Music Games allow kids to Jam

by James

Hannah Montana Music Jam

Last year it was Dance Dance Revolution – a game that allowed users to get a work out while they did the two step to fast paced megahit. Then came Guitar Hero – which allowed axe wielding wannabes to follow hard core riffs and get high scores.

Now, it’s all about the Jam as new games go into interactive, yet social gaming. Witness Disney’s latest video game for Nintendo DS that’s based on the hit family TV show “Hannah Montana.” Called the Hannah Montana Music Jam this game lets players use four different instruments for some stellar high fidelity performance. And the handheld game takes advantage of the DS’s wireless networking ability to not only get kids to rock out in concert, but to record it as well. And the quality is out of this world with players strumming their Nintendo DS touch screen to master instruments including lead, bass and rhythm guitars, or ripping the digital skins with with drums – all in an effort to help Hannah win a competition.

The cost is about $30, and will be out come October. Meanwhile, you can check out the Hannah game in action over at YouTube.

This adds to the already burgeoning field of rock games that includes Guitar Hero and another newcomer that cranks it up to 11 called ROCK BAND – which allows multiple airband types to experience the real deal in endless combinations of guitar, bass and drums, or even singing along. Instrument interfaces include the drumset, which features 4 foam pads, a bass drum pedal, and real drumsticks – and a Guitar Hero style Fender Stratocaster replica guitar controller, which features 10 frets and an effects switch for hard core grinds.

And even though it’s based on the same scrolling style system that catapulted Guitar Hero up the charts, it also forces members to play together, rather than simply hog the stage individually. And users can also take the jam globally with it’s internet rocking feature – which means a world tour, dude. In addition to that mode, there’s also Quickplay, Solo, Band (for 2 to 4 people), Practice, and a very dueling Head-to-head play mode.

What’s cool is that the game’s developers are committed to customizing the game to what they call “every console of significance,” so you can bet that the heavy hitters like the Wii in addition to the PS3 and Xbox 360.

The full setup game is a devastating $200 – but also includes the Microphone, drums and guitar and over 40 of the best rock anthems around including Nirvana’s “In Bloom,” Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen,” and even Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So.” But who doesn’t want to rock out to The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again?” And recently 10 more tracks were announced.

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