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In defense of the game reviewers that everyone (including myself) seems to be bashing these days, a lot of game reviewers do acknowledge what Tycho is talking about. I've read a number of reviews for some of the Dance Dance Revolution games in which the reviewer notes that the songs aren't anything they'd want to listen to in their spare time, but that they work great for the game.

Interestingly, GameSpot's review for Karaoke Revolution also had some interesting things to say on this topic:

"... there's a pretty big difference between executing DDR steps to a song you don't care for and actually taking the time to learn the words and melody of a song you don't like."

So, clearly this GameSpot reviewer understands that the actual taste of a rhythm game soundtrack doesn't matter much; what's more interesting is that this reviewer notes that the taste of a karaoke game soundtrack does matter, which is potentially a key to the massive success of the DDR series and the relative obscurity of the Karaoke Revolution game.


I think some of this is logical blacklash for marrying gameplay to the music. Music is, afterall, a standard of reviews ... so when it's so integral it makes sense that it would play centerstage. If a DDR game featured nothing but the sounds of screeching cats lead by a wailing two year-old front singer, one wouldn't dismiss that as "a good game with just some bad music" ... it would be a lousy game.

Course, when the music isn't so obvious, it must become a thorny subjective debate of good versus bad music. I do think gamers are too quick to make a conspiracy of things, and it really seems like this was just an normal editorial decision handled badly.


interesting, mike. lately i've been thinking a lot about hip-hop (music and culture) in video games, and how well it merges with play. is there a way to use a game to say something authentic about hip-hop,?


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