Despite all the hype of Oblivion, I went out yesterday and picked up Beatmania at the local Toys R Us.

The music selection is unusual, although not for those who have played any DDR game, with its mix of disco, hip hop, and techno. The equipment for the game is VERY solid, and the mixer buttons have a solid springy feel. The turntable is a bit stiff, but certainly servicable and works well.

I will confess though that unless you’ve played a game like this before, you will do poorly to start. I am having a very tough time with songs of 2 and 3-star difficulty (out of 10), although I have only put in an hour or so into the game.

One other nice feature is that the keypad can be removed from the weighty unit and flipped around so that the turntable is on the other side. Something like this shows that they put thought and money into this unit and it does not feel cheap in its construction.

I still have yet to buy Guitar Hero (which will be remedied soon), but own most of the other unusually accessoried rhythm games and have no regrets about buying this one, which if you pick up at Toys R Us, is a few dollars cheaper than the other game store options.

Anyone else get their hands on this yet? I’m very curious about this game. The reviews I’ve seen have been rather unfavorable, going below the 7-9 scale (!), with the music selection being its key problem.

In my view, Beatmania has the most nitpicky, obsessive, and elitist play experience of all rhythm games, due to its strict grading and boring control scheme. Most rhythm games are, at their core, simply a matter of pushing the right button at the right time, so much of the fun comes from a well-designed control scheme that demands from the user a level of physical involvement with the music beyond mere keypressing. And Beatmania, despite its impressively constructed controller, really doesn’t offer much besides keypressing. With no drumsticks to wave around, no arrows to stomp, and no whammy bars to wail on, one is left with the rather sterile experience of pressing awkwardly sized buttons in an attempt to match a tiny perfect window.

Another personal issue I have with Beatmania is that its note charts don’t seem logical, jumping around from instrument to instrument and part to part with little rhyme or reason other than MOAR CHALLENGE. This breaks the immersivity I expect out of a keysounded game, since there is no clear relation between the control inputs expected of me and the musical output from the game. In contrast, Guitar Hero at least has some semblance of an organizing principle behind its note charts. For something like Drummania, you can pretty much figure out the chart if you know what the drum part sounds like, since the mapping between buttons and drum sounds is consistent.

Plus, Beatmania’s music selection appeals to me least out of all the Bemani franchises. I picked up the US release to support music games in the US and also for my collection of music game paraphernalia, but I didn’t really expect to enjoy the game, and I haven’t.

Just my two cents.

I had a break from WoW last night to finally put some time into my copy of Beatmania. What a huge disappointment. Song selection is absymal, and if the game detects that you’re actually enjoying a song, it ends it at 2 minutes. Actually, it ends every song at about 2 minutes, which is a blessing if you’re attempting the first reggae song which sounds like it was made on a Casio keyboard. I was surprised a couple of the buttons weren’t mapped to a dog barking and a window breaking.
It’s also way too hard (as well as everything else that r______ mentioned)

The sampler buttons are nice, the turntable has way too much resistance

I picked up a copy as well… I’ve enjoyed the game from time to time at the arcade, and figure this could be fun. (also found a good deal for it)

I’d agree 100% with r______ mentioned. Say you’re going along enjoying a song, and you finally got the rythem down. For no apparent reason during the same streach of music, it then decides that you should be “playing” another instrument. you no longer are keying say the bass line, but have to hit to vocals… very annoying

I also found the turn table to be really quite resistant.

Also what’s up with songs being unlocked only after you complete 1 song good enough at the easiest level of difficulty???

I mean I can pretty much get past the first stage by doing any 1 star difficulty song. and then I’m pretty much screwed… but I noticed that after you complete that one song, more songs are unlocked (only for that one specific game) it’s not like you can unlock songs permately.

Overall, rather disapointed in the game.

I’ve been trudging my way through the Game mode to unlock songs, and that unlocks them permanently in Free mode so you can do them over and over. It’s a pain to go through game mode (three song limit if you pass each one), but no more so than having to buy extras in Donkey Konga or unlocking later stadiums/songs in Karaoke Revolution or Frequency.

well that’s a plus. I’d like to hear some of the other songs before I ditch the game.

I’ve been doing a bit of game mode, but it doesn’t seem to unlock them the next go around… unless I already win won round, I’m guessing you can only then access them in “Free mode”? How odd… play it in Game mode and then having to play a different mode to access everything.

Have you noticed any different songs playing the 7 button version vs. the 5 button?

I like both Karaoke Revolution and Frequency/Amped… It’s odd that both of those seem relativly easy vs. the extreme difficulty of Beatmania. Perhaps they were trying to make it more challenging, and went a bit too far.