Some people including me love live under a rock. I’ve missed so many trends – you wouldn’t believe how disconnected I am from the rest of society at large. I even managed to never play Rock Band. Not. Same. Once. So if you’re like me and managed to dodge every rhythm game ever released, then you most definitely missed the mark on Cytus. It’s our Android game of the week, and we think it’s one of the best Android games we’ve played in a while.
A long line of rhythm video games from Rayark Games, Cytus has been doing well since 2012 and showing no signs of stopping. Cytus II, one of the more recent entries in the series, was released on mobile in 2018. Despite its age, you probably wouldn’t guess that this title is over 3 years old now, due to its high production quality, of its excellent control scheme, and gorgeous anime-style character designs.
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Most importantly, Cytus II has a collection of amazing soundtracks that you can vibrate with. You’re definitely going to want to play this one with sick headphones. Most of the songs rely heavily on the EDM / chiptune / dub-step genres, so if that’s not your scene then you may don’t find this game as enjoyable as I do. That being said, there’s still a good variety of songs out there, ranging from fast-firing BPM madness to more laid-back tracks that let you take things at a slightly cooler pace.
Mechanically speaking, it’s safe to say that Rayark nailed the moving rhythm formula to an absolute science. The touchscreen controls of Cytus II (and previous titles adjacent to Cytus) are simple but incredibly difficult, often pushing the limits of what you think your thumbs (and brain) are capable of.
With stunning touchscreen controls, Rayark nailed the moving rhythm formula to an absolute science
Here’s how the gameplay works: When a track starts, a horizontal line bounces up and down the screen to the beat, keeping time as a visual metronome. Along with the metronome, the notes are represented on the screen as dots you need to press on the cue, lines you need to draw in time with the beat, and crescendos you need to press and hold to perform correctly.
As with most rhythm games, there are different levels of good execution. You hit notes with a perfect, good, or missed note, and your score depends on how many perfect / good hits you can rack up combined with the length of your combo streak before dropping a beat (the wrong way) and break a combo. Completing a level with a 100% perfect score and an uninterrupted combo will earn you the coveted Million Master ranking, which is even above rank S. I found Cytus II to be somewhat forgiving in terms of control, but I didn’t. achieved the Million Master rank only twice to date. Clearly I still have a long way to go in my quest to dominate the charts.
Visual cues are useful aids for hearing impaired people like me
Using this formula, Cytus II manages to create some incredibly difficult tracks, and yet you can possibly complete them all just using your thumbs. Precision is the key, but I still don’t feel the difficulty is unfair. I’m partially deaf, but found the visual cues for when to press notes and what type of input you need to make were very easy to interpret. Each track also has up to four difficulty levels to choose from, so more casual players can still progress and have fun without feeling like they’re in a corner with no options.
Speaking of options, one of the most interesting things about Cytus II is that it has a huge collection of DJs that you can play with. Paff, Neko, Xenon, and even world-famous VTuber Kizuna AI make up this Smash-worthy list. Most of these DJs are purely fictional and only exist in the context of Cytus. Still, Cytus II uses in-game social media and other unlockables to weave a picture of the future of bafflingly believable credibility.
Set a few hundred years into the future, give or take, the central plot of Cytus II revolves around Æsir-FEST, a live music event that occurred a year before the in-game events. Supposedly, legendary DJ Æsir would finally give a live concert, joined by fellow DJ PAFF and ROBO_Head in an epic lineup that would be one for the ages. On FEST day, however, Æsir was absent, and there was a strange backstage blackout right after PAFF’s performance.
Cytus II has an impressive roster of playable characters, each with their own list of tracks to complete
Moving on to the present, fans and public figures are still trying to piece together what happened at Æsir-FEST and why Æsir disappeared without a trace. Speculation is unleashed amid all of this drama, but you’ll start to piece together this mystery and take a closer look at the dystopian future of Cytus II by playing on as many DJ playlists as possible, which in turn unlocks more files and social networks. posts about them.
I wouldn’t consider myself a success hunter, ranking climber, or motivated in any sense to “excel” in video games. I’m just here to have a good time, you know? However, there is just something about Cytus II that is so addicting that I constantly find myself replaying past tracks to try and beat my own scores and complete all of the difficulty levels for each track.
And in case you’re wondering, you CAN play this game on an elliptical trainer at the gym, and it makes a KILLING workout soundtrack. Without realizing it, the music made me work a lot harder than usual, and I was exhausted afterwards. But I got that second Million Master rank and great workout so well worth it.
Believe it or not, this game is perfect for playing on the treadmill. Increase your heart rate, champion!
In short, Cytus II takes rhythm play to a new level for the low price of $ 1.99. There are, however, IAPs for additional soundtracks and characters, which can quickly turn into a serious tab. To get all the soundtrack expansions and additional characters, you would probably need over $ 100. However, Cytus II is available for free on Play Pass, and the base game already comes with a great suite of inbuilt content with no additional purchase.
I can safely say that this is the best rhythm game I have ever played – although it is also the only rhythm game I have ever played, so take it however you want.