Top Music Games of 2010 for The Musical IngenueBy Dana Vinson - Posted Nov 19, 2010
2010 was a good year for people who like to sing, play instruments, and dance, but only while playing a video game. Not only where music video games taken to a new level in terms of gameplay, but the list of available artists has grown, making for great soundtracks. Everyone from Metallica and Rush, to the Bee Gees and The Doors has gotten into the action. A lot of franchises hit big this year, so let’s take a look at some of our favorites.
Right off the bat, let's see what X-Play has to say on the subject of musical gaming in 2010, and what games to buy this holiday season.
DJ Hero 2
With DJ Hero 2, Activision took the addictive gameplay of DJ Hero and made it even better by improving the interface, menus and presentation. For this second iteration, they've also added a ton of new modes, improved online play and added Battles. While DJH 2 still has the turntable and the intimidating notation, don't let that put you off. If you've always dreamed of being a superhero master of the wheels of steel, DJ Hero 2 is your dream realized.
Def Jam Rapstar
You may not feel comfortable crooning along to REO Speedwagon in Rock Band, but if you can talk, you can rap. Now, you maybe not be Twista, but at least your friends won’t want to run and hide when you take the mic. Even for casual fans of Rap, Def Jam Rapstar is simply awesome. While it’s not a revolutionary take on karaoke gameplay, the game is fun. DJR has an impressive track list. There's such a wide variety of artists: pour a little out for 2 Pac and Biggie, fight the power with Public Enemy and then turn your swag on with Soulja Boy Tell'em. While casual fans will be attracted to the radio hits, more hardcore fans will love the selection of old school tracks.
Rock Band 3
Arguably the best music game ever made, Rock Band 3 is what we’ve always wanted out of a full band music game. The addition of the keyboard and Pro Mode makes this the richest and most satisfying plastic instrument experience. Harmonix didn’t just stop with those new trimmings, either. They overhauled the entire interface, menu system and career mode making RB 3 really shine. Everyone wondered what the developers would add to convince fans to buy yet another Rock Band, and now we know. Most of the improvements included in the game were things we didn’t know we wanted, but Harmonix knew and the result is an amazingly fun and engaging product.
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock
If you’ve ever complained that there isn’t enough story in music games, then GH: Warriors of Rock is the game for you. Where as in some other music games you simply play through some yawn-inducing career mode that doesn’t mean anything, Warriors of Rock features an actual plot where you build an army and battle enemies using on the power of your axe. Also, we can’t go without mentioning that Warriors of Rock is the only game where you can play Rush’s epic masterpiece 2112. Are you convinced yet? You better be, or Canada will be mad at you.
Oh, Dance Central. How you have captured the hearts and bodies of even the most jaded gamer. In Dance Central, you dance. A lot. Animated dancers perform moves on screen, while players mirror the movements in front of Kinect, Microsoft’s 3D motion tracking sensor. You might be thinking, “Dancing? That doesn’t sound appealing at all.” Think again. Dance Central is a double threat: you can either treat it like a party game by inviting your friends over to have a dance party, or you can go hardcore and plow through the songs yourself, mastering every (increasingly difficult) dance move.
Rock Band Storage Ottoman from Level Up
We all know that playing plastic instruments is fun, but all that junk takes up a lot of space and nothing drives girls away like having your living room look like a GameStop threw up all over it. Good news: Level Up has introduced the stylish, yet functional, Rock Band Storage Ottoman just in time for the holidays. The ottoman holds two guitars and a drum set. Plus, it has storage pockets for microphones, drumsticks, and two trays that hold game boxes and controllers. Even though it looks great and it’s a super sleek way to stow away your instruments, the only bummer about it is that you do have to disassemble the drums to get them in; however, that’s a small price to pay for staying organized.
Rock Band Fender Mustang Pro Guitar
If the thrill of five buttons just doesn’t do it for you anymore, then the Rock Band Fender Mustang Pro Guitar from Mad Catz was tailor made just for you! Forget five buttons, with the Pro Guitar, you’ll be looking at 102 buttons, plus six strings. Rock Band 3 songs are fit with Pro Mode charting, which, at first, will make your head spin and is too complicated for most mere mortals; however, if you are able to master it, you’ll be the king of playing the fake real plastic guitar.
PSN, Microsoft, and Wii Points
Need to buy a gift for someone who already has it all? Stuff their stockings with points! Most music and rhythm games offer some sort of DLC that you can buy to enhance your experience. PlayStation Network, Xbox LIVE and the Nintendo Wii all offer gift cards that you can purchase and give to friends, so that they’ll be able to nab that Bee Gees track pack they’ve had their eye on or rock out on the keys to Billy Joel. Even Dance Central has additional songs available for download, so points are a safe bet all around for the music game fan in your life.