Jam Sessions 2 Review
Jam Sessions 2 box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Plato 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Ubisoft 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 20, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Another big problem is you have to play through the single-player mode to unlock most of the extra goodies that you'll want to play around with in the Free Play mode. There are lots of guitar effects to use, multiple styles of guitar to play, and other nice extras that anyone seeking to make their own music or fiddle around with the Free Play mode will want access to right off the bat. While unlockables do provide some incentive to check out the solo mode, forcing players to trudge through the game before they can even access the full range of effects and instruments is pretty tedious. The gameplay is definitely fun and surprisingly challenging, but not everyone will want to bother with it. It's too bad they don't have a choice.

Jam Sessions 2 screenshot

The visual presentation in Jam Sessions 2 is quite different from its predecessor, for better or worse. The art style definitely has a cartoonish, hand-drawn punk rock look that fits nicely in most areas of the game. It looks a little cheap during the Song Book mode, but it works well elsewhere. Audio-wise, the guitar sounds are definitely improved over Jam Sessions' more limited scope. Being able to switch between an acoustic and electric guitar sound is also a welcome addition.

In trying to be a Jack-of-all-trades Jam Sessions 2 loses some of the focus and mastery of its core element as a musical tool. That's probably a fair concession for players who've been looking for something more game-like in the package. This sequel could have been an opportunity to build much more heavily on the successes of the first game. Instead, it adds a little here and there and expands into slightly different territory to appeal to a broader audience. Even so, it still manages to be an enjoyable experience.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Staff Contributor

A slick, hand-drawn, punky art style fits the vibe perfectly, though it looks a little cheap in the gameplay portion.
The multi-string noodling is great, although the gaming section tends to tire out your thumb and doesn't feel as precise as it should.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The guitar sounds are nicely improved, though the cover tunes are sometimes disappointing.

Play Value
Gameplay elements are fun but we'd have liked to see beefier musical features.

Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Fun music challenges in Gameplay mode: Play through a diverse array of licensed songs to build levels. Each challenge is unique - players are not merely going faster they are developing and reinforcing the skills necessary to fine tune their electric guitar skills and write songs.
  • Learn & Play with diverse guitar driven bands like: REM, Heart, The Ramones, The Clash, Doobie Brothers, Plain White-T's, The Black Crowes, The Pixies and more!
  • Immersive Experience: A six string interface, a streaming note chart, hundreds of guitar chords and sounds make for an authentic electric guitar experience. Choose to learn on any of the following electric guitars - Stratocaster, Telecaster, Acoustic, Old Electric & Les Paul.
  • User created content: Players can freestyle sections of featured band's songs and make them their own. With a push of a button, players' created works can be added to the game's set list and instantly converted into a playable level.
  • Express creativity: Personalized artist's profiles can be created and customized to track all achievements. Players can select their album cover and launch their debut album.
  • A community of budding musicians: Improvisations and creations can be shared with players' songs pushed into gameplay mode along side songs of famous artists.
  • Song Creation Tools: Contains powerful multi-track song editing software that makes producing high quality music easy, intuitive and fun. Create a song and have your friends play it through song sharing!

  • Screenshots / Images
    Jam Sessions 2 screenshot - click to enlarge Jam Sessions 2 screenshot - click to enlarge Jam Sessions 2 screenshot - click to enlarge Jam Sessions 2 screenshot - click to enlarge Jam Sessions 2 screenshot - click to enlarge Jam Sessions 2 screenshot - click to enlarge Jam Sessions 2 screenshot - click to enlarge Jam Sessions 2 screenshot - click to enlarge

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