Drums Challenge

Having a separate timing on separate appendages is harder than it seems.

By Daavpuke, Posted 14 Jun 2011

Have you ever wanted to play rhythm games on the go, without all those damned peripherals bugging you? If the answer is yes, then you have a strange taste in games and Drums Challenge might be your rhythmic savior. A simple but tough to master percussion game, it is centered on hitting the correct piece at the appropriate beat; nothing more, nothing less. It’s not the easiest implementation on the planet, but it’s also not the worst.

Like most miniature feature games, this one also revolves around 1 basic thing; in this case, a drum kit. A kit is laid out in front of the screen with every piece of that kit being marked with the respective control scheme. From here, there is naught left but to learn how to make them beats and that’s no easy feat.

NoobFeed Review - Drums Challenge (PSP)
No, Teresa; how about you shake it for me?

Luckily, the game starts off very slow, with a line of styles divided in 3 difficulties to master. On the way to glory there will be various music styles to grasp, among whom Reggae, Metal, Funk, Punk and so forth. Before playing, the game will show you the current routine along with its length by depleting a bar on the top screen.  This starts with very basic singular beats and progressively increases into double time and later will include more complex rhythms.

Hitting the correct note fills your progress bar below and gives you points. The goal is to not let the lower bar run out by missing beats and score enough points to obtain a medal and proceed to the next stage. Succeeding also unlocks new equipment that can be used to jam on in the Freestyle mode of the game. On the way, mentors will periodically utter an inane one-liner in an attempt to pep the spirits. Though, it’d be amazing if anyone would be roused by hearing the phrase: “Come dung.” No, thank you.

Now, the control scheme isn’t awful, but it’s about as good as it can get in accordance to operating an entire drum set with only fingers, rather than all 4 limbs; 3 if you’re in Def Leppard.  This isn’t troublesome in early stages and even on medium it will be doable to tap that, but hard mode is finger crushing. Additionally, some less ergonomic combinations require some nifty finger work to pull off in succession of other hits. Furthermore, some of the later playthroughs go too fast to comprehend on the first go, which is frustrating.

NoobFeed Review - Drums Challenge (PSP)
Yup, this is the entirety of Drums Challenge, for good or for worse.

Still, it’s a step up from standard rhythm games. Having the routine performed beforehand and being able to tap along thusly is handier than immediately following a color code. But apart from that, playing rhythm games on a portable device is still as frustrating as ever. But one final thing that Drums Challenge has going for itself is that it shows just how difficult drums really are to master. Whether it be fingers or limbs; having a separate timing on separate appendages is harder than it seems and in this aspect Drums Challenge is a good first trial for anyone wanting to pick up the beats. Just don’t go in expecting the world from a simplistic rhythm feature, even if it shows off different styles.

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed. (@DaavPuke)

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General Information

Platform(s): PS3, Mobile
Publisher(s): Sanuk Games
Developer(s): MusiGames Studio
Genres: Music
Themes: Musical
Release Date: 2011-06-02

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