Bust A Groove 2 Review

For PlayStation

By Contributing Writer Chris George

Rating: Good
   I'm a huge fan of the original Bust A Groove, which makes it all the 
more disappointing for me to find that the sequel doesn't live up to the 
standard set by the original.  Any game that you can beat in 35 minutes 
probably isn't worth buying, but Bust A Groove 2's problems go much deeper 
than its lack of length.
   The biggest problem is the music, which tends to be the centerpiece of 
the game since it's all about dancing.  There are still some very memorable 
songs (like Kitty N's), but most of the music is mediocre and some of it is 
just plain rotten.  The fact that I have already forgotten the lyrics to 
most of BAG 2's songs says a lot about their quality, while I can still 
remember the lyrics from the year-old original game.
   I can't imagine the reasoning behind Enix's decision to drop Avex Trax 
as the music team, and the new team didn't do that good of a job.  There 
were times in BAG 2 where I couldn't even understand the lyrics despite the 
fact that the singing is in English.  Some of the songs don't even have 
words; they're just instrumental pop songs.
   For some very strange reason, Enix decided to scrap all of the endings 
from the Japanese version and replace them with... (cue drum roll)... 
absolutely nothing!  There are no endings in the game, and nothing has been 
added to make up for this.  What this means is that after you unlock the 
hidden characters, this game has no replay value whatsoever unless the 
music somehow appeals to you.  The dance-viewer isn't as fun as the 
original, and surprisingly, neither is the two-player mode.
   Thankfully, many of the characters in Bust A Groove 2 are well-designed 
and likable.  Enix got rid of my two most hated characters from the 
original, Hamm and Pinky, but they also got rid of Frida and Gas-O.  Many 
of the returning characters keep their style and charm, while the new 
characters are a mixed bag.  Some of the them are cool, while others (like 
Bi-O) make you think that Enix ran out of creative ideas about half-way 
through this game's development.
   To its credit, Enix packed Bust A Groove 2 with a lot more gameplay 
options than the original.  You can choose from Easy Mode (which only uses 
the d-pad), Normal (which is a lot like the original), and Mix Mode (which 
uses every button on the controller).  Yet, despite these modes, the 
control still seems limited due to the fact that there are no branching 
dance moves.  There is only one option at any given time when you're 
dancing, and you're stuck doing it over and over again.  The only real 
strategy comes from blocking your opponent's "attacks" and trying to 
reverse them.
   The graphics are even wackier and crazier than they were in the 
original.  The background images are sharp rather than blurry, and there 
are some really good level effects that occur as you dance.  The characters
themselves are detailed nicely as well, but I noticed that they sometimes 
touch the other characters accidentally.  This causes clipping to occur as 
one character's hands appear to go right through character's body.
   If you're a fan of the music game genre and you're hungry for a fix,
this makes for a great rental, but that's about it.  Bust A Groove 2 could 
have been a must-buy game if only Enix had put a little more time and 
effort into it.

Send your thoughts on this review to chris@mastergamer.com

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