Bust A Groove
If you enjoyed PaRappa the Rapper but the flat graphics left you cold, check out the dance-crazed Bust A Groove. This multiplayer game shares PaRappa's sequential button-pressing gameplay, but adds infectious music and realistically rendered graphics. Characters dance with outstanding motion-captured moves to 12 tunes ranging from techno to disco. Released in Japan under the title Bust A Move, Bust A Groove's finally been picked up by Sony for a Christmas release. The buzz on the game is definitely building.
Download Bust A Groove
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
It was only a matter of time before we saw another title that capitalized off of the rhythm genre PaRappa pioneered. Lucky for us it happens to be a good one. Bust A Groove has excellent dancing animation and some great music. One of the things I have to say right off the bat is that the translation of Japanese lyrics into English is pretty sad. The words just don't seem to fit the music too well. Fortunately, the majority of the music was already in English or had no words at all, so the tunes are still infectious. The nice thing about Bust A Groove is that it has lots of replay value both as a one-player game and a two-player game. Each character has an ending and there are several hidden characters to unlock. Advanced players have the option of playing without the buttons displayed on the screen which is really the way to go. Each character has a set routine that has its own separate branches and possible combo combinations which require some timing and a good memory. It's pretty cool when you have two good players going at it without the on-screen buttons, because you're not sure what kind of move one guy (or gal) will bust out against the other. The only thing I recommend is that you make sure you like the songs because you'll be hearing them a lot. Overall, a fun, fun game.
For a PaRappa (a personal favorite) clone, Bust A Groove sure falls short. This dancing game doesn't have anywhere near the personality, fun or quirkiness of SCEA's rappin' game. The best thing Groove's got going for it is the dancing animation--the moves are incredible. The music, for the most part, isn't bad either. But outside of that, nothing is cry ing out, "Keep playing me!" or "Come back for more!" Boring and repetitive.
I think it's pretty safe to say that if you liked PaRappa the Rapper, you're gonna like Bust A Groove. While it doesn't quite have the same overall charm as PaRappa does, it's more fun to play, particularly because of the surprisingly enjoyable two-player mode. The music is very good (some stupid lyrics though), and the animation is great. This is one of those games that even non-gamers will easily get into. You just better have rhythm!
It really trickin' frustrates me that I find some of the stages in this so damn hard. I've got a pretty good sense of rhythm. I'm no John Travolta, but I can tap my foot in time and I can count to four (very important here). Catching the "groove" in some of the songs in BAG seems impossible though. Shockingly, in places it made me feel like my dad trying to appreciate "modern music" (a horrible revelation). Great party game though.
It would be easy to classify Bust A Groove as a gimmicky game that wants to ride the coattails of PaRappa the Rapper, but that isn't quite true. In development for more than three years, the dance rhythm game was originally set to start the genre itself. However, it is true that it wasn't until PaRappa that Groove finally took a more similar approach to dance simulation.
Taken on its own, Bust A Groove features excellent character designs coupled with exciting motion-captured dance moves. The emphasis is on timing the buttons to the rhythm (every fourth beat) instead of following preset button commands. In fact, you can turn off the onscreen button indicators if you like. In this way it's almost like a fighting game because each character has set combinations that can be linked together. There are tons of possible combinations, but only a few will yield impressive dance displays. To accomplish these, you'll need to work out a routine that starts small and continues on to more complicated button combos. The main thing to avoid are routines that end prematurely resulting in only two to three combo moves instead of a five combo or word ratings like "Chillin'!"
The music is perhaps the biggest draw with new tunes provided by Avex Trax which is currently the hottest record label in Japan. The U.S. version features all the same music with lyrics redone in English. There is actually only four or five songs that had Japanese lyrics (all raps were done in English) so the change is fairly minimal. This preservation is understandable since much of the appeal of PaRappa were the offbeat songs that had a touch of pop/rap to them. With 10 regular characters and four hidden ones, each with its own endings, Bust A Groove will pack in plenty of playing time. Are you down?
Last year, PaRappa the Rapper introduced challenging non-violent non-puzzle gameplay to the PlayStation. This year, Bust-A-Groove takes the genre to the next level with a high-energy dance game that blows away PaRappa.
Bust-A-Grooves premise is a series of dance-offs that lead you to increasingly intense opponents. By keeping the beat, you bust some serious moves; lose the beat, though, and you're toast.
The control consists of moving the directional pad to match the onscreen arrows, hitting the appropriate button on the all-important fourth beat of the measure. When you string together a series of steps, you create combos that boost your rating. The free-roaming camera is the best indicator of how well you're doing: It focuses on the best dancer, sometimes leaving the other character off the screen completely.
Bust-A-Groove's easy controls make slipping into the game and grooving a snap. Of course, the music is integral and really sets up Groove to conquer. Sure, It's great to watch your character pull off moves that would make Janet Jackson jealous, but it's the memorable music that keeps you coming back.
That's not to say the graphics aren't mind blowing. The characters radiate personality thanks to their high-res rendered appearances and their super-smooth motion-captured dance moves. 989 has considered each detail, down to the personalized attacks that dancers launch at their opponents, and though their moves consist of wildly different styles, everyone's steps fit naturally with the music, no matter what kind it is.
Slam Your Body Down...
Although the music and graphics rock, there's only so much time you can spend with this game in one sitting. Still, options like Dance View and turning off the cueing bar to up the challenge make Bust-A-Groove a keeper. The rhythmically challenged need not apply, but for gamers who can tap their feet in time, Bust-A-Groove is pure fun.
- PROTIP: You can enter commands that aren't in the cueing bar, but only certain ones will work during different times in the music
By finishing the one-player games, you unlock the hidden characters. Two are kick-ass, and two are, well, fun to look at...
First to be unlocked is Capoeria, the silver twin aliens. Their synchronized style is very athletic.
The giant robot Robo-Z is unfortunately not so giant as a secret character. He vogues with angular movements to techno-funk tracks.
Shorty's pet Colombo performs Shorty's moves, half-height and mouse-style.
Burger Dog rounds out the list. He cribs Hamm's moves--but with no elbows or knees, his dancing leaves a lot to be desired.
Bust-A-Groove's high-resolution rendered characters come alive due to the amazingly accurate motion capturing. The background details complete the game's tactile feel.
The 12 jammin' tunes, which are crafted to fit a character, span the globe and the decades, ranging from old-school hip-hop to techno to R&B. These catchy tracks are single worthy.
Simple controls make Groove very easy for beginners to pick up and play, but the game seems to have occasional lapses in rhythm, which score unearned misses.
With one- and two-player modes, along with the Dance View arena, Bust-A-Groove proves addictive. Though it can become repetitive, its songs will make you want to play again and again.