Monster Band Review
Monster Band box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Novarama 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Dreamcatcher 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: March 3, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Musically, Monster Band is a mixed bag in the broadest sense of the phrase. The instrumental Muzak-style covers are catchy and enjoyable, even if they're a far cry from the material you'll find in other rhythm games. The inclusion of pop hits like Britney Spears' "Toxic," and Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out of My Head" sort of make sense, but they seem a little out of place next to a classical tune like Pachelbel's "Canon" and timeless, well-known jingles like the "Can Can," "The Entertainer," and even "Pennsylvania Polka." Even stranger, you can also rock out to Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus," Queen's "I Want to Break Free," and the theme from Ghostbusters, among others. The musical selection is downright bizarre, though it's a surprisingly entertaining mix and the sound quality is very good.

Monster Band screenshot

After tackling the main game, you can noodle around with any of the instruments in Free Play Mode. Here, you'll apply different sounds and styles to the main instruments that you unlock throughout the main game. The variety isn't huge, but there are enough unique sound styles for the piano, drums, and guitar/bass to find some you'll enjoy playing with. A simple clicking or drum track can be applied (or other instruments when playing drums) to give you something to play along to. This mode is essentially just a musical toy. If you're feeling creative, a limited composing mode lets you record and save your own custom-made songs in three different slots. Each tune has four possible tracks you can record on using any instrument, and it's relatively easy to use. Single and multi-cart options let you jam with friends or face-off in competitive play.

Monster Band certainly has its limitations, both as a musical toy and as a rhythm game. Unsuspecting buyers might pick it up expecting one thing only to realize they've been given something completely different when they get home and actually try it out. Older players may very well find the game's kiddie vibe irritating, but the gameplay is solid regardless. This is a good pick for the younger gamers or casual players in your life. Beware, you just might find yourself enjoying it too.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Staff Contributor

The nice, colorful presentation suffers from some serious repetition.
Playing the various instruments with the stylus is simple and fun.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The song selection and elevator-music covers are strange, but the audio quality and instrument play are strong.

Play Value
Though entertaining and even addictive, the main game is terribly short. The extras are nice to play around with, but don't substantially extend the gameplay.

Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Learn and play famous songs and styles.
  • Play three different instruments and write your own songs (single or multiplayer function).
  • Play solo mode, or join your friends for co-op or duel play.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Monster Band screenshot - click to enlarge Monster Band screenshot - click to enlarge Monster Band screenshot - click to enlarge Monster Band screenshot - click to enlarge

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