Review by willy_sunny

Reviewed: 01/05/09

JuBeat, a revolutionary Wack-A-Mole game ... with music

I'm sure back in the days when you were a kid, you had fun playing wack-a-mole, and even now, wack-a-mole is still one of the old entertainment machine in most large arcade stores. So, Konami decided to bring it to another level. Ladies and gentelman, Konami proudly introduce to you, a revolutionary Wack-A-Mole game, JuBeat! (or UBeat in America)

If you are a player who are familiar with Konami's other beat music games, such as DanceDanceRevolution, GuitarFreaks, DrumMania, etc, this game wouldn't be a stranger for you to get used to. However, unlike the games mentioned earlier, JuBeat (or UBeat for America) has a different system. This game uses a system similar to Ouendan series on Nintendo DS, where an animation will show up, and you have to hit it when the animation reaches the highest point in order to score. To better illustrate it, imagine an animation of two cross-hair flying towards each other, and you'd have to hit the cross-hair when the two cross-hair overlaps with each other in order to score a perfect score. As to the scoring system, there are only 4 types of scoring - fast, good, perfect, slow. At the end of the song, you'd be judged based on your performance. You'd have a raw score, based on the notes you've pressed, maximum 900,000 points , and a bonus score, based on the overall performance, maximum 100,000 points. You'd receive different letter grade based on the total score. SS for 950k and above, S for 900k and above, A for 850k and above, B for 800k and above, C for 700k and above, and D (or fail) for 700k and below. The buttons are really sensitive, so do not try to hit them too hard, or else it might case other buttons to react, causing unnecessary button presses. Since the buttons are rather sensitive, instead of ordinary way of pressing it, you can find creative ways to press them too, such as sliding. This game also offers two modes, online mode and local mode. Online mode, as the word suggests, you can play and compete with players all across the globe. However, some stores might not offer such options to players. The other mode is local mode, where you can link up to three other JuBeat machines and have a one nice competition. In short, this game is not hard to get used to.

If you are player who have NO experience in playing any of the rhythm game, worry not, this game is not has hard as it may look like based on the videos that have been flying around on the internet. If you have read the paragraph above, where I explained the system, seems too complex for you to remember everything? No worries, just go try this game like any other wack-a-mole game. There are 16 buttons, 4 buttons across and down. By following the beat of the music, one (or more) buttons will lit up. Imagine the lit up buttons like a mole, and what do you do in a wack-a-mole game? HIT IT. Really, it's that simple. The animation usually gives you enough reflex time to hit it before disappearing. So, go on, bring your friend, and go have fun!

However, I'm not quite satisfied with their unlocking system. JuBeat saves the unlock data on Konami's Entertainment Pass (e-Pass for short) instead of the machine. Therefore, without it, you would never play certain hidden songs, button animations, and titles, making the hardcore players who loves this game have to pay extra for that card. Players who loved Konami's other beat games would probably heard of such cards, yes, e-Pass can be used across DDR, GF, DM, and JuBeat, so, if you are a fan of all those game, I'd probably assume you have one of such cards already. But, none the less, JuBeat is still one fun game for any age to try.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Jubeat (JP, 07/24/08)

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