Needless to say the number of options you have in this game is staggering. Just when you start to feel like you've experienced all Traxxpad has to offer you notice something else that gives you even more options to play around with. Like expensive computer programs that do the same thing, Traxxpad is the kind of program that will take many hours before you even begin to see the true potential of something like this. While these types of applications can be easily found for the computer, the fact that it's portable means that you can take it wherever you go and start making music whenever inspiration hits. The amount of depth this program offers is definitely impressive; especially when you consider that this is a $40 PSP title.
Unfortunately there are times when it becomes apparent that this is a PSP title. In past reviews I've complained about Sony's portable not having enough buttons, but this problem has never been more obvious than when I'm struggling with Traxxpad's awkward control set-up. Expect to use every single button found on the PSP, including the "start" and "select" buttons. In fact, some buttons will need to be held down in order to perform a secondary function, which can be a real pain in the butt to learn. This awkward interface is even more apparent when you start toying around with in MeLOD mode. In MeLOD you are allowed to play with a keyboard, but in order to get a lot of the notes you are going to have to hold a directional button and then push one of the face buttons. This is confusing at first, and even after you've spent hours playing around in this mode you're still going to need a cheat sheet next to you to remember how to play each of the notes. I'm not sure what they could have done to solve this kind of problem, but it's definitely a frustrating control scheme that will take a lot of time to get used to.
Once you've fought with the controls and finalized your song it's time to decide what you're going to do with your masterpiece. Traxxpad actually gives you a few different options, including two that actually make a whole lot of sense. The most basic way of sending your music out is to share your songs with other PSP owners via the Ad Hoc WiFi mode. If you want to reach a larger audience then you might want to export the song to an MP3 and store it on your computer. And if that's not enough, why not turn your brand new beat into a cell phone ringtone. Silly? Perhaps. But it beats the heck out of listening to Fergalicious every time somebody calls you.
If you can get over Traxxpad's frustrating control scheme you'll find a lot of depth and value ... assuming that you're looking for a way to make real music on your PSP. If you're not musically inclined or don't have the patience to learn how to make music from scratch, then perhaps Traxxpad is not worth your time or money. But if you are one of those people who is aspiring to lay down some hot beats then you won't find a better program on the PSP, or any other system for that matter. Traxxpad is definitely not for everybody, but it does an excellent job for what it's trying to be.
Have you ever thought about making music on your video game console? Well that's exactly what you do with Traxxpad, the bizarre new game from Eidos Interactive. If you have a lot of patience and don't mind a steep learning curve then Traxxpad may just be worth checking out.
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