Musika is a new iPod game from PaRappa the Rapper creator Masaya Matsuura. In that article, Matsuura says this about iPod games:
Almost all the other games are basic and limited – like a simple puzzle. Our game will be very advanced compared to the others. This will last.
And it’s tough to agree.
Musika is a $US4.99 casual game for your iPod. The goal is to quickly decipher letters as they appear on screen and click the iPod’s center button if you identify a letter in the title. Pick the right letter, you get points. Pick the wrong letter, you lose points.
The Good News
You are sure to enjoy the music, since it is your own. You can import individual songs or entire playlists, and sort through your music very easily—it’s just as you’d hope a music game on the iPod would work.
Graphics are occasionally quite nice. There are a handful of different animated effects for appearing letters. Most involve glowing fluorescent colours, some spin in 3D, and others even involve leaves (which is just odd).
The Bad News
You know when you are signing up for a new screen name or verifying a purchase online and you have to make out those scrunchy letters to prove you aren’t a bot? Put the radio on in the background and that’s basically the entire game. It’s a strain on your eyes instead of your brain, and I was done after 10 minutes…forever.
A visualisation mode looked promising, but just involves your song titles being spelled out on giant letter at a time. It’s like the game without the game.
For $US4.99 it’s tough to bitch because the game is very well assembled for a title running on the iPod. But I was actually excited to load up Matsuura’s latest creation—especially with the potential of its integration with my music on the go. But ultimately, the game isn’t about the songs you love, but the titles of the songs you love. And in that way, it misses the point.