|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Cavia / AQ Interactive||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Xseed||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 16, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
To make things easy on the budding musician, a number of preset patterns and loops are available to play around with. You can add or subtract things from these presets. The KAOSS pad lets you add weird arpeggios to single notes that you can use as a basis for a melody or rhythm pattern. All of the notes generated by the pad will automatically be in a related key. There are 31 scale modes including major, minor, Lydian, Aeolian, and even exotic Eastern-flavored scales. When you find sounds, beats, and melodies that you like, it's simply a matter of saving them as patterns. These patterns can then be linked together to create a song up to 100 measures long.
After your song has been created you can use the mixer to balance all of the individual tracks. You'll have control over volume, effects, and where the sounds sit in the stereo spectrum by utilizing the pan control. There's no way to export your song as a file form, so you'll have to output it and record it onto another medium. You can share your songs online, and you can even jam with other DS-10 Plus enthusiasts, but it's not as much fun as it sounds. You're much better off jamming with yourself as what I've experienced online is a catastrophic cacophony. Perhaps this software was given to a group of monkeys as part of some bizarre social experiment.
As far as the graphics go, the game looks sterile. It would have benefited greatly from routing patch boxes of different shapes and colors. It's cool to see the quarter-inch phono jacks utilizing virtual cables for patches, similar to an antique phone switchboard. Like the actual synthesizer, there are an array of knobs, buttons, sliders, and switches, all of which are functional and interactive with the stylus. There are plenty of different screens to access which can be daunting if you haven't done your homework. So make every effort to learn this software before you start getting serious about creating a song, because nothing will stifle your creativity faster than having to put your right brain on hold while you engage your left brain to address some technical issue.<\P>
It's a great feeling when you complete a challenging game, but at the end of the day nothing compares to having actually created something original.
CCC Senior Writer