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Have you ever wanted to work in video games? Well that's what the guys at GameBizCo Inc. do. Literally.

Join the cast of Another Videogame Webcomic as we peek behind the curtain to see what exactly goes into bringing your favorite video games to the small screen. It may be a job in video games, but it's still a job.

Rock Revolution DS review

Platform: Nintendo DS
Price: $29.99

It's a shame, really. Before there was Guitar Hero and Rock Band, there was Konami's Bemani series of games. You might be familiar with Dance Dance Revolution, but also included in the series were GuitarFreaks and DrumMania, games which were the spiritual precursor to games like the aforementioned Guitar Hero and Rock Band. With the band simulator games taking off, Konami is forced to play catch up with a genre they invented.

Luckily for Konami, the only other fake instrument franchise competing for your hard earned dollar on the Nintendo DS is Guitar Hero. With those odds, Rock Revolution has a fighting chance. After all, Guitar Hero only offers fake guitar whereas Rock Revolution offers fake guitar, fake bass, fake drums and fake singing! (Well, real singing actually, but with all the horrible renditions of Blitzkreig Bop I've heard, it might as well be fake singing...) So can Rock Revolution for the DS compete with it's bastard stepchild?

In a word... "no".

I've always been a strong supporter of the theory that what makes games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band so fun is not so much what's on the screen but what's in your hands. The fake guitar controller and fake drums go a long way to fueling your rock star fantasies. Guitar Hero attempts to duplicate the fake guitar with a peripheral that plugs into the DS's GBA slot. Rock Revolution, however, forgoes the peripheral and chooses to turn you into a rock star with a swipe of the stylus. And really, there's nothing like rocking out with the stylus.

Wait, no. I got mixed up for a second. I meant to say "using the stylus is nothing like rocking out." There. That's better.

While Rock Revolution offers up four different instruments to choose from, it's a shame that none of them are actually fun. Guitar parts are transformed into up and down swipes of the stylus, with the occasional circular motion and tap. Bass is pretty much played the same way except that you have to swipe up or down on one of four strings. I found the drums to be more confusing than anything else with seven potential pads that look too similar for their own good. On the bright side, singing is included in the handheld version which is curiously absent from the console versions of the game. The singing mechanic works well enough, although it's hard to tell if your singing correctly because of the lack of movement from the pitch indicator. But that may just be a failing of the DS's built-in microphone.

I wonder if the makers of Rock Revolution for the DS knew they were making a bad game? The game features it's own version of "Star Power" or "Overdrive" which, I kid you not, gives the player a reprieve from actually playing the game. When the designers build in a feature that stops you from playing the game, that has to be a sign... right?

Even the visuals are childish and garish. The DS isn't really a graphical powerhouse, but it's almost as if the developers went out of their way to make everything as visually unappealing as possible.

On the bright side, the game does use the DS's wireless capability to "get a band together" with up to three other poor unfortunate souls who bought the game. It also features a media player which you can use to play the crappy covers of the 20 song set list. That is, if you don't already have them on your iPod... or if you don't own the original songs... or you can't find a torrent to download the songs illegally.

Rating

If you haven't already guessed this game is a "pass". From the crappy gameplay to the horrible visuals, I can't recommend you stay away from this game enough. From start to finish this game feels more like an attempt to cash in on the popularity of the band simulation genre than to produce a fun gaming experience. If you want to rock out on-the-go, just get yourself a guitar. You'll have a lot more fun (and callouses) and you might walk away with skills that will attract the ladies as opposed to repulse them.

Recommendations

Since Rock Revolution for the DS was a bust, I figured I'd give some recommendations for some good music games.

Elite Beat Agents - Now this is a music game for the DS done right. It uses the same tap/swipe gameplay that Rock Revolution does, but the game is bursting with personality and is a much more satisfying gaming experience.

Rock Band 2 - You may not actually be playing an instrument, but you'll feel like you are.


Player Two

After the resurgence of multiplayer co-op, GameBizCo Inc. hired Player Two to be the Goose to someone else's Maverick. His workload isn't quite as heavy as most of the other people working at GameBizCo Inc. and as a result, he spends a lot of time in the break room or playing computer solitaire.
First Appearance: Another Videogame Webcomic?!? An Introduction

Player One

Player One is top dog at GameBizCo Inc. Nearly every game, from Pong to Mario Bros to Grand Theft Auto, requires Player One's expertise. His cocksure and sometimes inappropriate attitude is an annoyance to his coworkers but seeing as every game needs a first player, they make due.
First Appearance: Bonus Stage! Here comes Player One!

Damsel I. Distress

Whether it be a castle, a dungeon or mystical island, Damsel always needs to be saved... and she hates it. Damsel longs for the day when she's given the role of a strong female lead character who doesn't have huge breasts with hyper accurate physics.
First Appearance: LittleBIGPlanet

Final Boss

Underneath the huge brute that is Final Boss lies a timid creature who wouldn't hurt a fly. He puts on his "angry face" when throwing barrels down ramps or breathing fire but deep down he feels sorry for doing so. He's been known to throw a game or two in the player's favor.
First Appearance: World Record

John Minion

John Minion, or Min for short, is the hardest working employee at GameBizCo Inc. Playing everything from Goombas to no name thugs, Min gets beat up on a daily basis but loves every minute of it. He always wanted to work in the gaming industry and was originally hired as an intern. After years of getting coffee, his big break came when someone called in sick... and the rest is history.
First Appearance: Watchmen: The End is Nigh

Middle Manager

Middle Manager works in the Human Resources department. He runs staff meetings and interviews prospective employees. The other 90% of his time is spent playing Freecell on his computer.
First Appearance: Another Videogame Webcomic?!? An Introduction

pimptour
@pimptour
RT @SD_Comic_Con: Digital Pimp is bringing the love, thunder, and jurassic to #SDCC with their DinoTHOR! exclusives: https://t.co/83z4drmn...
05 Jul 2022
Joe Dunn
@joedunn721
RT @noriaaahj: A baby went to a 4th of July parade & left an orphan. The way we're living in this country makes zero sense..
06 Jul 2022
Kevin Gleason
@retail_rage
@joedunn721 The fun game we play at home at night is gunshots or fireworks.
02 Jun 2022