Rhythm, Rhythm Everywhere

The first music orientated video game I can remember playing was Bust-A-Groove on PSX. Does anyone remember that game? With all those anime characters dancing in 3D and you had to press in button combinations every four beats? I loved that game. I still love that game. You know what? I love music video games in general. They’re easy to pick up and play and there’s just so many different types and different ways to play them on every gaming platform to date.

The most popular ones people know, I think, are rhythm games. Think Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero, DJ Hero, etc. Man I do not want to admit how much money I’ve spent on DDR machines at arcades. Or how much time I even spend now on DDR emulation games like StepMania on PC. I’m sure many other people could admit to spending way too much time getting a perfect score on Guitar Hero or Rockband.

I think these games can cater to all types of gamers. Not only can you enjoy the music played, but there are almost always levels of difficulty you can choose and they have some level of interactivity which challenges your coordination. It’s difficult to play DDR if you don’t know how to step arrow combinations properly. You can’t play Guitar Hero until you learn how to strum and press those buttons at the same time. On top of that, you have to know how to read the inputs that fly up the screen so you can press the right thing on time.

Another type of music game would be ones that give you scores based on your pitch. Singstar anyone? Oh Singstar how I love you. It’s the most hilarious party game ever, if you have the right people over. I’ve found it’s a little hard to get people started though, but oh man, when you get people started. I will never forget time I was at a party and a group of guys were trying to sing Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ on hard mode. Trying and epically failing, but I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. These games are great as all you need to do is sing, and EVERYONE can sing; doesn’t matter if you’re good or bad at it. You don’t even need to pronounce words – if you just sing ‘blah’ over and over again like you were singing the right lyrics on the right beats, you could still get a perfect score.

These popular music games aside, there’s also been a rise in popularity of games that involve music with other gameplay. For example games like, Lumines, Chime, Audiosurf, Rhythm Zone, etc. Three of those I’ve mentioned are indie games you can buy on Steam and are really fun. Games like Lumines and Chime involve puzzle game play while letting the player generate music. There are also games that use music to generate environments or – like the previously mentioned games – allow the player to trigger sound effects that play with the soundtrack. Audiosurf uses music of your choosing to generate the shape of it’s tracks and determine gameplay.

I could go on forever about music games, I love them so much. Since I commute to work and uni classes, I like playing music games on my portable consoles. My favourites are Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and it’s sequel; the western sequel is the better known Elite Beats Agents. The DJ Max games on PSP are also heaps of fun, the same goes for it’s sister arcade game DJ Technika which employs a touchscreen.

Whether you love them or hate them, leave a comment and let us know about your experiences of whatever music games you’ve played!

About the Author

I'm just your regular gamer! Currently working in the game industry as an artist. I love all manner of things cute, colourful and crazy. I also love lemons quite a lot. c: