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Jam With The Band Review

Surprise release for ace rhythm action game is music to our ears

We've been hoping for Daigasso! Band Bros to be released in the UK ever since 2005. We'd assumed that this Japanese rhythm game developed by Nintendo would never see the light of day over here until Nintendo revealed it out of the blue a month ago and gave it a new name.

Okay, the Japanese pop and anime songs have all been replaced with more popular Western music but the gameplay remains the same. You choose a song and instrument before playing along with the D-pad or buttons. There are various difficulty levels, not only for each song but also for the complexity of the controls as a whole.

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When you first start out you'll be able to play any note by pressing any button or direction but later on the game splits the notes into two groups: some have to be played by pressing any direction on the D-pad and others are played by pressing any of the Y, B, X and A buttons.

It then gets even more complicated, with each of the D-pad directions and the four face buttons acting as a separate note. This makes pulling off a perfect solo in the F-Zero medley a hell of a feat but very rewarding. Experts can then play another difficulty level where you're not only using the D-pad and face buttons, but also the L and R buttons to change the pitch of the notes. This is incredibly difficult and even pros will fail miserably at this without a lot of practice.

Playing music is more satisfying than it is in Guitar Hero On Tour. When you mess up a note in Guitar Hero you get that generic 'clank' sound, but in Jam With The Band you'll hear the other note you played by mistake, making it feel like you're playing an actual instrument.

This satisfaction is multiplied when you get some mates to join in. Up to eight of you can play the same song at once, with each of you playing a different instrument with their own difficulty level. All it takes is one person to mess up for the song to take a nosedive.

As well as the 50 songs in the game you can download another 50 from Nintendo's servers, and you can also make your own songs and send them to friends, using a composer that lets you change the length of notes, have eight tracks, better-sounding instruments and so on. Finally, the karaoke mode lets budding Britneys and wannabe Whitneys sing into the DS microphone to have their pitch judged.

Jam With The Band may not have the flair of a Guitar Hero game, and its MIDI music might sound rather tinny, but it makes you feel like you're actually playing an instrument and that's the most important thing.

This is an edited version of a review that appears in the June issue of Official Nintendo Magazine which is on sale now. For the full unedited version with more in-depth analysis, screenshots and boxouts buy the magazine here

Comments

16 comments so far...
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  1. piccadillio Wednesday 19th May 2010 at 14:22

    I've been waiting for this for a long time too, ONM. The DS is a truly great system, and though I'm less than enamoured with the Wii, I can't spout enough superlatives about that little dual-screened lovebox. Yeah, lovebox. As someone lucky enough to own all currently available systems, I can comfortably say that the DS has the best library of niche, hardcore, casual and above all great games of all of them. If you're an RPG/Strategy fan it's a dream come true. There are a lot of remakes on the system, but handheld remakes tend to be a different kettle of fish. Everybody wants to play Chrono Trigger on the train! Daigasso/JWTB is a great advert for everything the system is. Good show.

    I only hope the 3DS attracts the same variety from developers.

  2. pksomething Wednesday 19th May 2010 at 14:33

    :shock: this took me by complete surprise
    damm i need to save up for a lot :(

  3. gofthick Wednesday 19th May 2010 at 14:55

    I've still got the Japanese import kicking about somewhere, thought the English version was a long dead idea.

    Daigasso! Band Brothers was excellent fun, and with the revised track list it should make for a really good game.

  4. Onna76_NL Wednesday 19th May 2010 at 17:10

    Grr still no magazine, why is it taking so long to ship to the Netherlands? What kind of shipping option do they use at Futurepublishing... by ship? :? Anywho this looks interesting, waiting for to read the entire review in the magazine... if it arrrives soon *grrr*. Good impression on new coming subscribers.

  5. Poke-J Wednesday 19th May 2010 at 18:46

    Grr still no magazine, why is it taking so long to ship to the Netherlands? What kind of shipping option do they use at Futurepublishing... by ship? :? Anywho this looks interesting, waiting for to read the entire review in the magazine... if it arrrives soon *grrr*. Good impression on new coming subscribers.

    ONM Netherlands much?

  6. Onna76_NL Wednesday 19th May 2010 at 19:51

    Grr still no magazine, why is it taking so long to ship to the Netherlands? What kind of shipping option do they use at Futurepublishing... by ship? :? Anywho this looks interesting, waiting for to read the entire review in the magazine... if it arrrives soon *grrr*. Good impression on new coming subscribers.

    ONM Netherlands much?


    :? I don't get your comment.

  7. ShadowofPain Wednesday 19th May 2010 at 20:31

    Woah where did this come from? Anyways wow I'm very impressed and surprised. I also downloaded that Rytmik DSiWare game that you at ONM said was awesome and I must say I WHOLLY agree with you. It's FANTASTIC!! Can't wait for the review of that!

  8. ChrisONM Wednesday 19th May 2010 at 20:47

    Grr still no magazine, why is it taking so long to ship to the Netherlands? What kind of shipping option do they use at Futurepublishing... by ship? :? Anywho this looks interesting, waiting for to read the entire review in the magazine... if it arrrives soon *grrr*. Good impression on new coming subscribers.

    ONM Netherlands much?


    No such thing.

  9. The_Insider Wednesday 19th May 2010 at 20:54

    As bad as this sounds, and as much as I want to support this game, I'm probably just going to wait for it to hit the bargain bins for a great game at low cost.

    I mean, after all, it is a bit of a niche game, and I don't see Nintendo promoting it heavily with advertising.

    It's a shame when you think about it really.

  10. piccadillio Wednesday 19th May 2010 at 21:01

    As bad as this sounds, and as much as I want to support this game, I'm probably just going to wait for it to hit the bargain bins for a great game at low cost.

    I mean, after all, it is a bit of a niche game, and I don't see Nintendo promoting it heavily with advertising.

    It's a shame when you think about it really.

    Yeah it's a shame that great games aren't even bought by the 'hardcore' gamers anymore.

  11. Eragon Firesword Thursday 20th May 2010 at 09:37

    It looks quite good. I'd've preferred if they kept the original setlist (I'm such an otaku) but it seems more about the music and less about the bells and whistles of being a rock star than GH or RB.

  12. Onna76_NL Thursday 20th May 2010 at 16:28

    As bad as this sounds, and as much as I want to support this game, I'm probably just going to wait for it to hit the bargain bins for a great game at low cost.

    I mean, after all, it is a bit of a niche game, and I don't see Nintendo promoting it heavily with advertising.

    It's a shame when you think about it really.

    Yeah it's a shame that great games aren't even bought by the 'hardcore' gamers anymore.

    Ding dong, we have a winner for comment of the week :)

  13. FliByFow Saturday 22nd May 2010 at 10:49

    Grr still no magazine, why is it taking so long to ship to the Netherlands? What kind of shipping option do they use at Futurepublishing... by ship? :? Anywho this looks interesting, waiting for to read the entire review in the magazine... if it arrrives soon *grrr*. Good impression on new coming subscribers.

    ONM Netherlands much?


    I live in Cambridge, my ONM from London hasnt came yet.


    Oh, i should be buying ONM Cambridge.

  14. Onna76_NL Tuesday 25th May 2010 at 14:04

    Grr still no magazine, why is it taking so long to ship to the Netherlands? What kind of shipping option do they use at Futurepublishing... by ship? :? Anywho this looks interesting, waiting for to read the entire review in the magazine... if it arrrives soon *grrr*. Good impression on new coming subscribers.

    ONM Netherlands much?


    I live in Cambridge, my ONM from London hasnt came yet.


    Oh, i should be buying ONM Cambridge.

    Why do I have the feeling to be somehow sarcastic laughed at around here... :?

    ONM from Cambridge, ONM from London... ONM is ONM... right...

  15. michaelarran Thursday 24th Jun 2010 at 14:26

    And only Ł9.97 on Amazon.co.uk right now

    Mine's in the post

  16. Clingerz Sunday 29th Aug 2010 at 07:17

    As bad as this sounds, and as much as I want to support this game, I'm probably just going to wait for it to hit the bargain bins for a great game at low cost.

    I mean, after all, it is a bit of a niche game, and I don't see Nintendo promoting it heavily with advertising.

    It's a shame when you think about it really.

    If you want it, on amazon at the moment its only Ł3.97! (or free with a dsi which is what im getting!)

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