to superior products like Guitar Hero, DDR and even
Karaoke Revolution, Beatmania can't compete. by
4, 2006 - Beatmania
is the forerunner to Konami's Dance Dance Revolution
game. It's only now being released to the North American
audiences. Now we can get our hands on the game that
the Japanese have been enjoying for years in the arcades.
If this sounds like we're getting a hand-me-down game
that's because we are.
is dated. It could have been released on the PSX and
we could all be over with it by now. The fact of the
matter is that much better music-related games have
already been released. Games such as Guitar Hero and
Donkey Konga which feature a guitar and a pair of
bongo drums respectively as peripherals, were much
more satisfying than Beatmania and I'll let you in
on a little secret: Donkey Konga wasn't that great
of rhythm games will probably find favor with Beatmania
and Bemani (that's a given) but the average gamers
looking for the latest novelty will most likely be
disappointed with the presentation, gameplay and novelty
peripheral controllers that is designed to simulate
a DJ's work station. As if being a DJ is so difficult
in the first place. Can you play a CD? Then you're
a DJ. Okay, there's more to it than that.
may see Beatmania as a good alternative to those dancing
or karaoke games but there is still the song list
to contend with, that is anything but stimulating.
How about some Britney Spears and a ton of songs by
people that you've never heard of? How about a shotgun
to the head? You've got to hear some these songs to
believe how bad they are. There are some generic remixes
by some unknown DJs that are obviously tone deaf and
rhythmically challenged. It's embarrassing that these
songs are even included in this game. These guys know
nothing about music and are so ignorant of how bad
they really are, willingly sign their name to this
crap and probably even tell their friends they are
featured on the soundtrack of a PS2 game. I've heard
babies with more talent tapping on a Fisher Price
toy. I'm not saying all of the tunes that are bad,
but the ones that are, are really stanky.
gameplay revolves around a turntable, keyboard pad
and a mixer. By using these pieces of equipment it's
you job to make the people in the club dance. All
you need is rhythm and coordination, but even that
won't help you with some of the terrible songs included
here. You don't actually get to mix and match beats
of different songs to maintain a continuous flow of
music the way real DJs do in a club. You just add
embellishments. So you can't even use this game to
give you the 10-minutes of required training that
it takes to become a professional DJ.
turntable and a keyboard are the alternate controllers.
The price of the game with the controllers will set
you back about $65. Each hand is supposed to control
either the turntable or the keypad. The keyboard replicates
a section of a piano keyboard with four white keys
and three black keys, but they are spaced further
apart then a standard keyboard. The keys are like
individual buttons and are isolated from each other.
You can't just roll your fingers over to the next
key. It makes things more challenging this way.
notes fall down the screen you will have to press
the appropriate key on the keyboard or give the turntable
a spin depending on which section the notes fall into.
There are eight sections where the notes can fall
into. They will enter each section in (relative) time
to the rhythm of the song. Each key accesses a sampled
sound that has to be mixed in to the track. Including
the turntable, there are eight input commands that
correspond with the eight sections where the notes
turntable is a piece of crap. It doesn't affect the
music in any way. It's basically just a big button
that allows you to make an input command. There is
a Free Scratch mode where you get to do a solo on
the turntable to earn some points. You would have
to be mentally slow, very young, or a DJ, to not be
embarrassed to be seen playing with this turntable.
a dynamic monitoring device, the Groove Meter lets
you see how you're doing at any given moment in the
song. It monitors your progress and will fill the
meter when you're doing well and deplete the meter
when you do poorly. Another meter monitors your performance
for the entire song. At the end you will earn a groove
grade for your performance. By replaying the song
and practicing your problem areas, which will be pointed
out by the Groove Meter, you can improve your overall
far as challenges go, Beatmania is hard to beat -
both figuratively and literally. You DJs out there
might want to look those words up in the dictionary.
It starts out easy enough but the difficulty curve
is more like a mountain. Everything gets faster and
more complex. A two-player mode is wishful thinking.
It's doubtful that if you're stupid enough to purchase
this game with the controller that you'll find anyone
else stupid enough to do the same thing. It's possible
to play this game with your regular PS2 controller.
While the turntable/keyboard peripheral is more authentic,
it honestly doesn't make it any more fun; just more
flash, colors swirl and the crowd writhes to your
incredible reflexes. A lot is going on the background
and all this flash and trash actually interferes with
the gameplay. As notes increase in speed they can
sometimes get lost in the distracting light show.
is no accounting for some peoples' tastes and you
might find that you like this game - and hate me.
That's fine. I expect that. Outside of game reviewing,
I'm also a DJ.
the music to more than 50 club tracks, including
pop, techno, drum 'n' bass, trance and house
two player modes that allow players to perform cooperatively
hits and music from some of the hottest DJs and
remixers in the scene
options and difficulty settings make beatmania easy
to learn and challenging to master
audio and visual presentation delivers the club
experience to the home through the PlayStation 2