This post is not a review; it simply contains some opinions about the game. I’m not going to into specifics in introducing characters and gameplay mechanics. If you’re interested to know about them, the Deemo Wikia sufficiently explains all of those things.
I bought it on iOS not long after it came out in the App Store a few years ago and fell in love with the music. However, I wasn’t crazy about how it paced my progress since it was especially grueling for a player like me that can’t hit All Charming notes (re: 100% accuracy) at all and getting full combos consistently on Normal and Hard difficulties was a dream. New tracks unlocked at a snail’s pace and it took forever to get to a new story scene. The pacing mechanic is still present in PlayStation Vita port, The Last Recital.
Moving the story and receiving some of the new tunes* are based on how tall the music-loving tree that Deemo plays to grows. Its growth is dependent on how well you perform in a stage. The calculations can be seen at the Deemo Wikia page: http://deemo.wikia.com/wiki/Tree
* Some are found by tapping in certain spots of a room. This applies to the PS Vita version as well.
Getting 100% overall during an initial attempt of a stage will grow the tree the most. I think the highest I’ve ever gotten was 0.450 meters by achieving a Full Combo upon first play of an Easy or Normal stage. Unfortunately, the growth rate plummets upon replaying a tune which can lead to a lengthy plateau.
The first one occurs while the player is trying to increase the tree’s height to 10 meters which feels kind of discouraging and is also a bit of a drag. This probably wouldn’t be too much of an issue for someone that enjoys most or all of those default pieces but I’m not one of them. 😛 For example, I can’t stand Jumpy Star or Undo enough to play them once on all three difficulties to get their first play bonuses. Maybe I will eventually but it’ll be a last resort.
To keep my sanity, I only played the game once in a while on iOS. But for the Vita one, I ended up buying two song packs. In a way, I would have preferred doing this on mobile instead since I enjoy the larger play area of the iPad mini 2, but it’ll be more expensive and more of a hassle due to the fact that I purchased Deemo with credit I had on my US account. If I were to get the add-ons on that, I would have to buy a US iTunes gift card and the Canadian to US exchange rates suck these days.
As seen in the Wings of piano screencaps above, I’ve gotten the tree to 43 meters. I bought the game the day it came out (May 16th) and have been playing on and off. If I could magically perform better, I would probably be going through the post-story content already.
I wish that someone would create a measurement of game progress in rhythm games that didn’t involve grinding. But I think the main reason I felt it in Deemo was that there were only a few default and unlockable tracks I liked to play. ^^