Review by KidBomb

Reviewed: 05/31/06

Who needs instruments anymore?

This game is one of a kind. Instead of dancing to the song, beating bongos to a song, or simply pressing buttons to a song, you PLAY the song. This is my favorite DS game, and maybe even my favorite game ever. Of course, I don't expect others to share the same feelings, but regardless of whether it's your favorite, it's definitely one to give a shot.

Music: 9/10
Most complaints about this game are centered around the MIDI-esque music that this game has. What most people don't realize is that it HAS to be this way! MP3's would take away what makes this game special: You actually play each note.
Anyways, the music chosen in the game is great. It offers a large variety of music, but consists mostly of Japanese-Pop, anime theme songs, Nintendo music, and various classical melodies. Even without ever hearing the MP3 versions of the songs beforehand, they are still a blast to play. Although, of course, it's more enjoyable to recognize the songs.

Controls: 10/10
The controls in this game are very well used. With pitch-oriented instruments, the D-pad and ABXY map to different notes in an octave. In Amateur Mode, sharps and flats are automatically done when you press the button. In Pro Mode, you have to press L to make the note sharp, and R to move the note up an octave. It allows for beginners and advanced players to get their fair share of enjoyment.

With percussion instruments, the D-pad, ABXY, and the shoulder buttons are all mapped to different sounds (R is crash, B is bass drum, etc.). What's fun about the drums is that you can play multiple sounds at the same time. For instance, rolling the cymbal by pressing L every beat, while hitting the bass drum and snare drum every other beat. It adds a lot of variety and options to playing the game. In Amateur mode, if you have to press more than one button at once, you only have to press one to do both. In Pro Mode, you have to press multiple buttons at once.

Graphics: 7/10
This is definitely NOT the focus of the game. The game is nice to look at, but isn't advanced graphic-wise. So if you're looking for an incredibly polished, shiny game to show off to your friends, pass on this one.
But for what it's worth, this game isn't ugly...

Gameplay: 10/10
This game is pure fun. It has a VERY well-developed learning curve for every skill level. Beginners only have to press 2 buttons, while experts have to deal with 32 different button combinations (24 for percussion). It has hundreds (yes, hundreds) of parts to play, so only after hours upon hours of play would you have to repeat something. Every song has its own charm that makes it worth playing over and over.

This game boasts over 10 "Recording Tickets" which require you to play 3 random songs at a certain difficulty. As you develop, you can play these recording tickets and unlock more parts for more songs. Once you unlock everything, there is a Golden Ticket which requires you to get an average of 99% on 3 random songs. Only the best players can accomplish this, so no matter what skill level you're at, there's something to aim for.
The game records the best score for each part of every song on the Amateur and Pro levels. Because of the large amount of parts, there's always some score you can try to beat.

One of the major selling points (for me, at least) is its multiplayer. Up to 7 friends can download from your game. Then everyone chooses a part and you'll play as a full band! The only limitation here is that no downloader can be at Pro level. But, since the people don't have a copy of the game, they shouldn't be expected to play at a Pro level.
The game also has a huge multiplayer aspect that no other DS game has. It can support up to INFINITE multicard players. Yes, infinite. The host chooses a song, and everyone chooses a part (more than 1 person can choose the same part), and everybody plays insync. Of course, this option is useless to most people, since most people don't have over 7 friends with a DS and this game. But the option is always there!

The only negative thing I can say is for rhythmically-challenged people. It relies on timing of the notes, and if you can't press a button when a line passes a circle, you weren't meant to play music games. So long as you're a music fan (whether it be playing or listening to), this game will be enjoyable.

Replayability: 10/10
I've had this game for over a year and a half, and it's still a game I play regularly. For at least 30 minutes everyday I play this game. Why? Because you can never get tired of creating music. Like I said before, this game has hundreds of parts, so it's going to take a long time to get bored of every single one.
This is the aspect that I think separates it from most other games. It may not be an all-day game, but it is definitely an all-year one. I often times play not to beat my old score, but just for the sake of playing.

Overall: 10/10
This game has kept my DS from collecting dust in the closet. This game is great in the replay department, so you'll be coming back to play it often, even if you don't get in a couple hours everyday... And with friends, this game can be a blast!
This is a must-buy for music-lovers!

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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