“A Lot of Content, Indie Rock, and Polish for $3!”
An XboxHornet review by Traslin.
Music rhythm games were all the rage a year or two ago. How many iterations of Guitar Hero were released within the two year period leading up to its demise? Five? Six? I’m not sure, but I didn’t buy any of them and neither did anyone else apparently. Is A-band able to bring some magic back to a dying genre? I’d say partly.
One of the first things you’ll notice about A-band is that it has a lot of polish. The menus are well made with clean transitions, and the art style invokes the Indie spirit. There are plenty of gameplay modes including a main arcade mode as well as freestyle, solo, recording, and training modes – everything that you would expect of a full featured rhythm game. The first time you play, it asks you to select your drum type as either the Guitar Hero set or the Rock Band set. I reviewed the game using the Rock Band set, which performed as expected.
The gameplay in the main arcade mode is exactly what you’d expect of a rhythm game. The notes move up the screen instead of down, but other than that, the drum mechanic looks the same as in every other rhythm game I’ve ever played. Noticeably, note streaks and an overdrive mode is completely missing, which make the gameplay seem a little vanilla if you are used to playing the newer versions of the major rhythm titles. Despite the missing features, the basic drum mechanic is still entertaining, and A-band does feature unlockables that provide incentive to replay the songs in each of the difficulties. The music itself is typical indie rock that I found enjoyable but not as satisfying in some ways as rocking out to well known classics like Don’t Stop Believing.
The most interesting mode in A-band is probably the recording mode, which allows you to record your session as you jam out to one of the songs. You can store up to 10 separate tracks once you’ve unlocked everything in the main arcade mode. I can see the recording mode being a big draw for people that want to feel a little like a real drummer.
I unfortunately cannot provide any feedback about the training mode because I could not figure out how to play it. This highlights my one big issue with A-band, which is the lack of any sort of tutorial. Thankfully, for most of the game, this issue isn’t a show-stopper because I was already familiar with how to play the game.
A-band is not the best drum game out there, but it may be the best valued one at $3. At that price, it includes a lot of content, and I’d recommend it if you enjoy indie rock and are looking for a reason to get out your drum set again.
Game Score: 7/10.
Download a free demo of the game here.