May 24, 2012

JAM: Live Music Arcade Review

I'm a big fan of Guitar Hero and Rock Band, and since these two series have pretty much died, I needed a rhythm game to fill the void. That's where I hoped JAM: Live Music Arcade would come in.

Let me explain to you what JAM is. JAM is a game where you can take songs that already exist, and make your own beats from them. There are five banks that you can create beats from: drums, bass, guitar, melody, and keys. Each of the five banks also have five tracks to choose from. You can also combine these tracks to create other tracks. This means that almost any recordings you make will probably be different from what anyone else has ever made. Take a look at the picture to below to help you understand better.
To help you create even more beats, JAM has added banksets. If you look at the picture above you can see three color bars to the left and right sides (green, red, and yellow). These are called banksets and give each bank a different sound. You can activate different banksets to let you create even more beats! There are a ton of ways to record different tracks.

JAM also has an arcade mode that is like Guitar Hero or Rock Band. You play certain notes as they cross the screen, but in JAM, you have to activate the different banks. Depending on the type of player you are, you might enjoy the arcade mode more. You also have the choice to use a guitar controller or a regular controller, depending on your preference.
The songs you can choose from in JAM are mostly from the indie scene with less mainstream names. There's some familiar bands like Modest Mouse, Fallout Boy, Fatboy Slim and a few others, but the rest are mostly from the underground. I don't know much about this music, so I was having a hard time getting into the arcade mode, but I did enjoy making my own beats from these songs.

Final Say: JAM is the "hipster's" version of Guitar Hero. That doesn't mean it's terrible game if you're not a hipster. Just know that if you don't want to create your own music then JAM won't be for you. Unless you're the type who digs bands like Bran Van 3000 and DaCav5, because you can tell people "you've probably never heard of them," then you'll probably enjoy the arcade mode. If you do like the idea of creating your own music though, then JAM isn't a bad choice for $10 on the PSN, or XBLA. Though if you're really into making your own music then get fruity loops, or something.

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