Review by x7Kuroneko7x
"Daigasso! Band Brother - A Music Simulator that Brings the Beat of Old Nintendo Tunes and New Japanese Hits"
Daigasso! Band Brothers for the Nintendo DS follows the trend of other games like Donkey Konga and Dance Dance Revolution, being a song simulation game. Although this game has characteristics of these other games, it brings a lot of new things to the table. The game is played by picking a song, then picking one out of eight instruments. All the instruments but the one you have selected will play, and notes will appear at the top of the screen, which will correspond to buttons on the DS. You must hit the correct button the at the same time the meter goes over the note on the top screen. You will be graded with a Miss, Bad, Good, or Perfect, each which add a different amount of points to your status bar. Your status bar begins at zero, and climbs every time you hit a correct note. You will play through the whole song and at the end will be given a final score out of 100, which will be saved onto the DS allowing for competitive High Score competitions.
There are three main categories for game play: Single Player, Multiplayer, and Song Editor. Single player also has two modes, one which you can play songs and obtain a high score and one which you can play three random songs to unlock the next difficulty and new instruments for songs. In the first mode, you choose through a list of songs. After selecting a song, you must select a difficulty: Beginner, Amateur, or Pro. Each different difficulty uses more buttons on the DS to play notes. After selecting a difficulty, you must select an instrument. Each song has it's own instruments, and each instrument has a different difficulty level ranging from 1-5 stars. After choosing an instrument, you will play the song and your score will be saved. The other mode is called Recording Studio. By playing this, you will unlock the next level. The beauty of this game is the difficulty curve. When you begin the game you only can play songs at beginner songs with a 1 star level, only using left on the D-Pad and the A button to play songs. By playing Recording Studio, you can unlock Beginner songs with a 2 star level. After you unlock all the beginner level songs, you can unlock Amateur level songs with a 1 star level which then use all the face buttons on the DS (not the "R" or "L" buttons). Pro mode uses all the face buttons, and the shoulder buttons to distort the note you are playing. Recording Studio pits you up against three random songs and random instruments that are the level you have last unlocked. Beating this will unlock the next level of songs, which how you progress through the game.
This game isn't big on graphical power, but it does not hinder game play at all. The menus are shown in as concert posters, and bring a feeling of graffiti with them. The game also contains well designed characters too, Barbara Bat and the Skull Kids. The menu style and character design make the game fun to look at. While playing songs, the graphics are simple but that is the beauty. Using simple but vibrant animations, the game makes a point without overcrowding the screen and confusing the player.
The sound in this game is great, but it leaves you desiring more. With the massive amount of songs, the game has a tune for everyone. The songs are played similar to MIDI songs, so the actually song isn't being played, but a similar sounds composed of beeps that sound similar to the actual song. This is probably the games only downfall, but isn't a big one because the MIDI songs sound great, but they aren't the real song. The song list is very impressive. Bringing popular J-Rock and J-Pop songs, American songs, world songs, and video game songs, there is always something that will fit your mood. Another great part of the sound is that you create it. When you miss a note, or hit the wrong note the song plays the wrong note or doesn't play the note. Also, the medleys are great at bringing a bunch of different songs together, and the game even includes some original remixes of Nintendo songs.
The replay value in this game might is vast. Not only will the game take you month, if not years to perfect and complete the last difficulty, you can replay the songs at any difficulty to try to perfect each song. One of the best features of this game is the Pro Edit Mode. This mode allows for users to create songs using the DS and save them onto Daigasso! Band Brothers. These songs have their own music, and notes to go along with them, leaving you with an unlimited number of songs available on the game. There are two ways to input songs. Using the microphone you can either hum notes or play a song from your CD player or MP3 player and the DS will write it's own notes and translate it into a MIDI that is available to play on the DS. You can also enter the notes onto a score and it will play the music and write the corresponding notes. Nintendo has even written a couple songs that you can input into your DS, which can be found here: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ds/abbj/download/index.html
The multiplayer on this game is perfect. You and up to 7 other friend can wirelessly connect to play a song. Each person chooses their own instrument, and the song starts. Each person is in charge of their instruments, and any mistakes made will be played on everyone else's DS. This can lead to some pretty fun and wild songs! Other people's mistakes can lead to your own, leading to some interesting interpretations. You can also share High scores by downloading them onto each other's DS's, which expands on the reason to try to get 100 on the songs. Finally, songs created in Pro Edit mode can be transferred, and in Japan there are kiosks that allow you to download new songs for you DS!
This game is everything you could ask for in a music simulator, and is a must buy for anyone wanting a portable music based game. There is an American version announced to be released under the name "Jam with the Band", and will most likely contain different songs for a whole new experience, and there is a expansion for the game named "Daigasso! Band Brothers Tsuijka Kyoku Cartridge" which will add around twenty new songs to Daigasso! Band Brothers!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/11/05
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