2009 Music Game Mega-Review

As I’ve been a bit slacking in getting out reviews, I’m going to approach these in a slightly different format, avoiding the headers I used before (though I still plan to call out the individual grades I give).  As this year we had 6 (6!!!!) music games on the market, here’s my mass music reveal to cover all those.

These are all based on the 360 version. I’m aware of Band Hero and Lego Rock Band DS version, but have not tried those yet.

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Rhythm Heaven (NDS) – Review

cover Rhythm Heaven, a DS game that is a sequel to Rhythm Tengoku, a Japanese-only release on the GBA, has come to the states and provides a nice alternative to standard rhythm games while still providing that quirkiness factor that such games often bring with them. While the core game is pretty easy to get through, it is difficult to master, and backed by a great presentation to make it worth struggling to master it all.

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Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (PSP) – Review

cover Following on the success of the immensely popular Final Fantasy 7 and the various spin-offs and media from that work, Square Enix has turned to a portable spin-off for the PSP in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 that explores the character of Zack some years before the events in the main FF7 game.  While the game does try to standalone from knowledge of FF7, it is best appreciated with full awareness of the previous title.  The game itself is very well done and works perfectly as a PSP title, but some odd, though not game-breaking, design choices lead to the game being a lot easier than I believe the creators envisioned.

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MadWorld (Wii) – Review

cover The folks behind MadWorld, Platinum Games, have a lot of previously impressive games under their belt: Okami, Viewtiful Joe, and GodHand, to name a few, so it should be no surprise that MadWorld aims to keep up that trend, falling back to the developers’ more fighting-game style approach.  Thankfully, this assumption proves correct, as MadWorld delivers what exactly is promised with an awesome presentation.  While the gameplay does somewhat flatline in the latter part of the game, and there’s some aspect to its shortness, the rest of the game is really well done.

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Guitar Hero: Metallica (360) – Review

cover Guitar Hero: Metallica is the second band-specific game in the series, and given how woefully flat that Guitar Hero: Aerosmith came across, it’s very reasonable to have certain cautions about how well this game will be.  Fortunately, Neversoft did a lot of extra work to spit and polish this game up, paying a much better tribute to the band Metallica while also learning some of their lessons from past Guitar Hero games, making this game their best effort yet on the series and shows about as much skill towards music games as Harmonix has already.  It’s still got a few problem, mostly that if you’re not a fan of Metallica’s songs, you’re not going to find anything here, and that you’re going to spending the same price as a full game for a reduced soundtrack and fewer songs. However, the added features and touches really do make this game a great example to follow if they do attempt any more band-specific titles.

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Peggle (XBL) – Review

cover Keeping this really short and simple – the Peggle translation to Xbox Live is pretty much all forms of awesome, with the "Peggle Party" addition for XBox Live being a perfect touch.

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LocoRoco 2 (PSP) – Review

cover LocoRoco 2 is the sequel to the popular LocoRoco game, does exactly what a sequel should do – it provides the same fun, if somewhat simple, gameplay with a few added twists which don’t detract from the game’s core entertainment value, keeping the strong presentation in graphics and music that also made the game what it is.  Studio Japan’s put out another great game that works perfectly on the PSP and should be a part of any PSP owner’s collection.

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