Vinyl City is where a corporation called NSR is transforming music into electricity to power the world.

Enter Bunk Bed Junction — a rock and roll guitar & drum duo starring Mayday (a heavy hitter) and Zuke (devastating combos). However, on the day of the band’s debut, rock is banned from the city as NSR starts to siphon power away from citizens. Mayday and Zuke gotta take NSR down and bring electricity (and rock!) back to the people.

No Straight Roads is an action/rhythm/brawler where players take control of Mayday and Zuke as they fight beat-’em-up style through security robots and crash the concerts of NSR’s star artists.

The rhythm part of NSR comes in how enemies move and attack. All enemies attack to the beat of the music, and players can use the same beats to know when to dodge. Enemies will also deliver powerful strikes that can be parried in time to send the damage back to the enemy.

As battles go on, players gain energy for special abilities like a shockwave that stuns enemies or a self-heal, and the better players do in fights, the more fans they win — this gives them energy to gain new abilities and power up their weapons.

NSR might be tough for players who can’t hear or who have poor rhythm, but it does offer ways to mitigate. While hearing the music gives audio cues when enemies are about to attack, they also tend to have a long wind-up cycle that visually telegraphs the moves they’re about to do. Also, other than parrying (which is optional) players don’t have to attack on-beat with the music — NSR can be played like a standard brawler.

Players can either play solo and control both characters, or go co-op with a friend to fight through the NSR’s elite music artists. When solo, it’s possible to switch between active characters when one’s health gets low to give the other time to heal.

The combat feels a bit loose overall, but there’s still time for things to be tightened up and No Straight Roads got off to a promising start for me –I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the game has in store when it releases on August 25 for PS4, XBO, Switch and PC.

Eugene Sax
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