Change the color palette of your little DJ protagonist. Switch the controls around to your liking. Set the entire game to the song of your choice (any MP3 or Ogg file will do). Rush Brothers is a hyperactive, charming exercise in accommodating player tastes.
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The game plays like a much more forgiving Super Meat Boy or classic Sonic. You run and jump around the obstacle-laden 2D environments, dying on spikes or lasers frequently, downing power-ups, and trying to beat your previous times (or your split-screen opponent in multiplayer). Death is a non-issue – your little dude respawns at the nearest safe point immediately, so the frustrations with occasionally slippery controls are kept to a minimum.
While the mechanics themselves aren’t revolutionary, this is the first 2D platformer that lets you hop and bop to the beat of your own drum. The included tracks are perfectly fine – pleasantly non-descript electronica – but the real fun starts when you start experimenting with your own music. Since each level is set on a sort of metronome according to the beat of the music, you can literally slow down the pace of all the traps and gears and platforms (as well as the psychedelic background elements) by selecting a nice slow jam. Or you can pick something more uptempo and enjoy the chaos.
The more manic the music, the tougher the challenge, but that’s all part of the charm.
I tried my luck with a few weird variations. The most fun I had was with a particularly funky OverClocked Remix of Super Mario World’s castle theme, which somehow suited the action (and the theme) perfectly. There’s no reason why you couldn’t get all sexy with it and set the pace with a little Al Green or Luther Vandross. Or go metal. Or hell, try it with the Banjo Kazooie soundtrack. The possibilities are endless, and often mildly hilarious.
If you’ve ever wanted to experience dubstep platforming, here is your chance. No one will judge.