Reviewing tech group 2 at the request of Nixo <3
1 - 7/10
The themes were pretty consistent and solid, structurally well done. Difficulty balance is also quite smooth. However, the very rigid focus on drums can sometimes feel a bit dry, and the color theory, while cute, I felt was a bit messy in the beginning. The polyrhythm sections you get props for good pattern control in terms of avoiding same hand polyrhythmic issues, but it was a tad messy to follow what was going on. Overall, it’s kind of hard to describe, like it’s objectively well-organized but yet still feels kind of messy? Still has a couple of very cute and interesting ideas though, a good attempt. I have a feeling that in terms of popularity, this wouldn’t perform very well.
2 - 7/10
It’s so incredibly straightforward. Take the most obvious lines in the song: vocals, drums, piano, and occasionally some other small thing like the organ. Straight layer them. Give vocals holds, give snares and strong kicks doubles. It’s objectively not bad, the difficulty is reasonably balanced, it respects the song structure and is organized well, but it’s just got nothing particularly creative going on in it. The patterns in and of themselves flow incredibly smoothly, but on the bigger picture, has the classic problem of sacrificing technical transcription accuracy for flow, and it freely rotates pattern choices at whim. This is like the roast chicken that is cooked perfectly and seasoned well, but just has zero spices or any other flavors. It’s just chicken. That being said, this is a popularity contest, and in that respect I think this would get more votes than 1.
3 - 6/10
I do appreciate that you attempted to actually pay attention to the details, like the piano line. You accurately transcribed some details that 1 and 2 missed. So I can see the effort and the attention to detail. Unfortunately, beyond that, the chart is just crazy messy. The density of the notes don’t respect the intensity and structure of the song due to inconsistent layering choices, the hypersyncing of the vocals make everything flow like weird polyrhythms, the miniholds littered throughout are hard to track, the color theory while pretty is quite confusing, the whole thing just doesn’t flow right and feels very very messy.
4 - 7.5/10
And this pays even more attention to detail than all of 1 through 3. Not only noticing rhythmic variations but also transcribing the piano with no mistakes. While this is also organized well, it flows a bit more organically, minus the fact that it also suffers from the hypersynced vocals creating weird polyrhythmic flow. The chorus climax is also incredibly underwhelming. Despite that, the ideas and flow it creates, while maybe not the best in concept, is executed better than 1 while being more interesting than 2, which just barely nudges it over them. Don’t think it will get as many votes though.
5 - 8/10
Without question the strongest submission. It doesn’t fall for the obvious trap that the other submissions have, which is to layer the vocals. The vocals are prominent enough that they don’t really need any emphasis, which allows a lot more breathing room for patterns that flow better but can account for some of the more interesting details in the instrumentals. The bass guitar, piano, etc can all get some attention in the limelight when they come in at different points in the song. The difficulty overall is extremely well balanced, it utilized jacks to build intensity and pressure very well, and it’s structured excellently, making it very easy to follow what is happening. The gimmicks aren’t obnoxious and add a nice touch to the whole thing. Overall, it demonstrates a superb ear, good sense of judgment, a clear mind, and self-control. Would’ve easily been 8.5 or even 9 had some of the slightly more bland sections been slightly more interesting and a couple other details were polished just a bit more.
My ratings are what they are, but here’s my vote rank prediction:
5 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 1
Could be a bit off depending on the demo of players who vote.