When the word went out across the wire that we were being given a chance to review the latest title from the man behind Parappa The Rapper and Vib-Ribbon, every part of my body physically capable of erection became engorged with the fury of a thousand suns. After a quick trip to the ER to have that checked out, I asked exactly what this game was. The answer it seems is a title available only for the iPod Entertainment System. Of course, this was met with a flurry of groans, shuffling of feet and mumbles about how I may have left the iron in the oven at home and that I should really get back, but Nick wasn't having any of that.
Saddled with the onerous chore of reviewing a title for a system that I've often said is unsuitable for gaming, I plunged headfirst into the stylish, synæsthetic waters of Musika and while I was pleasantly surprised by just how addictive and fun the title was, it slew my iPod -- also with the fury of a thousand suns.
With that in mind, I present to you Destructoid's first review of a title both designed for Apple's omnipresent jukebox and -- as far as I know -- the first game we've reviewed to actively destroy the testbed during the review.
Hit the jump for more.
Musika is the latest title from NanaOn-Sha president Masaya Matsuura, a man most famous for his work on Parappa The Rapper and the lesser-known, but much more compelling Vib-Ribbon. Both of the previous titles aim to bridge the gap between the aural, the visual and the kinetic, and with Musika, Matsuura continues his exploits into the realm of highbrow rhythm games, only now the entire thing fits on that iPod you bought to impress the cute art school girls working at the coffee shop on the quad who have yet to realize that you're actually forty years old and have no interest in Sartre save for his ability to open their legs.
The gameplay itself is intensely simple, a necessity thanks to the single-button-and-wheel design of the iPod. As you listen to a song from your own personal collection (let's say Hollaback Girl), letters coalesce onto the screen in a manner not unlike all of those visualizers that come standard with any audio program that only see use by cheap DJs and stoned teens. As the letters form, you're tasked with choosing which one appears in the title of the track you're listening to. The faster you respond, the higher your score goes, and so on and so on. Of course the game also doubles as a handy visualizer for those tracks, and in lieu of actually playing it you can lie on the grass near that tree that kinda looks like a bear and stare at the pretty pictures for hours on end, assuming you're a cat or an easily distracted child.
You might sense a hint of discontent with this game -- a title that I think is one of the finest ideas that could possibly be applied to the iPod-as-gaming-medium concept -- and you would be correct; I hate this game. The gameplay is fun, the graphics are pretty, the concept is solid, but the f@#*ing thing broke my iPod six minutes after I started playing. Up until it met Mr. Matsuura's creation, my 'Pod could withstand anything: hurricanes, bees, apparent sodomy, but within moments of identifying a track from the Magnetic Fields, my lil' black status symbol started clicking uncontrollably and refusing any of my commands. Now, it sits on a shelf, next to the ashes of my dog that died a year ago and my SCTV VHS cassettes.
In closing, the game gets an eight out of ten for being a quality game that went a long way towards changing my opinion of the iPod as a gaming platform, but then all eight of those points are removed and locked in a drawer upon the realization that it broke my f*$^ing iPod!
Verdict: If you have the means, I highly recommend it. Though, make sure your iPod stretches well and performs at least a thirty minute warmup before attempting any heavy lifting. Consult your doctor as necessary.
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