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CONSOLE: Xbox 360 DEVELOPER: Voltex PUBLISHER: Konami
RELEASE DATE (NA): October 8, 2008 GENRE: Rhythm
// review by Matt

It's Pop'n Music, isn't it.

Konami seemed to have this mad rush to get every game they owned onto the Xbox 360 in some way, shape, or form in the late 2000s. I can't even fathom why, but if they expected it to equate to sales, then whatever. It likely didn't in the case of Beat'n Groovy, which is a reskinned Pop'n Music with the spirit of the series taken out completely.

When I think of Pop'n Music, I see those cute chibi anime characters Mimi and Nami. When I look at Beat'n Groovy, I see... very ugly-looking characters. Big fat lips and garish coloured clothes, like they walked out of the Bratz section at Smyths. The game adopts this weird "strangely anime inspired" visual style but butchers it by going for a more American look in the character designs.

The soundtrack is a hit-and-miss endeavour made up about half excellent sounding Konami Originals, and the other half boring mess. If the game didn't have MOON, I'd have probably scored it down on the soundtrack side of things. Instead, I accept that a rhythm game rarely has a soundtrack where every song gels with me, so I'll take MOON, 100sec. Kitchen Battle, Starmine, and BEYOND THE EARTH... I'll simply be happy with those.

There's a miniscule song selection, which is understandable for a Live Arcade game, but DLC support would have been greatly appreciated and could have given this title another lease at life. This game needs Murmur Twins, Cutie Chaser, and the Konami Classic Medleys, which could have been offered as DLC. There is nothing I hate more than when a game with great potential is dumped onto an online service and never supported.


Good luck finding players to play Ranked Battles with.

What I really enjoy (and this is quite clearly sarcasm, if you're not able to tell) are games where the controls cannot be remapped. I also like (and this is also obviously sarcasm) when precise button presses are required on the inaccurate Directional Pad or when you need to flick the extremely inaccurate Analog Stick in specific directions.

Pop'n Music has two modes: 5 button and 9 button. Beat'n Groovy has 3 button and 5 button — Pop'n Music's normal mode is Beat'n Groovy's hard mode. In other words, to any seasoned Pop'n Music players, this game is not even remotely a challenge. Lacking the adjustable challenge modes from the Pop'n games, you cannot apply difficulty modifiers to the gameplay to increase score earned.

Online multiplayer (if you can find anyone to play it with you anymore) is limited to 3 button mode only. What kind of dumbass stupid idea is that. Get the hell out of here now.

I look at Beat'n Groovy and I see a game that looks like it was developed by a team who played Pop'n Music once or twice and then constructed this entire game from vague drunken and hazy memories of the experience. Which is exactly what happened... the developers of this game, Voltex, made three Konami licensed games for Xbox Live Arcade in 2008. These were Beat'n Groovy, Coffeetime Crosswords, and Frogger 2. That crossword game was so barebones and awful you can't even BUY it anymore; even Konami disowned that game, and this is Konami we're talking about!

Beat'n Groovy is the closest that anybody outside of Japan can get to owning a proper Pop'n Music game, which is thoroughly depressing. I'd even recommend this game over that broken motion-controlled Pop'n game that actually made it to the Wii.


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