JAM Live Music Arcade: Want to be the whole band?

May 29, 2012

Since the death of Guitar Hero and the somewhat dwindling interest in the Rock Band series as of late, we haven’t had much of a reason to use our guitar controllers. To be honest, mine has been collecting dust for some time now. Developer Zivix decided to capitalize on the dying interest of peripheral-based games. Was it a successful attempt?

More or less.

To start, you are the band: the drums, the keyboard-synth, vocals, guitar, and bass. You control everything. There are only two modes available in-game: a Jam Mode, that allows you create your own “jam” to the various amounts of songs in-game; and an Arcade Mode, which is pretty much the bread and butter of the game. Jam Mode serves as your tutorial. In each tier, there are certain challenges that you’re required to do that will help to further develop your jam and make it better. While this might sound fun on paper, the execution is a little weak. Your score goes up based on the timing of how you add and remove elements from your jam. I was hoping that there would be more to scoring, like having awesome transitions or even combining certain tracks at the right time. Unfortunately, it might’ve seemed too much.

Luckily, you don’t have to stick too long in Jam Mode and you can get more into Arcade Mode after you clear each tutorial challenge. This is where I found the most fun. Basically, it plays like your typical guitar-game where you have to hit a certain combination of notes in time with the music. Using everything you learned from Jam Mode, they stick a pre-made jam on to you and you’re graded based on accuracy.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much to keep you going after you’ve finished. The controls worked for the most part, but I found myself fumbling and forgetting a lot of them since they seem to throw a lot at you at the same time.

The one thing that might save this game is the anticipation of DLC. While there was nothing released on day one, I’m crossing my fingers that some good music packs will come out. Otherwise, I can’t really recommend this to even the most hardcore of rhythm gamers. Sadly, my guitar controller will just be collecting dust again.

Pros: A good twist on the band game formula, some indie songs are actually pretty good
Cons: Distinct lack of modes, small tracklist, confusing controls

Score: 2/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.