American Idol


posted 2/9/2004 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: GBA
Since you are judged on your style, you will need to figure out what outfit to wear before each and every performance. You don’t have a lot of costumes, so it’s fairly easy to mix and match without running into too much trouble with the fashion police. This isn’t a bad idea, but it would have been nice if you could win new outfits or hair styles or something.

When you get bored of taking on the world, it’s off to the endurance match, which may just be the most appropriately named mode in this game. As I’m sure you already figured out, the Endurance mode throws a constant stream of songs at you, until you cannot take it anymore. Unfortunately, this and the rehearsal mode, are the only extras you get in this game.

The greatest asset of this game is the audio, and rightfully so. Though I cannot stand the music these people perform, I have to admit it’s reproduced with surprising quality, especially for a GameBoy Advance game. The songs bop along much like they do on MTV’s Total Request Live, with simple beats and actual singing. It all comes in with amazing clarity, and should be commended on actually getting something right.

There is a pretty good selection of music, as well. Unfortunately, if you’re not a fan of the music they play on the show, the chances are you’re going to hate these tunes. You’ve got everybody from Dido, Ricky Martin, and *Nsync, not to mention both Madonna and Britney Spears. Each of the songs lasts about a minute, so you only really get a portion of the songs, but for me even a minute is too long. They are definitely good for what they are, but nothing I would feel good about playing in public.

The graphics don’t fair nearly as well. It’s clear that they have attempted to make these characters look 3D, but this fails in every way possible. At a distance your character looks like a big blob of nothing, and up close it’s hard to tell just what exactly you look like. I imagine that this is what American Idol would look like if you watched it with grocery bag over your head.

I know it’s tempting for companies to attempt to bring a game to every possible game system, but sometimes you really don’t need a portable version. American Idol just didn’t need to be ported to the GameBoy Advance; I cannot imagine there is a market that’s demanding to get chewed out by Simon no matter where they are. It’s far from the worst game on Nintendo’s portable, but comes real close to being the most unnecessary. Life is too short to spend even a second playing this ugly mess of a rhythm game.

If this isn’t enough reason for them to stop making American Idol video games, I don’t know what it will take. It’s as if your worst fears have been manifested into an almost unbearable rhythm game

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