games / Columns

411 Games Top 5 8.23.12: Music Games

August 23, 2012 | Posted by Sean Garmer

Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there, it is all about the music.

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Music gaming made be considered a fad nowadays (although I consider the fad continuing because Dance games are still selling like hot cakes,) the genre did have its own great moment in gaming. It may have peaked with Guitar Hero 3 and Rock Band but there are other games in the genre that others may have forgotten. Since Rock Band Blitz comes out next week the 411 staff figured this was a good time as any to do Top 5 Music Games.

Adam Larck (Games Zone Reviewer & News Writer)

5. Mad Maestro – This was an odd enough title that it really stuck out in my memory. Sure, it was just a simple button tap, but I liked how the world really came alive around you. The world would react differently depending on where you played. It was simple fun, but that’s sometimes all you need.

4. Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy – Sure, the touch gameplay is simple. But, I think the main reason I like this title is the music. I’m a big fan of the Final Fantasy music, and being able to play through a lot of the music was a fun time. I’ve actually considered some of the DLC for the game, but there haven’t been any songs yet that I’ve had to instantly grab.

3. Frequency – I really got into the beats with this game. I really can’t remember a lot of songs from the title; I just had a good time keeping the beats with different instruments in the game. That’s one of the main reasons I’m interested in Rock Band Blitz is because it seems to be going back to the old formula.

2.Rock Band 2 – Rock Band 2 is great. It allowed for plenty of friends to take in the fun and had an expansive music library to choose. What made it even better, though, was the release of plenty of DLC to support it. No matter what you’re music choice, you could normally find something to download and play.

1. Guitar Hero 3 – It may seem a weird choice, but I honestly think that this has had one of the most enjoyable soundtracks for me. I still remember and loving playing most of the songs on that list. It had the formula down near perfect and was a blast to play. I think about going back to this game from time to time, but never feel like pulling the guitar out.

Dan Watson (Games Zone Editor)

5. Just Dance This game was fun enough to work up a good sweat while looking stupid. Listen, everything about this genre made you look stupid but you had fund doing it. For anyone to complain that the genre was gender specific or any other general complaint, I feel as if you are just trying to be overly macho. Relax, enjoy the music, and just have fun.

4. PaRappa the Rapper This was the first music genre game I had ever played way back on the Playstation. It was a fun title and the characters were interesting too. Why can’t we have more games with animals dressed like gangster rap artists? Overall though, it really kicked off a generation of chaos in the gaming world as once the genre caught on, it was everywhere. Even the cool kids were playing these games.

3. Guitar Hero 2 This was the first guitar hero title I had gotten into. A few friends were playing and I said that looks easy enough, sure enough I was proven wrong. The songs were awesome in this game and I couldn’t have enjoyed playing a game with no real story or purpose other than to just play guitar by pressing buttons anymore than I did this game.

2. Rock Band This game lead to some awesome memories from living in the dorm. Originally, I bought this as I was going to sell it on eBay and get rich quick. The problem was that there was a much bigger stock and lower demand than I believed to be out there. Even with that failed plan, we sat for days and weeks playing and rotating instruments. I still cannot sing on that damn game, but give me the guitar or drums and I am golden.

1. Guitar Hero 3 Much like Rock Band, this game holds a special place in the list for sentimental purposes. Fun boss battles, awesome music, and great time with friends. I did not care as much for the versus battles in this one but they still lead to some amazing experiences. In the end, this series was my favorite compared to Rock Band. Both of those games were superior to the other titles in this list and left off the list especially.

Francisco Ramirez

5. Rock Band – This is as far as I got with the plastic instrument craze. I’ll admit having a full blown band going was pretty fun. Add alcohol to the mix and you have yourself an exciting experience.

4. Space Channel 5 – This little Dreamcast gem and later PS2 port is still a blast to play. Sure the graphics haven’t aged too well but the gameplay is where it’s at. Ulala and the characters seem like they were created on some sort of acid trip. Michael Jackson in this game is just an added bonus.

3. Um Jammer Lammy – Parappa the Rappers rock cousin. Um Jammer Lammy played just like Parappa, but instead of rapping, Lammy would rock out on her guitar. A fun game but in my opinion it lacked the charm that Parappa had, which is why this is my number three.

2. Gitaroo Man – This is as cult classic as it gets! Gitaroo Man stars U-1, a boy with a magical Guitar aka a Gitaroo, but wait, the Gitaroo was given to him by a talking dog named Puma. Who also turns out to be from the planet Gitaroo! Yeah, something about these music games that scream acid trip! Gameplay seemed simple at first, but could be insanely difficult. A blast to play, and worth looking up!

1. Parappa the Rapper – “Kick, Punch, it’s all in the mind!” That will be embedded in my brain until the day I die and it’s all thanks to this game. Parappa the Rapper consisted of a rapping dog, who happens to be smitten with Sunny Funny. Parappa learns how to bake, Judo, and drive in order to impress this girl.All while rapping I might add. Gameplay consisted of pressing the PSX face buttons in sequence and staying with the rhythm. The graphics seemed like they were created in the South Park studios, yet this game had charm, great gameplay and during its day was ahead of its time.

Sean Garmer (Games Zone Reviewer, News Writer, & Organizer of Games Top 5)

5. Dance Central 2: Ubisoft´s Just Dance series might make more money because its easier and less about dancing and more about having a good time. It does not take away from how good Harmonix nailed the dance game. Harmonix´s history with music games cannot be disputed and they used that experience to allow people to import all of the Dance Central 1 setlist and added co-op with a storyline too. If you really want to feel like you might learn some new dance moves, this is the game to get.

Beatles Rock Band: I remember being at E3 2009 and getting to see Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr at the Microsoft Press Conference. They came out to hype the game and then I got to play the demo on the floor. I was floored by how many people were so enthused to play the Beatles in a Band game. I got to review the game and all of the DLC for this website because I am a huge Beatles fan, so I am a little partial to this game. It just made me sad we did not get more DLC because music game was pretty much near death by then. Regardless, they are still the greatest band in the world and they deserved their own game.

3. Amplitude: It is Frequency but with songs people actually know and with better gameplay too. This game had power-ups and had more instrument threads for players to try to complete. It reminds me a lot of why Rock Band Blitz has so much buzz with it because it reminds many of us of what made Frequency and this game great.

2. Elite Beat Agents: The game that introduced me to Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, the Rolling Stones, and the Napoleon Dynamite Song. This is also pretty much where the Final Fantasy 3DS game took most of its gameplay as well. I loved the fact that there was a story you got with some characters while going through the song. It made the song choice more meaningful and you really felt like you might be actually helping these people. I had so much fun with this game that I played it on the bus in college and even in class at times, it was freaking addicting!!!

1. Rock Band 1, 2, & 3: I still remember when my friend and former writer of this website David Martell (we were roommates at the time) came into our room with Rock Band 1 and the mic, guitar, and drumset. We quickly formed our trio with me singing, David on guitar, and our friend Gary on drums. The setlist was not as great as what RB 2 and RB 3 would become, but it was still fun. RB 2 introduced the awesome World Tour and had DLC every week that was not a bunch of covers. RB 3 introduced Pro Guitar and Keyboard which gave the music game genre some much added life. I still play this game today and buy DLC every few weeks for it too.

Twitter Break

Games Coming Out on 08/28/12:

Madden NFL 13 (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii & VITA)

Rock Band: Blitz (Xbox Live Arcade & PSN)

Guild Wars 2 (PC)

WWE Wrestlefest (Xbox Live Arcade)

Roller Coaster Tycoon 3D (Nintendo 3DS)


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Sean Garmer
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