With the Rolling Stone namesake stamped on the cover of this drummer-centric Wii game, the game is bound to be good, right? Well, sort of; it plays like a drum equivalent of Guitar Hero, which, at this point, only provides any remaining enjoyment in one series to the next in the song choices (i.e what access they are granted, legally-speaking). Looking at the setlist of this game, the choices are very topical, with songs that sound like they'd be fun to play on the drums (Bloc Party's "Banquet," Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild," The Police's "I Can't Stand Losing You"), as well as ones that are noted for their simplistically-distinct percussive hooks (Tony Basil's "Hey Mickey," Violent Femmes' "Blister in the Sun," and of course Queen's "We Will Rock You"). And then in between are a whole bunch of downright questionable entries (i.e. Smash Mouth's "All Star"...really, Rolling Stone? That's who you went with?). The best thing about this game being for the Wii is the intuitive controls, using the Wii remote and Nunchuk as drum sticks, an appropriate use of the technology which a lot of games for the way don't fully take advantage of as much as this game does.
This game saw Guitar Hero's guitarist and raised it a full band. That is, to simulate virtually. You could with Rock Band, take two friends (to complete the guitar-drums-vocalist power trio) and about two hunded dollars, and start your own band without any necessary playing ability. This is a sad dream many hopelessly unmotivated individuals had been begging for, and finally it came true. Of course with that excitement comes an inevitable declined of which, especially when a franchise models itself in the same overkill fashion as Guitar Hero (i.e. sequels and spin-offs galore). It's one high point, however, was in the Beatles edition. Which it got right. Much to the delight of everyone from 3 to 63.
This game gave any hand-eye-and-color-coordinated gamer the tools to be a rock god, or a 'Guitar Hero' if you will. Literally, that intricately-strung-and-fretted Gibson was rendered into a plastic guitar-effigy, with 6 multi-colored buttons and a plastic switch where a strings/pickups would be. By punching the colored buttons in time, a kid could feel briefly like his hero. This fun would last about 5 sequels and a similar number of artist spinoffs (i.e. Aerosmith, Van Halen, and Metallica). While the games eventually included other instruments, Rock Band-style, and even revamped the guitar, you could only push blue, green, red, and orange (if you were a pro) so many times before the thrills inevitably faded away. And as Def Leppard would say, 'It's better to burn out than fade away.'
This game for the Gamecube is centered around the very music a gorilla as such must listen to, as a native to African jungles. Armed with a konga drum, a unique Gamecube peripheral, you could too produce the kind of chest-beating tribal music that fuels Donkey's adventures through mineshafts and crocodile-inhabited wetlands, on the backs of rhinos and giant swordfish. Moreover, instead of just playing strictly drum circle-type music, you get to lend your percussive palms to a number of decade-spanning pop songs, like a distictly Nintendo-themed precursor to the onslaught of instrument-led game that would sweep/flood the market in years to follow (the first Donkey Konga came out in 2003, while Guitar Hero didn't come out til 2005). This was truly a party game to go ape over.
This game was all the rage in high school some seven or eight years ago; first came the arcade game that convinced so many that eye-foot coordination is all it sakes to be good dancer. Lo and behold the transference of these manic up-down-left-right step motions to an actual dancefloor didn't produce nearly the same results. Then came the foot pad plug-in that made it so you could keep these 'dance moves' behind closed doors where they belong. Now, the cyber dancing is much more advanced (and life-like) with motion sensor games for the Wii and Xbox Kinnect. Who'd've thunk video games would end up having the capacity to make you more coordinated, and Wiifit.
This game was a much fussed-about opportunity to exploit the late King of Pop's likeness and milk the Jackson estate for all it's worth. Unyielding yields aside, no person better deserves a dancing video game in his image. After all, who else is as famous for their music as they are for their dancing (and iconic music videos and wardrobe choices). And who wouldn't love the opportunity to show off their moonwalking ability, after so many hours of practicing in socks on hardwood floors? Now they can, and so much more, using the Wii or Xbox as a personal choreographer. With famous video backdrops, the King's own music (27 pieces of which), and his signature moves, it certainly is the best slice of Michael's life to experience.
While devoted and uncynical fans will rave about this game in its topical novelty, the obvious truth is that it was rushed onto shelves, underdeveloped with the ersatz engine of comparable dance games, and it seems less a tribute as a means to cash in on that fresh post-mortem buzz (about the time his albums were downloaded millions of times over on iTunes, or his similarly rushed-sounding posthumous album Michael).
Okay so this game has a million predecessors, but none that boast the likes of Bugs Bunny as an orchestra conductor. This game is a must for Nintendo DS-havers whose fanaticism for Looney Tunes extends the largely classical soundtrack of the original cartoons. In this game, you are given the greatest hits as interpreted by the Looney ensemble, including Beethoven, Liszt, Bach, and Rossi (the famous you-should-be-riding-a-horse-right-now accompaniment "William Tell Overture"). Using a stylus as a conductors wand, your tapping in proper succession ensures that the cartoon overhead isn't without that-ever necessary action-driving soundtrack.
Back about two video game generations ago (before Xbox even existed), the first Playstation was king (with the Nintendo 64 as it's queen). The idea of playing video games on a CD was new and exciting, even if they took forever to load (or needed to load every five minutes). And some of the first music games game about in that glory age of the CD, namely PaRappa the Rapper and its rock 'n' roll, Scott Pilgrim-ish counterpart Um Jammer Lammy. With an animated cartoon dog responding to your cues--essentially Simon Says with triangles, squares, circles, and X's--and performing only as well as you can follow instructions, this game was highly amusing, regardless of how wierd and random it was (or of the music wasn't up to current rap/rock standards).
This game is an answer to the thousands of actual guitarists who found mastering a fake guitar much harder than playing a real one. With this game, designed like Rock Band sans the drums, you play actual notes and chords and hear them played back in real time. Sort of. The game's biggest flaw, obvious to any guitarist, is that painful, albeit perhaps a millisecond in lengh, gap between the time you play the string and the time you hear it played back through the T.V. monitor speakers. It's the same thing that happens when you plug a guitar into a computer via a USB; that digital interface creates an amount of dissonance which hinders the ability to play in real-time without becoming quickly discombobulated by the difference between what your fingers do and what your ears hear. Perhaps this is overlookable by your average binomial-minded game developer, but to musician, timing is everything. To the game's credit--in spite the shortsighted attempt to make a guitarist-accesible Guitar Hero (it even presents 'tab'-like finger arrangements for beginners who want to make an untedious party out of a guitar lesson)--the mini-games are incredibly fun; there's unspeakable pleasure in being able to kill droves of zombies with the strum of a D minor chord.
With this game, now you too could pretend to pretend to make music. With a 'turntable' controller in lieu of a plastic guitar, DJ Hero was the club music equivalent of Guitar Hero. With songs from samplers of other artists, as well as some songs for you to manipulate, and cut-and-splice, and add little bleeps and bloops for yourself, this game catered directly to everyone who thought the songlist for the Guitar Hero games was completely esoteric (Who are the Modest Mice?). Also the game's most unforgivable tresspass is its inclusion of such hallowed artists--juxtaposed next to the likes of Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Gwen Stefani-- as David Bowie, the Zombies and Tears For Fears, all left open to the butchering. A nihilist's wet dream.