Jam Live Music Arcade Review: A Different Take on Genre in Need of a Shakeup

The creative minds at Reverb publishing & 505 Games have broken the mold of already popular and well-established titles such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band with their latest release title, Jam Live Music Arcade. The most noticeable thing about this title is the similarities to Guitar Hero’s iconic interface, but with a less attractive name. Although easily compared to other titles of the same genre, this game offers a unique freedom not limited by the rigidness of more established titles.

For only ten dollars, Reverb Publishing & 505 Games have created a smart and economically friendly game.

It progresses at such a pace that the entire family can come along for the ride and still enjoy the experience with no difficulty. Pressing the directional pad in combination with the seven other buttons will result in a treasure trove of musical alterations to the 32 available songs that you can sample, record then replay to obtain a higher score. Most musical paraphernalia is compatible, so if you have a guitar lying around, clean off the dust then simply plug and play. Even if you’re a gamer with egregious hand eye coordination, Jam Live Music Arcade is much more forgiving than you’d think.

This has everything to do with the fact that the game’s interface is very fluid. Although Guitar Hero’s primary control is the guitar, with Jam Live you have the option to play the game in all its depth with the standard Xbox controller, which makes the learning curve simpler with less awkward finger placement and confusion. Before long, you will be immersed in bright lights, psychedelic effects and wicked beats.

To break up the cliché loop of unlocking tracks and getting higher scores, they introduce the user to the application of adding new sounds to your favorite songs. The controls are straightforward and the challenges are not too difficult and most can be accomplished by button-mashing. Also, the challenges can help you fine-tune your understanding of the controls.

Unfortunately the game does not have a multiplayer option, which can greatly affect the replay value. Jam Live is at a disadvantage with its competitors because popular titles such as Rock Band offer the ability to play with up to five people at a time. Music based games are generally made with the idea of “jamming” with friends, but with only a single player option available Jam Live Music Arcade can get tedious quickly.

With access to guitars, drums, vocals, synthesizers and bass grouped in brackets, you can fully customize a track to your liking. Also with downloadable content one could have a library of songs just waiting to be mixed, mastered, and shared. With a large variety of indie artists at your disposal, your scope for customization is limitless. In essence for just 10 dollars or 800 Microsoft points, Jam Live Music Arcade is worth the money.

This game encourages the user to make music unique and inviting if not fun. This game may not appeal to hardcore gamers, the very ones that made Guitar Hero and Rock Band staples, but on its own ,Jam Live Music Arcade offers a simple musical gaming experience where just about anyone can sit down and dive straight into a musical wonderland. To put it more plainly, Jam Live Music Arcade offers an easy yet rewarding experience that other popular music titles tend to make overly challenging.

Jam Live can be a new direction for the already popular music genre, which can ultimately earn a spot in any gamer’s library. This is where this game earns its purple heart of valor that can help make it shine brighter than its competitors.

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