Setup & Timing
The menu system is a bit of a mess. Menu options aren't labeled until they're clicked on. Getting past that, multiplayer is on the main menu and Download Play follows that. While Imagine Rock Star's opening credits sequence isn't to bad, but the initial setup is a completely unnecesary annoyance. If someone wants to play Single-Card Download multiplayer out of the box, they'll have to go through a setup process that takes four to five times as long as playing through a song. The download time is a little longer than average.
Menus & Navigation
The menus are responsive and tapping is taken exactly as it's intended; no unwanted mistaps or missed targets.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
Seeing as how Imagine Rock Star has four different instruments, there are four different control schemes. The drums, which feature simple tapping, work perfectly. The keys on the keyboard are a little particular on where they're tapped (why have big keys if they can only be tapped in a small area?). The guitar and bass feature swiping motions (like drawing lines) in different directions from each other. Neither instruments inputs were consistent. Identical motions and timing seemed to earn a wide variety of scores.
The upside to Imagine Rock Star is the quantity of song variety: the game features 24 songs and ten venues for the Single-Card Download multiplayer. The downside is that the songs are poorly written, and they don't sound very good, either. The game's graphics are pretty pixelated for the video (for the host) and the still shots (for the guests) are generic and have nothing to do with the game. On the other hand, the graphics that count - the instruments - look fine.
Imagine Rock Star in an attempt to get in on the super-popular music genre headed up by the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises. Unlike the Guitar Hero: On Tour series for the Nintendo DS (which uses a peripheral with fret buttons), Imagine Rock Star uses less realistic swipes across the screen. Unlike Guitar Hero: On Tour, Imagine Rock Star does not have any songs that are licensed or familiar in any way (not even public domain material). While Imagine Rock Star is playable, it's not successful in providing what makes other music games popular and fun.
While the Imagine Series of games is not targeted at someone like myself, I see several problems with Imagine Rock Star (and likely other games in the series as well). Imagine Rock Star is targeted at girl gamers and the developers seem to have compromised game play fun and quality for theme by "girling up the game" as much as was possible (in my opinion). Instead of licensing songs that would appeal to girls, they went with original/poorly written substitutes. The ability to customize outfits is available in the main game, but the instrument playability was not perfected (or evewn made consistent). I'm not a girl gamer (so maybe I'm missing the point), but wouldn't girl gamers prefer good games to girlier games? The way I see it, a rhythm game can be targeted at girl gamers by its song selection and base design without throwing in random, unnecesary features like picking a hair style. But then again, like I said, I'm not the intended audience.
Label the options on the main menu.
Allow Single-Card Download multiplayer to be played without setting up a single-player save file.
Replace the included music with licensed songs.
Increase the graphical designs of the videos and still shots.
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 57 / 100 (a.k.a. 28.5/50)
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