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Custom Beat Battle Draglade [import] review

AT A GLANCE
  • Constructing beats for attacks
  • Tuning notes to create melodies
  • That it's well-animated
  • The audio's not as sharp as Ouendan
  • The slightly limited move set
  • It can be pretty difficult

Custom Beat Battle: Draglade is literal murder on the dance floor; a beat-'em-up with jazz hands. Okay. So no actual dancing takes place - Mortal Kombat starring Fred Astaire it's not - but rhythm is the key.

On the surface this bears a striking resemblance to DS fighter Bleach. The camera zooms around wide multi-tiered arenas as spiky-haired fighters unleash flaming uppercuts and sword jabs upon one another. With a slightly more limited move-set than the combo-loving Bleach, this is a tad more pickup-able, and the absence of Bleach's dramatic screen-wide visual pyrotechnics are also much appreciated - it means you actually stand a chance of dodging the attacks Draglade throws at you.



Tapping L enters Beat Combo mode. A beat bar displays a series of notes, or attacks, which you play to unleash combo chaos. Sound complicated? It's really not. In musical terms, the yellow notes represent one beat (a quick stab), while orange notes last for two (a fiercer swing) and three-beat-long reds launch weapon uppercuts. Tapping out the note pattern on the Y button is all it takes to wipe hundreds of points from your opponent's health.

A series of pre-set tunes are available in the game, but the real fun lies in tuning each note out beforehand in order to create an actual melody. Doing so doesn't alter any of the attacks one bit, but it does make the brawlers sound like two accordions having a go at it. Brilliant.

By manually adjusting the pitch of each note we put someone into a coma with the Flintstones' theme and sliced a girl's face off with the A-Team theme. The implications for humorous signature tunes in Wi-Fi multiplayer matches are huge.

Beat attacks make things a tad easy, with their activation energy recharging at a generous rate. However, waltzing through single-player mode (quite literally with the right note placements) is made up for by a decent multiplayer. Music to a fighting fan's ears.

More Info

Release date: May 17 2007 - DS (US)
May 17 2007 - DS (UK)
Available Platforms: DS
Genre: Fighting
Published by: Banpresto
Developed by: Dimps
ESRB Rating:
Rating Pending

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