Title: JAM Live Music Arcade
Genre: Music Creation
Developer: Zivix, LLC
Publisher: Reverb Publishing/505 Games
Launch: May 16, 2012
Platforms: [Reviewed: XBLA] and PSN
MSRP: 800 MSP, $9.99
Rating: ‘T’ for Teen
When 505 games says that JAM Live Music Arcade is “a completely new approach to the definition of the music game,” they are not telling a lie.
JAM Live Music Arcade, here forth referred as JLMA, takes the music game genre and turns it into something far more creative than what we are used to. Certainly pressing buttons to generate pre-determined sounds isn’t that hard, in fact if you look at it that way it’s the easiest game on earth. What makes it difficult is that the only thing keeping you on the leaderboard in this game is your sense of rhythm and your willingness to try new things.
The goal in-game is to basically Jam. It’s more complicated than that but essentially what you want to do is create good music by mixing and matching the beats on time. If you like something you can simply record it the next time you play it, offering you the chance to go back and listen or even have your friends listen as well.
You can mix and match everything from the drums to the vocals to make a song that sounds similar but is completely different. If you like that one thing they did in that one song for like 30 seconds, technically you could stretch that out to ten minutes.
The game does feature songs from artists I’ve never heard of, but then again I don’t listen to music much; though I did see some Modest Mouse in there so that’s a good thing. Still, the songs are engaging and fun to play and sound even better with a few personal touches.
JLMA has two different modes, Arcade mode and Jam mode. Arcade mode is similar to the “Simon Says” music games that gamers are familiar with.
Arcade sets challenges and goals for players learning the game’s mechanics. Jam mode focuses on a more freestyle play where improvisation is key. You have complete control over the music and get points for being on rhythm, experimentation and mastering the instruments by activating multiple tracks at one time.
Don’t feel bad if you’re just now joining the musical game club and don’t have any of the paraphernalia. I have nothing and was able to use the standard Xbox controller. I imagine it would be a lot easier to use the guitar, but what are you doing to do? If you want some sweet Jam time you got to use what you have. It doesn’t matter if you have the guitar from the Rock Band games or from Guitar Hero, both will work perfectly fine.
This game is a really fun game for music lovers. It’s very different from Rock Band or Guitar Hero, but for those that just simply enjoy creating music, or for those who want to be bedroom DJ’s, JAM Live Music Arcade is a great game.
Replay Ability: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5