Named after the musical tool that all musicians know so well, the metronome, Metronomik is a game studio that is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The studio is the brainchild of Wan Hazmer, a notable developer who worked for Square Enix on high profile projects the likes of Final Fantasy XV where he was the Lead Game Designer of the Culture team.
After gathering knowledge for 7 years in Square Enix, Hazmer decided to return to his roots in Malaysia and embarked on a quest. The quest to not only impart his game development knowledge to young local talents, but also to show the gaming world that great games can come from anyone and anywhere, as long as the passion exists.
During his time in Square Enix, an idea was born together with his cousin and co-founder Daim Dziauddin. The idea of their very own game IP (intellectual property) and a platform for young talents to grow in the world of game development. It had been almost two years since the day Hazmer took a leap of fate; to leave the safety of a prestigious game company and start up a new game studio in Malaysia.
After gathering young local talents consisting of game developers, voice actors, musical talents and art designers, Hazmer promptly named his new company Metronomik and announced to the world that he was coming. With this tight-knit team, Hazmer set off to work on the IP which he had envisioned for a long time, No Straight Roads.
Introducing: No Straight Roads
The debut game title from Metronomik, No Straight Roads is a music-themed action-adventure game that gets you hooked from the very first note. You play as Mayday and Zuke, two friends in an underground rock band that was ousted by NSR, an EDM empire controlled by the tyrannical Tatiana. Mayday vowed to hijack all of their concerts with rock!
You can be forgiven if you expect a lot of rhythm and timing based mechanics from No Straight Roads. However, No Straight Roads doesn’t expect the player to have good rhythm in order to play the game.
Unlike most music-themed games like DDR or Rock Band, No Straight Roads doesn’t expect the player to be able to perform octopus-like button pressing. With this low ceiling, anyone is able to play the game and enjoy it.
Rhythm me this
Despite saying all that, Hazmer hasn’t totally removed the rhythm from the game. His love for rhythm games doesn’t allow him to do so. He ingeniously incorporated the rhythm into the action. A keen listener will quickly notice that all attacks are matched with the rhythm of the music.
Each laser, rocket, and thingamajig that gets thrown at you is very cleverly timed with the background music of the game. Having a good sense of rhythm will actually give you an advantage and you will definitely need it for the higher difficulty settings.
Visually Indie, but so much more
In the experienced hands of CCO and Creative Director, Daim Dziauddin, Street Fighter V’s concept artist, No Straight Road’s art direction is instantly on a direct line to success. From character design to the game levels, it is beautifully cel-shaded, quirky, and fantastically bizarre. There isn’t a whimsical rock left unturned.
In fact, the quirkiness goes up a notch each time Metronomik teases something new for NSR. For example, the uniqueness of each boss is on a level of its own. Ranging from an intergalactic DJ to a giant overbearing mother of a pianist prodigy, calling this game creative is such an understatement. I can’t wait to see what else they have in mind.
For all intents and purposes, No Straight Roads is an indie game, but the game is so much more than that. Having played the demo, I can’t really place the game under indie because of the fluidity of the character movements, the conceptual idea and art style all screams so much more.
Overall, it is definitely a game that I will be looking forward to, and with all the awards it had already won, I bet playing the game will be time well spent. The game will be released on both PS4 and PC early 2020.