When Enix first released Bust-A-Move (as it
was called in Japan), it was the first in a long
line of "spiritual successors" to PaRappa the
Rapper. With its unique concept of
controlling a character in a dancing
competition, the game excelled in several
categories including music, motion captures,
Choosing from eight initially playable
characters, gamers must play through several
stages constructed like "dance-offs" against
opponents. In each stage, you're required to
enter in a string of "Simon Says"-type button
configurations in time with the beat in order
to perform a set of moves. Miss the beat or
press the wrong button and your character
will fumble. If you're successful in entering in
a command, then your character will move onto the next move in their
repertoire. The difficulty gets progressively higher as you successfully
complete combos and reach your character's "Freeze" pose.
Not only do the combos get more and more complicated, but you'll also have
to duck and dodge attacks from your opponent. Everything within the game
must be done in time with the music (the fourth beat is the key), and this
includes executing and evade attacks.
The winner of the round is the character able to hog the spotlight for
of the time spent on the stage. As you progress through the stages, you'll
come across a wide variety of dance styles as well as dance tracks. And with
the superb motion captures of each character, the movement within the game
is smooth, fluid and totally immersive for the gamer.
The U.S. version of the game, courtesy of 989 Studios, offers Stateside
gamers a chance to try their hand at one of the more popular niches of
videogaming in Japan. While gameplay is limited to button presses and a
good sense of rhythm, there is something so indescribably fun and goofy
about playing Bust-A-Groove, that its difficult to pan it for being nothing
more than a PaRappa derivative. While the concept of the game is nothing
incredibly new, the real bulk of enjoying the game relies on the excellent craft
of filling Bust-A-Groove with enough challenging and outrageously fun
gameplay to make a lasting impression.
Enix and 989 Studios manage to tack on enough quirky diversions to make
the game a seemingly new experience everytime you play it. After all, this is a
high production game and the quality shows through in the graphics, music
and highly stylized character designs. Overwhelmingly infectious tunes that
have been translated to English for the U.S., hoards of secret dancers and
stages, charming touches such as secondary animations in stages for players
who execute tough moves and a clever, though not entirely unique, concept
make Bust-A-Groove a game that deserves to find an audience in the U.S.
Complete the game under the easy difficulty level with any character for there dance view.
Play as Alternate Character
Highlight a character, then hold Select and press X.
Play as Burger Dog
Complete the game under the normal difficulty level with Hamm after getting Robo-Z.
Play as Capoeira
Complete the game under the normal difficulty level with any character.
Play as Columbo
Complete the game under the normal difficulty level with Shorty after getting Robo-Z.
Play as Robo-Z
Complete the game under the normal difficulty level with any character after getting Capoeira.
Winning Pose Close-up
Hold Circle after winning a stage.