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30 Genres of Christmas
Music/Rhythm Games
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 26, 2009   |   Episode 1 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're counting down the days until Christmas by looking at 30 different video game genres. From the most popular games to the tiniest niche titles, everything fits into a genre and we're going to be there to shed absolutely no new information about that genre in this month-long feature. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 30 Genres of Christmas!



Warning: Being too in to the music/rhythm genre may make you look like a complete douche bag (see above)!
How Do You Know You Are Playing a Music Game? Every game may have music, but that doesn't mean every game is a music game. If you're dancing on a pad or playing a fake plastic guitar, then chances are you're playing a music/rhythm game. But this genre is not limited to expensive controls and accessories, any game where you manipulate and play music as the main goal can be considered a rhythm game. In the early days companies like RedOctane, Activision, Konami and even the mighty Electronic Arts had trouble convincing bands (and their record labels) that the music genre was worth paying attention to, but over the last few years we've seen these same bands come around and realize that games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero are as effective (if not more effective) than the standard radio format. If you are playing a game that makes you want to run out to your local music store and pick up a CD, then you're probably playing a music

I'm not going to rest until I see Tiny Tim: Rock Band!
game. Still not sure? If your game has been sued by Courtney Love, then you are definitely stuck playing a game in this genre.

Patron Saint: Ralph Baer's Simon.

The Best: Rock Band (series), Dance Dance Revolution (series), PaRappa the Rapper, Guitar Hero (series), Um Jammer Lammy, Amplitude, DJ Hero, etc.

The Worst: Rock Revolution and Wii Music.

Typical Story: Somebody with a dream picks up a fake plastic musical instrument at a game store and starts a band. Before long he (along with his animated pals) become big name rock stars, conquering the world one cover song at a time. And then there's usually something about defeating some rock god or getting back a pick or something. By the end of the game they have successfully rocked millions of fans and bought every piece of clothing and instrument in the rock shop.

What Your Girlfriend Would Think: Your girlfriend will LOVE the music genre. Regardless of which game you pick, there's something she's going to like. Does she like to dance? Perhaps you should show her Dance Dance Revolution. Like to rock out? There are plenty of Rock Band and Guitar Hero games. She'll even love quirky old school music games like

Your girlfriend may be disappointed that Guitar Hero doesn't come with Brad Pitt!
Um Jammer Lammy and PaRappa the Rapper, thanks in large part to their adorable characters and fun storylines. And if the disc doesn't have something she likes, then chances are you can download it online.

Not a Music Game: You may think that copy of Rez on your hard drive is a music game, but you would be wrong. Oh sure, it has you creating musical sounds and interacting with the music in an extremely loose way, but that doesn't make it a music game. Rez is a full-blooded on-rails shooter. And Everyday Shooter? That's a dual-stick shooter. Lumines is a puzzle game, Revolution X is a shooter and, well, you get the idea.

Then vs. Now? Ten years ago the music game genre was made up of dance pads and two-dimensional rapping dogs. These days we have fake plastic instruments of every shape and size, giving you the ability to do everything from drum to play guitar to spin a turntable to rock a mic like a vandal. What's more, these days you aren't even tied to your home console. PCs and handhelds are getting in on the fun; even cell phones are receiving their own Guitar Hero and Rock Band games. Throw in the limitless downloadable content and you have a genre that is at its prime.
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