Quick Thoughts On: Groove City
So, you got your butt back and defeated the Groovy Wizard. What’s next? To the strip club! Let’s not beat around the bush, Electronic Super Joy was flipping amazing! A high intensity platformer fueled by an addictive electronic soundtrack, it chewed me up and spit me out, and I loved every second of it! Taking a cue from Giana Sisters: Rise of the Owlverlord, Groove City is a mini-sequel spanning slightly more than a dozen levels, as you and the pope embark on a quest to save Groove City from a giant robot stripper who’s gone on a rampage because her laser nipples have been stolen!
With Groove City, Michael Todd has managed the rarely achieved feat of taking something great, and making it better. The levels are tighter designed, the soundtrack seems to get more amazing with each track, the backgrounds are more sparkly; it’s a smaller, more focused experience that fits perfectly in its role as a spinoff side story sorta sequel, because more ESJ can’t possibly be a bad thing!
If you were not previously indoctrinated by the painful joy of the first game, it’s worth noting that Groove City is just as brutal (if not more so) as its predecessor. A large part of this comes in the form of the new self-induced torture of the black stars, which upon collection summons a homing missile with your name on it. It’s a clever ploy to add even more challenge to an already difficult game for those that want it, without being as rigid as traditional difficulty settings.
If there’s anything to fault Groove City for, it’s that this is still only a half step toward a full sequel, and will likely only last you a little more than an hour. This isn’t to say the game isn’t worth picking up, but playing it made me realize how much I’ve been missing ESJ and can only hope a full sequel is in the works (and not too far off). I’m not typically so brief with my reviews, but there Groove City is such a no brainer for fans of the original that I can think of nothing more to say than buy it. If you were not infatuated with the original, this isn’t going to change anything, but those ready to cry more tears of (Electronic Super) Joy can rest assured nothing has been lost in its transition to a smaller package.
Now go get that stripper’s nipples back!
"Quick Thoughts" is a subset of my normal reviews for smaller games which might not fit into a full review but I still have something to say about.