BeatMania GB / Konami
Genre DJ Simulation
Features GameBoy / Color GameBoy/ Super GameBoy Compatible/ 2-Player
Reviewer Valerie

I've been a fan of Konami's BeatMania for a long time now. I've played and enjoyed tremendously the three different arcade versions of the game, and when it was released on the Playstation, I was the first in line to buy it as well as the special Konami BeatMania Controller. With the release of the Color GameBoy version, I'm proud to say that I have come full circle, since I've now played this game on every platform available.

For those that don't know much about BeatMania, it must be said that it isn't a game in the true sense of the word. There are no monsters to kill, or levels to explore. In fact, it is rather pedestrian, and all you're required to do is pretend that you are a club DJ tapping the keyboard or spinning the turn-table.

The game is played in stages. With each stage, a song is heard and bars fall
according to the keys that are to be played. What you're required to do is to hit the corresponding key as the bar hits the "beat line". Hit it perfectly and you get a "Great" score, hit it just in time and you'll get a "Good" score, but
miss it completely and you'll get a "Bad" or "Poor" score. There is a level gauge that corresponds to your scores. This gauge goes up when you get a "Great" or "Good" score, and down when you get a "Bad" or "Poor" score. Only when the gauge is red or 3/4 and above, are you allowed to proceed to the next stage.

Throughout the various stages of the game, you and your audience will be entertained by some really cool, wacky and colorful animated graphics. The graphics aren't just eye candy, but also indicators of how well or poorly you're doing. If you're doing badly, you'll get words like "Poor!" flashing at you, or even boo sounds that are rather embarrassing, but will steer you on to do even better.

There are various mixes and modes to choose in BeatMania. There is the "Arcade" mix which is similar to the tunes on the arcade machine and the "GB Mix" which are specially composed tunes for this BeatMania GB edition. There is also a "Free" mode, which is a practice mode, or "Auto" mode which is a preview mode complete with the music and falling bars to familiarize yourself with the various stages.

At each stage, 2 choices of music are given and these come from a selection of easy modes such as "Break-bts", "Reggae" and "Funk... Normal modes such as "Classics 1" and "Classic 2", "Latin", "Rukugakids", "Bossa-Groove", "J-dance", "Pop" and "Jazz"... And hard modes such as "Country", "Minimal Techno" and "Konamix" which for me, is the most difficult. Complete each stage and you'll move on to the next, until you complete all 10 stages and get your DJ ranking. The unlimited "continue" option makes it easy to get from one stage to the next. Phew!

By the way, if you get into the swing of things and want to show-off how good a DJ you are to friends or play the tunes and practice unguided, there is a "Hidden" mode in which the bars just appear to show you what's next and then disappear before reaching the "beat line" which leaves the timing all up to you. To make an amateur look and feel like a pro on his first try, there is also a 2, 3, 5 or full button option so you won't panic with too many buttons to control and can lean back with your GameBoy and enjoy the beat!

Verdict An excellent port-over and a definite must-have. Everything is in English
too, despite the fact that it's a Japanese import. BeatMania GB is simple to play, is entertaining both aurally and visually, and oh! so challenging. Never before has my GameBoy sounded so good, with the beautiful BeatMania tunes like "The Nutcracker Suite", the theme song from "Metal Gear Solid" and "Raguka Kids", the theme from "Armadeus", and even a cute little "Cat" song.

I've had this game for almost a week now and I have not been able to put
it down ever since. In fact, BeatMania is beside me on auto "music" mode as I write this review. Beats the radio anytime.