Indie Games, where the heart and soul is!

JAM Live Music Arcade XBLA Review


Review by: Master Blud

My first ever Rhythm games were Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Freaks at the mall arcade.   Rhythm games evolved into many forms since then.  They evolved into more diverse plastic instruments, then into real instruments used to play the game note for note.  Such as the current release of Rocksmith.  I have yet to play these new “Real” instrument game.  I would rather separate real from emulated.  Not saying learning guitar with a video game is a bad thing.  As a musician, I would recommend you actually take real lessons from a real person.  Video games aren’t full proof teachers, they may be one day, but the technology is still too early.  This is what JAM LIVE Music Arcade does the right thing.

JAM Live Music Arcade can be used with your guitar peripherals, such as the always classic GH Controller and the classy RB Guitar.  I stuck with the Les Paul GH Controller from GH3, I felt most comfortable playing the game with this.

Well I am going to give you some advice with this title.  Understanding the controls in this game, well, it’s going to take you a while.  I thought DJ Hero was hard, this is just another step up from that.  But don’t let that discourage you.  There are some fun points in the game.  Let’s start by talking about the controls.  Don’t use your actual controller, you’ll have a difficult time understanding everything.  Try to find a 2nd hand GH Controller for your Xbox on Craigslist, because you will be lucky if you find one at Gamestop.  Using the guitar controller makes it easier to transition through tracks and mixing your music.  The whammy bar is used quite often, mostly used to fade into tracks, I liked this control aspect.  The gameplay, eh.  The JAM Mode is where it’s at.  The arcade mode is for those who want to play a song in completion on how it is intended to sound.  If you find the arcade mode isn’t cutting it, then switch to JAM Mode, you can play as long as you want.  JAM Mode puts you in the seat of a Free-to-do-what-you-want DJ!  Mixing sounds, even staying off rhythm whenever you want.

The soundtrack within the game has a very nice selection of current mix of music artists, I am hoping for some future DLC. At this time, the game is fine with the song selections it has.  You’ll enjoy the variety.  The visuals, can be changed with just a selection in the menu prior to loading up your Venue.  There isn’t much to say about the visuals, but when playing in arcade mode, it really seems to shine when you actually get on rhythm, although it is distracting.

Final Thoughts:

Well, it came time for me to really try to give you my honest opinion of this game.  JAM Mode is the only thing you can actually look forward to when picking up this game.  If you’re looking for a new challenge, then Arcade mode will there for you.  Do you even remember the first time you picked up Guitar Hero or stepped on a DDR pad?  You were like, I can’t play this.  This is the feeling I get when I play JAM Live Music Arcade.  It’s a different step.  Needs a little more work.  Altogether this title gets a 3.5 out of 5.   If you’d like to know more about the game you can view our interview with the developers “Zivix” here.

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