Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Aug 21, 2012
    The problem is that I didn't play it for that long. Ten tracks just isn't enough to carry a rhythm game, even an eight-dollar one. The replay value is just so depressingly low.
  2. Aug 23, 2012
    You definitely won't find anything else like Retro/Grade on PSN, so if you're a fan of either genre (schmup or rhythm), definitely download the demo and give it a fair shot as you should find that you will be intrigued and drawn to its premise and gameplay elements that you will want buy the full game.
  3. Sep 10, 2012
    Lovingly assembled and enjoyable while it lasts, Retro/Grade is ultimately too meagre a package to be fully recommended. Rhythm game fans will get some mileage out of its solid gameplay and its unique wrapper helps the basic rhythm gameplay feel new, but unless you really fall in love with the presentation, it's tough to see anyone playing it more than a couple hours and essentially playing (and hearing) everything it truly has to offer long before the challenges end.
  4. Aug 20, 2012
    It doesn't have the charm of PaRappa, the hummable tracklist of Gitaroo Man, or the addictive quality of Elite Beat Agents, but it's a nice shot in the arm for a genre that has grown stagnant.
  5. Aug 14, 2012
    The folks at 24 Carat Games apparently spent their nights dreaming of slamming Guitar Hero against a side scrolling shoot 'em up because that's exactly what they ended up making with Retro/Grade. And it's delicious.
  6. Aug 22, 2012
    It's rare that you come across a game that dares to blend two such disparate genres, let alone one that does so expertly.
  7. Aug 22, 2012
    The very first guitar/shooter game available on the console is fun to play and very enjoyable.
  8. Sep 4, 2012
    Retro/Grade is an atypical and fun rhythm game. Unfortunately, the limited number of sound tracks does not allow it to reach more positive judgement.
  9. Aug 28, 2012
    Retro/Grade is a weird but admirable attempt to rekindle the popularity of a genre that has fallen out of favor. Though its timing may be off, fans of games like Amplitude and Guitar shouldn't overlook this one.
  10. Aug 27, 2012
    Whether you're a fan of shooters, rhythm games or are just looking for a breath of fresh air, PlayStation 3 owners would do well to take Retro/Grade for a spin around space and time.
  11. Aug 20, 2012
    Retro/Grade succeeds at bringing a fresh take to the rhythm genre and filling it with sensory pleasures, but a lack of music means it outstays its welcome sooner rather than later.
  12. Aug 22, 2012
    If you're sick of the same old formulas and you're open to some indie eccentricity, Retro/Grade is just the trippy time-sink you've been looking for – and it'll finally give your dusty plastic guitars a use past Rock Band and Guitar Hero.
  13. Aug 20, 2012
    As far as rhythm games go, Retro/Grade is up there with the best.
  14. Aug 22, 2012
    Overall, Retro/Grade is a wholly unique experience in both genres that it represents, and is well worth your time. If you have any interest in rhythm games or shoot 'em ups, you should do yourself a favor and check this out.
  15. Sep 12, 2012
    An experiment in the combination of two drastically different genres, Retro/Grade hits its mark.
  16. Hyper Magazine
    Oct 8, 2012
    A briefly mesmerizing trip backwards through sonic space that never quite coalesces into an essential purchase. [Nov 2012, p.64]
  17. Aug 16, 2012
    The core gameplay is smart and the music is catchy, but Retro/Grade feels spread thin everywhere else.
  18. Aug 21, 2012
    Despite all the insanity around the concept – and aside from all the weird "challenge mode" variants, unlockable ships, cute level descriptions, and all the other quirk – Retro/Grade is a well-designed music game with a completely original soundtrack. And that's as rare as a backwards shmup these days.
  19. Sep 10, 2012
    Only problem is that novelty doesn't make the game concept really workable, and thus you get a jumble of mechanics that partially invalidate themselves.
  20. Official PlayStation Magazine Benelux
    Oct 1, 2012
    Those who have never heard of Retro/Grade will be surprised when the end credits roll a mere seconds after starting the game. You have to interpret the Retro in Retro/Grade quite literally. Thus the game start with you fighting the final boss. [October 2012, p.79]
  21. 80
    For a $10 PSN game, Retro/Grade offers a unique, albeit short, experience that you won't find anywhere else.
  22. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    Oct 10, 2012
    The rhythm genre isn't dead, it just got better with lasers. [November 2012, p79]
  23. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Oct 9, 2012
    It's easy to get sucked in. [Nov 2012, p.119]
  24. 85
    A clever twist on rhythm-style games featuring all that the retro scene has to offer.
  25. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    Sep 20, 2012
    Fresh, funky, and super fun. [Nov 2012, p.82]
  26. Aug 25, 2012
    If you're looking for an innovative take on the rhythm genre, Retro/Grade is your jam.
  27. Aug 27, 2012
    Retro/Grade is a stunning take on both the rhythm and the space shooter genres – both of which haven't had much innovation in recent years. With solid mechanics, fun gameplay and excellent presentation, this could just be the best, and certainly the most unique, downloadable game this year.
  28. Aug 21, 2012
    Its weird blend of influences coalesce into an experience that transcends its parts, creating a title that feels familiar enough for the average rhythm fan, but different enough to be considered on its own merits. Retro/Grade is a seamless mix of concept and execution, an essential entry into the music genre.
  29. Aug 21, 2012
    Retro/Grade is built on a unique idea that simply isn't explored in an exciting enough way or to a sufficient depth to keep you interested for long.
  30. Sep 10, 2012
    Retro/Grade is a novel game with a great concept and great execution but suffers from an unfortunate pitfall.
  31. Aug 23, 2012
    Retro/Grade is a fresh take on a stale genre. If you ever loved those types of games I recommend checking out this unique PSN gem. For the price of admission you certainly can't go wrong, and hopefully we get some expansive DLC in the future to go back for more.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 18
  2. Negative: 4 out of 18
  1. Aug 23, 2012
    You have to be careful with this game. Find and download the demo first on the PSN or watch videos of gameplay with the sound on. You mayYou have to be careful with this game. Find and download the demo first on the PSN or watch videos of gameplay with the sound on. You may actually hate the music. I do not think it is for everyone.

    Retro/Grade is pure eye candy if you like colorful things flying in space with lots of special effects exploding and doing crazy particle stuff. So in the visual department the game is excellent and should probably get an 8 or 9. Not 10 because you do not get many options to edit the visuals like in other games. Another thing that the game does well is providing fun rhythm based gameplay. The lights keep coming from both sides. you catch some and avoid the others. Very unique.

    The problem is the soundtrack, which is the main basis of Retro/Grade, is not perfect. By "not perfect" I mean in a a reflex based game with space theme I'd expect something with faster beats, more panic sounding, It does not have to be a masterpiece. But here many of the tracks sounds slow. Not sure how to describe this in layman terms, but it may sound like a tree sloth trying to run and being slow, a turtle slowly moving each of its legs to get to the finish line, maybe a funeral march. They have loud beats but as slow as some European waltz. In guitar hero or rock band games when a level needed to be easier you did not have to pick a slow song, you just got fewer notes. Thankfully you can try this in the demo. You may just like this kind of stuff.
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 6, 2013
    Retro Grade’s unique take on the Ryhtm game genre will leave you suprised and satisfied. On a higher difficulty it can be quite challengingRetro Grade’s unique take on the Ryhtm game genre will leave you suprised and satisfied. On a higher difficulty it can be quite challenging and though trophy hunters will be dissapointed with the lack of Platinum and extreme difficulty of attaining all the bronzes, the sheer addictiveness will have most players looking to unlock 100% of this games content. Quirky, addictive, fun and unique it’s everything an indie game should be.
    Trophy Difficulty Very Hard

    Story 7/10
    Gameplay 9/10
    Graphics 9.5/10
    Sound 8/10
    Lasting Appeal 9/10

    Read my full review here:
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 5, 2013
    I didn't know what to expect from this game. I haven't played a good shmup (shoot 'em up) in awhile, so I was hoping this would scratch theI didn't know what to expect from this game. I haven't played a good shmup (shoot 'em up) in awhile, so I was hoping this would scratch the itch. I knew going in that it was rythm-based, but I thought maybe there would some shooter action. I was wrong in thinking this, but very pleasantly surprised by this unique take on the rythm-music genre. An excellent soundtrack filled with a variety of electronica, several difficulties that cater to all skillsets, a high level of replayability (despite its' initially disappointing length), great sense of self-aware and irreverent humor, the ability to use your dust-gathering guitar periphreals, and, most importantly, fast, fun and rewarding gameplay. The graphics and models (with the exception of the stellar background detail) are forgettable and disappointing, and the lack of co-operative play is a letdown; but, the game shines in every other category. Oh, and stay for the credits. Full Review »