MixMax
Codemasters
Music/Mixing
1
06.22.04

MTV Music Generator 3: This is The Remix


Now I don't know about you, but I have many dreams. One of those dreams is being able to come up with badass hip-hop beats. I have been through so many complicated PC programs, that I lost interest. Now with the release of a console title that allows me to make hip-hip beats and remixes, I am in my glory. Is it a game? Not really. It's more like a music generator! Having never played any version of Codemasters' music generator games, I can tell you that I am happy I got my hands on part 3!

Gameplay

This title really grabbed my interest when I first heard about it, and I was instantly addicted when I first turned it on. How do I explain the gameplay of a title like this? Picture a grid with a lot of little square boxes. Let's say you place something in one of those boxes. Then you press play and a line goes over them from left to right signifying what's playing, and you hear it. In those boxes you can put in different types of drums, bass, riffs, and vocals. There are ways to overlap them, mix them, change effects…it's pretty much endless. They are all color-coded and that's what makes the music.

Your main initial options are: remixer, studio, playlist, files, and options. The remixer and studio modes are the main two modes that you'll be busy in. In the remixer mode you get to remix 10 of today's hottest songs. I wish there were more, but the 10 are sufficient enough because the studio mode is just continuous which I'll be getting to next. For now I'll talk about the remixer mode and how you can really remix songs like "Get Busy" by Sean Paul, "Tha Chuuuch" by Snoop Dogg, or "My Party" by Fabolous. You can modify and tune the drums, bass, riffs, and vocals. Those four things are what you use to make a good song. You can also take your remix to the studio and get a complete and exact layout of each of these songs. All of these songs are laid out on that grid that I was talking about. You can take out beats, or vocals, and add new ones in or just leave them out. You have so many options to modify each song.

In studio mode, since each of the 10 tracks are categorized by genre (i.e. rap, party, dance hall, hip-hop), you choose an artist that fits the mood you're in. Once you have the type of beat your ready to make, you go to the studio. Here, you start a song from scratch, and you end it all by yourself. With that said, the "grid" is completely empty and you have no track or example to start off with. So the game can be both challenging and fun at the same time.

There are four basic types of sounds to get a beat going. Once you have those set up, you can even rip your own clips from tracks straight from your Xbox hard drive. I found the ripping of your own tracks to be slightly sticky. They might have been able to make this feature easier. I sometimes couldn't get the part of a song that I wanted. It was a big trial and error thing for me. The Files section is where you load and save your works of art. And trust me, you are going to be making badass beats that you'll want to rock in your car. Somehow you'll have to find a way to burn them.

There's a useful tutorial that will help you understand how to use each option, but after a few hours you will get the hang of things on your own. You can even copy & paste, as well as cut & paste. Some other effects that can be modified are the Master effects. Here you set the volume, BPM, EQ, Dbass, Reverb, and the type of speaker your listening through. There's also channel effects where you can modify more effects, such as pan, delay, distort, and a few more. There's also an entire section (Sample Base) where you can alter any of the given samples. What amazes me, is that you can come up with an infinite amount of unique samples. Overall, there really isn't any real videogame "gameplay" because you're just navigating around a simple (at first complicated) menu, making the controls very basic.

Graphics

The graphics are something that any system from Sega Saturn and PSOne could handle all the way up until this very day. They are the most basic graphics ever. This game can have the most basic graphics that consoles from over 10 years ago can handle and still be a great game, because this game is an audio game, not visual. There are some cool wire frame 3D boxes flying around in the background, and that is really all that stands out. Besides that, if you go into the playback mode, there's a way to display 3D and flashy images that look like Winamp or Windows Media Player skins, and they move with the music. You can alter them, but it's nothing we haven't seen before.

Sound

The sound is the most important part of this game. Without sound, you can't play this. You must hear what's going on, and I must say I am impressed. Or maybe, I just impressed myself at how cool I can make beats. All of the sample drums, riffs, bass, and vocal tracks flow ever so sweetly. I may have slightly combined the gameplay with the sound section, but the sound in this game is up to you. You control everything. There's also a lot of pre-recorded remixes of each song that we've never heard before. I ended up liking a lot of them.

Replay Value

The replay value is one word: endless. This is where the game really stands out. When I first played this, I was just messing around and made some great beats. I was saving so many files because each one just kept on getting better and better. It probably would have been great to have Xbox Live support. I could see having monthly tournaments for the person with the "best beat." Uploading and downloading other people's tunes probably would be cool. Maybe the 4th Music Generator will have this option.

Bottom Line:

Have you ever had the urge to make beats? I'm sure most of us had once downloaded some shareware hip-hop/rap beat maker for the computer and attempted to use it. Some of us got into it, and some of got bored with it. As I popped this game disc into my Xbox, I wasn't sure what to expect. What I got was something that I could not stop playing. MixMax also makes the idea of creating music "fun" and easy to create. And that's an important factor for something like this.

Any hip-hop fan must not hesitate, and pick this one up at once. You have to at least try this game out. This title makes it so easy to make great sounding beats, and it gives you a general idea of how easy some of today's artists create their music. I always thought it was more complicated, but it really isn't that complex once you got a program/game like this. I felt like I should be a DJ at a club, rather than a gaming journalist. You'll be hooked.

Related Links:

Official Codemasters Website

-Steve Melanson




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