Hi-Fi Rush And Beat Slayer Show The Untapped Potential Of The Rhythm-Action Genre

Creative and ingenious concepts like this are needed now more than ever.

Story Highlights

  • Rhythm-action is a rather recent genre not known widely before the advent of Hi-Fi Rush.
  • Beat Slayer, a new rhythm-action game, proves just how much creative goodness this genre can create.
  • A little more polish and exposure to the mainstream audience can elevate the genre to new heights.

Video games have evolved in many different ways over the years, and while some of these were very wicked directions, there’s plenty of good here still. One such example is the birth of creative new genres that have made games a lot more versatile and enjoyable than they were back in the day.

Gaming started with very simplistic design choices that slowly evolved over time, and sometimes, bizarre experiments that were thought of as unsophisticated for their time ended up creating genres we now adore more than anything. 

Speaking of creative genres that didn’t exist in the distant past, my mind immediately goes to the Rhythm-action genre I’ve come across not too long ago.

YouTube video

Rhythm-Action Is A Rather Recent Genre Hi-Fi Rush Introduced Me To

Be honest, were you aware of the rhythm-action hybrid genre? If you were, that’s genuinely amazing, and if you weren’t welcome aboard. I was accustomed to rhythm games and even enjoyed them, but combining rhythm with fast-paced but patterned action was something very new for me.

When the trailer for Hi-Fi Rush was released, I was very fascinated by it. One thing led to another and I ended up trying Crypt of the NecroDancer before this one was released. To my surprise, I was immediately hooked and wanted more. Along came Hi-Fi Rush, and the rest was history. My entire perception of the genre changed, as this game that very much reminded me of a beloved classic (Jet Set Radio) ended up making me fall in love with the genre.


If you’re not aware, Rhythm-action involves syncing your commands to an ongoing beat. You’re free to play these as just any other action game and mash buttons, but that won’t take you very far and take away all the fun.

When you start jamming to the background music and pressing buttons at the right time, that’s when things get super good, really fast. You not only get an action-packed adrenaline fest, but an addictive tone you can’t help but sync your actions to. It’s a sublime feeling that’s hard to explain for me.

Hi-Fi Rush was Rhythm-Action perfection
Hi-Fi Rush was Rhythm-Action perfection

Now I know that this hybrid genre existed for quite some time now, Hi-Fi Rush just blew it wide open and made the world know it exists. I’ve since gone through many other such games, which is when I came across a very recent one I’ll be discussing next.

Just 100%’d hi-fi rush. best game ever :D
byu/TheLuchenator inHiFiRush

Beat Slayer Is A Solid Addition To The Genre

Just when I was starting to think “If it is this fun, why isn’t it utilized more?” I came across Beat Slayer and decided to give it a try. While it was no Hi-Fi Rush and had its fair share of problems, I was shocked to see just how much good it managed to accomplish still.

Beat Slayer – ByteRockers’ Games – Rhythmic Action-Roguelike in a dystopian 80s inspired Berlin. Feel the beat, get into the flow, and kick some robot asses!
byu/Lesplice inGames

Beat Slayer takes you to a dystopian Berlin (a post-apocalyptic future that somehow takes place in the 90s) where a ruthless dictator has taken over the world with his army of killer robots and a weird music tone. You follow Mia, a girl part of a resistance group on a quest to rescue her brother from said tyrant, Dietrich.

I’ve already discussed the game’s merits and problems in detail in my review, so I’ll be focusing on the rhythm-action part in particular today. The gameplay involves very basic moves, but you need to sync these with the background beat to earn valuable buffs, and man is it a ton of fun.

Beat Slayer has some shortcomings, but it's a solid rhythm-action game nonetheless
Beat Slayer has some shortcomings, but it’s a solid rhythm-action game nonetheless

The combat might be basic, but the rhythm-action mechanic somehow elevates it to massive heights. A simple button masher becomes much more when it makes good use of this concept and ends up delivering a lot more than what you expect going into it.

It’s also a rogue-lite, so you’ll be doing a lot of replays, but trust me the engaging combat doesn’t get boring even in long replays and backtracking. You jam to the music as you crush the robots after you, and subconsciously press the keys to the beat of the music, making you forget that you’re going through repetitive levels.

Rhythm-Action Genre Needs A Lot More Spotlight

Now, for the conclusion of my story. Beat Slayer has a very simplistic and limited combat system, yet it manages to keep you entertained. Now, imagine what a little more polish and variety can accomplish. If Beat Slayer can do so much good with the genre, a more refined and creatively designed game can reach unimaginable heights.

We already have the example of Hi-Fi Rush to reaffirm this. Creative and imaginative games like these are what we need now more than ever. And Rhythm-action is a landmine of creativity just waiting to be stepped into. Hi-Fi Rush took the plunge, and it was a blast. Beat Slayer gave it a try and came out triumphant. What does that tell you?

The moral is just how much hidden potential is still unexplored in the Rhythm-action genre. In a time where creativity is slowly running out of the industry and is being replaced by ridiculous live services and anti-consumer tactics, it’s time to shift the focus to more ingenious and creatively intriguing projects, like the use of the Rhythm-action genre. 

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Hanzala is a dedicated writer who expresses his views as opinion pieces at eXputer. He's always been fascinated by gaming and has been an avid consumer of many different genres for over a decade. His passion for games has him eager to encounter the latest RPGs and actively look for new Soulslike to challenge. He puts forth his experience and knowledge of gaming into captivating opinion pieces.

Experience: 8+ months || Education: Bachelors in Chemistry.

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