[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/daigassobandbrothers/cover.jpg[/floatleft][i]Daigasso! Band Brothers[/i] is a music/rhythm game like [i]Dance Dance Revolution[/i] in a sense, but it’s for the DS and requires using your fingers. It’s known as [i]Jam With The Band[/i] over here, and it was released in Japan in December 2004 just a month after the launch of the DS. It hasn’t been released yet over here, but it’s in development and supposed to be ready for release in June 2006.
For being an import, it’s extremely easy to navigate and find your way around the menus-with it being my first import, I was expecting it to be more difficult, but it’s just a matter of trial and error to find your way around. Not only is that easy but a lot of things are in English for like three seconds when the menus first appear, even the opening cinematic has some guy speaking in English with Japanese subtitles.
[floatright]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/daigassobandbrothers/ss02_thumb.jpg[/floatright]There are three separate areas you can go into from the main menu aside from options and demo play. There is Single Play, where you can either play every song (other than two that you have to unlock), or Ticket Mode, where your play three random songs on the difficulty from which you start out (as a beginner) that only has you using either blue, the D-pad (any direction), or red, the face buttons (any button). As you progress through Ticket Mode, you get the next difficulty unlocked, which is Amateur Mode. Amateur Mode converts the red and blue-only directions to assigning every button a different note: up, down, Y, X, etc. There is also a ‘touch’ button that you have to touch so it automatically plays the segment of the song-there’s no time for stylus-wielding in this game, so you have to learn to touch your screen without any fear of smudges. I used to hate touching the bottom screen and getting fingerprints all over it, but this game weans you off that fear, and since the top screen is the main screen, you don’t have to worry.
Eventually, you get into Pro Mode, which is still kicking me in the butt. This difficulty brings in the L and R buttons that you have to press at the right time in sync with pressing the D-pad or face buttons, making it even more challenging. Next there is Band Play, which is multiplayer, single-game card, and multi-card. You only need one card to play with up to eight people, which is awesome. I played it (one card download) with one other person and had a blast. Then there is Infinite Mode where you and up to infinite players can join in on a band-I really don’t know how that works because I don’t even have one friend with the game. Last, there is Edit Mode, which is awesome because once you beat Amateur Mode (not too hard), you get Score Maker Pro (which is located in Edit Mode) that lets you create your own music and save up to four of them and even trade them with other fellow Band Bro players (ha, good luck coming across one!).
[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/daigassobandbrothers/ss03_thumb.jpg[/floatleft]Another mode is Whistle Mode where you use the microphone to make music by whistling into it, but it’s useless because it can’t recognize the note because you are either too close to it or too loud, so it doesn’t pick up the right note. You are able to choose from 42 different songs, spanning from J-pop, nursery rhymes, Christmas songs, a TV selection (remember a lot of this is Japanese, so the only way to know what song is playing is to know what the song is before you pick it), rock songs ([i]Smoke on the Water[/i] is one of them), classical songs, and video game music. For every song there is a sub-selection of instruments-most songs have eight different instruments, and every single one is different from the other, so the replay value is practically endless. Trumpets, pianos, electric guitars, organs, etc. It has around 48 different instruments.
I got [i]Band Brothers[/i] last month (November 2005), and I have played more hours on this game than all of my other DS games combined. I usually play around two hours a day-it’s that fun. For the $50 I paid to import it via www.lik-sang.com, it’s well worth it even if they are releasing it this summer. The songs are going to be completely different. If you’ve never imported a game, don’t be afraid. This is a good chance to dip your feet into the import scene. I give this game a 10/10. It’s a MUST BUY for every DS owner.