Game Review: JAM: Live Music Arcade
JAM: Live Music Arcade is a fresh, and very innovating downloadable title for both PSN, along with XBLA. The game was developed by Zivix, and published by 505 Games on May 16, 2012 redefining the way players experience music JAM Live itself features a total of 32 tracks from “major, chart-topping artists, as well as indie artist,” such as Panic at the Disco, and Fallout Boy. Additionally, each of these tracks can be fully manipulated, which doesn’t make the player follow keys to the song, but allows them to connect their guitar peripherals in order to dissect each song and fully change the key, vocals, and even create unique layers that weren’t heard before.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeqldm7rTJs?feature=player_detailpage&w=640&h=360]
JAM: Live has the player start out in Jam mode in order to learn the mechanics, but once fully completed the game then unlocks Arcade mode. Players will first be introduced to five banks, and the five samples. Each bank and sample will be stringed to either your guitar controller buttons, or Xbox controller buttons. The tutorial will help you on your first track by showing you how to strum down the fret button which enables different banks to open, and then samples to play. That’s about it, but the problem with the controls is that no matter what bank you open or close, or what fret you strum down, or sample you close, the songs themselves still sound very good, and doesn’t really show if you’ve done anything wrong at all.
However, on the plus side, Jam mode does have a great deal more to offer. For starters, there are so many different ways of cutting up the songs, from simply just changing the banks to playing over 25 samples at once. It even has a multiplier score, which honestly doesn’t seem to matter because there isn’t a leadership board, but because the achievements are mostly received from getting medals, which are received by points, makes the points somewhat crucial. However, keep in mind, there is no time limit for Jam mode, which makes it easy to score as many points, and makes these achievements points very easy.
Arcade mode on the other hand is completely the opposite of Jam mode. Actually, to be honest; Arcade mode is simply atrocious. This mode needs precision and needs a great amount of patience. Why? Because this mode completely takes everything that Jam mode gave you originally. It takes away the freedom to play any song like the way you want to, and even a stress free environment, because it makes you have to change banks, frets, samples very quickly and very fluently. One of tracks alone took over a half an hour of practice in order to master, which unlike Jam mode puts you under a lot of stress and really makes Arcade mode only for those die-hard fans.
Graphics wise, the game doesn’t even come close to be something graphically invigorating which Crysis 2 was. However, the thing to notice is that the game doesn’t need to be. The graphics for the game itself looks very average for an XBLA game, and does have a tad bit of creativity, and does try to add a lot of lighting effects to get you really into the groove to be playing as a musician.
Overall from the outside JAM: Live seems to look like a great game for most gamers. However, if you look deeper into the game, the game itself has little to offer. Why? Because half of JAM: Live seems to be fit for only those hardcore fans, and doesn’t really seem to attract a great deal of gamers who truly are trying to have fun with music, rather than be chopped up by songs. However, due to Jam mode, the game itself still offers a lot of fun, and a great amount of entertainment, and a lot of achievements/ trophies. Would I recommend this game to a fellow gamer? No, not for 10 dollars, but to a fellow musician, I would certainly say go out and go nuts with this game, but personally, this game was not for me nor for any gamer I know of.