rhythmic Zelda game!
There's not much to say about the story other than it's lackluster. I didn't get about the story is how Hyrule has somehow mimicked the world of Cadence's or how Cadence arrived there in the first place. I see that they were trying to mimic the old games' nonlinear stories but there were plot holes that weren't tied up.
The greatness instead lies in the gameplay. The gameplay mechanics are so unique they take time to get used to. I never played a game like this so I had to think about the enemy movements in accordance with the beat. As a beginner to the Crypt of the Necrodancer formula, I had to start with fixed-beat mode where you can move as fast and as slow as you want without worrying about the beat and practice moving along to the beat with that. I was worried about if the whole game was going to revolve around moving to the beat but it's a nice touch to beginners and players who don't want to move according to the beat and once you clear out all the enemies, you can move however fast you want. And there's a double beat mode that I think lets you move faster if you move too slowly. So yeah, there are a lot of other cool modes in there too to keep you entertained such as a daily challenge mode as well.
The game takes inspiration from very old Zelda games such as A Link to the Past even as far back as the nonlinear Legend of Zelda. I love how it remixes the music from older games and they sound great modernized. It's a nostalgia trip, especially for older Zelda fans.
A few disappointments in the gameplay though. The game is too short since players were able to 100% it in about 7 hours. CotN takes about as long as 45 hours to 100% so that was a letdown. You can mainly only play as Link and Zelda. Unfortunately, you can't play as Cadence, which would've been a nice inclusion to make the game longer and for players who want to use the protagonist from the CotN game, though I have heard you can play as Cadence sometimes but I didn't get to play as her that much.
I also don't like how when you die, you lose all your rupees and some temporary items. I don't know if this applied to the original Crypt of the Necrodancer but it's tedious to try to get back everything especially for a game as challenging as this. This is Zelda, not Sonic. Good thing that it's easy to get rupees and things like shovels and torches though you also lose keys and gear equipment, which aren't that accessible to every location. I don't know how useful they are, though. There are some items you can buy in the shops like bombs but what about some items that cost like a 100 dollars? Maybe losing like half of your rupees when you die are okay but not all of them.
This is a great Zelda game that I recommend every Zelda fan to try. It's different but it's different in a fun way.