JAM Live Music Arcade is the newest music game from the people that worked to bring you some of the all-time best music games including Guitar Hero II and Rock Band. Of course, the Zivix development staff has most recently worked together to bring you other games in the Jam series including JamDance, JamParty Remixed and JustJam as well. However, this isn't your typical music game, as you'll be allowed to break down each section of the game's songs to make your very own remixes in addition to the more classic gameplay you'll find in Arcade Mode. So, sit back and prepare to Jam!
There are 32 unique songs from many various genres featured in JAM Live Music Arcade. Rock is well represented in the game with bands such as Modest Mouse, Fall Out Boy and Filter just to name a few of the bands on the soundtrack. There is plenty of variety in the Pop section, as you can find anything from classics like Funkytown by Lipps, Inc. to newer songs like Donnie Dlang's Fallin' 4 U. You'll also find plenty of Hip Hop and Electronica songs ensuring that everyone can find something to enjoy in JAM Live Music Arcade.
There are two game modes featured in JAM Live Music Arcade: Jam and Arcade. Jam allows you to enter the studio and create your very own remixes with no worries of failing out of a song and no pressure to produce a song that sounds great in fact; this is your song, so relax and have fun. There are also challenges in Jam Mode that act as tutorials teaching you all the basics and necessities to create your own mixes. Once you've completed all of the challenges in Jam Mode, you will unlock Arcade Mode where you can play in a more traditional music and rhythm game mode. Playing this mode is as simple as selecting a song and activating the upwards scrolling instruments, tracks and banksets when they reach the top of the screen. However, this is a new gameplay style, so it will take some practice to perform these songs at an acceptable pace, and instead, you'll often see the activation bar quickly drop to the bottom of the screen as you constantly fail out of songs while adjusting to the game's difficulty.
The 32 songs featured on JAM Live Music Arcade's soundtrack is a nice touch that is sure to draw in many music fans, but the wide selection of music isn't the only great part of the game's presentation. The game's controls are crisp and precise whether you're playing with your system's controller or with your old plastic guitar. The in-game tutorials help prepare you to play the new game, and the game is simplistic enough to understand so that anyone can make their own remixes. You can create and play your songs in studio or visit one of five unlockable venues. The in-game menus are informative and aesthetically pleasing as well. They not only offer repeating clips of the song, but you'll have access to info about the artist and song right from the selection screen. The inclusion of leaderboards and medals will have you playing through the game multiple times to get high scores on all of the game's songs, while the promise of future DLC songs will give you even more reasons to keep jamming.
This game isn't for everyone, but if you're a fan of music and rhythm games, you have to try out JAM Live Music Arcade. Anyone can appreciate the game's soundtrack, and JAM Live Music Arcade is a blast to play alone or taking turns with your friends seeing who can create the best custom jam. There is a decent size learning curve to the game, but if you stick it out, you'll be enjoying creating and recording your very own songs in no time with JAM Live Music Arcade.
Publisher: Reverb Publishing
Rating: T for Suggestive Themes
Platforms: Xbox 360 (reviewed) & PlayStation 3
Release Date: May 17, 2012
Score: 7 out of 10