The Dance Dance Revolution craze has been going strong for over a decade, but few titles have been able to successfully convey that to a portable format. THQ has done just that with their Beast City, which allows individuals to get into the groove with a total of over twenty different rhythmically-infused mini-games. THQ (and their wireless division Universomo) have even added a back story to Beat City, pitting players against the evil Dame Isolde Minor. Minor’s company, the Cacophony Corporation, is out there to steal music and coloration from the aforementioned metropolis.
Players fill the shoes of Synchronizer, who has to go through 18 different days (sets of mini-games) in order to complete eir mission. As players successfully complete these mini-games, more of them become available to play free-style in the Mini Games section. If players seem to have a little bit of trouble finding out the control or goal of a mini-game, the tutorial section goes into tremendous detail about what is up. Rather than limiting the title to a small subset of tracks, THQ has ensured further replay through the creation of a large array of different, electronic and dance-based cuts. By placing a sub-$20 price tag on Beat City, THQ has made this game a “must buy”.
There have been a number of titles that have attempted to go out and fuse the DDR style of game play with the split-screen NDS layout, but I feel that Beat City is the first music-based title that has been released for the console that really pushes the DS to its game play limits. The replay value may be hurt slightly by a lack of further differentiation after one completes a mini-game, but I see the beauty in Beat City as a casual game just as much as a story-line driven one. Fire up your DS, get a pair of headphones plugged on it, and see how exactly Beat City breaks from the mold many Nintendo DS titles fall into.
Beat City (Nintendo DS) / 2010 THQ / http://www.thq.com