Although I have been gaming for a very long time, I have only been exposed to proper rhythm games in the last year or so (Guitar Hero & Co don’t count).
Games like Elite Beat Agents and Rhythm Heaven are really kind of insane in a good way and really made me feel like I had been missing out on a great genre for quite some time. It was for this reason that I was excited to receive a port of a DS rhythm game called Maestro GG (Green Groove) to review for iPhone.
Musical goodness in your pocket? Hit the jump for my review.
Maestro Green Groove has you playing as, well, a green duck/thing/character. Your duck-thing runs through levels on strings to the tunes of classical music like Nocturne No 2 Opus 9 played out using MIDI.
Using your fingers you are required to strum the strings in order to bounce your character up or drop him down to the appropriate level that he needs to be on. Things get a little more complex when certain strings glow, with the glow shrinking and the player needing to strum the string at the right moment in order to hit the right note properly.
Critters will also bounce up into the stage, and you will need to tap on them to kill them, effectively using them as a form of percussion for the music.
As I haven’t actually played Maestro GG on the Nintendo DS, I am not so sure how the port feels compared to the original. It is obvious that the game has been ported pretty directly though as the visuals have not been upgraded at all to take advantage of the iPhones aspect ratio and higher resolution.
I must unfortunately report that I have a major issue with this game. I really wanted to like it, due to the fact that I loved the idea of having a good rhythm game in my pocket at all times. The only problem is that the controls really just don’t work very well, which leads to some intense frustration as you miss note after noter after note.
The finger swiping on the glowing notes is problematic as it just isn’t easy to perfectly swipe your finger over a small point as it is scrolling past your screen, and seems to just not fit really well with using your fingers instead of a stylus. Your finger also tends to block most of the screen as you swipe making it even tougher to see what’s happening.
The truth really did reveal itself when I realised that playing this game felt more like a chore than a fun experience, and with the iTunes AppStore offering so many other games for less than three dollars, I think that you will soon forget that Maestro GG is even installed on your phone.
This really is a shame, as I think that the iPhone can benefit from some great rhythm games. Maestro GG isn’t a bad game, but due to the very frustrating nature of the controls and levels, you just never feel like hopping into a quick game.
For fans of: Rhythm Heaven, Elite Beat Agents, Sucking At Instruments
Scoring (not an average)
A good idea that is unfortunately brought down by frustrating controls
Graphics are framed to fit the original DS aspect ratio, and very pixelated. Could have used a bit of an upgrade for the iPhone.
A soundtrack of classical greats is let down by having them all play out in MIDI format.
There’s lots of game to play, but the frustrating gameplay will make you want to never find out how much exactly.
Maestro GG falls short of being a fun title due to frustrating controls, and when it comes to games like this, controls are everything.
[Reviewed on the Apple iPhone 3G]
Last Updated: April 13, 2010