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Hip Hop All Star Review

The world of Hip Hop over the last decade has smashed through the mirror, punched you in the face and got all the girls scantily clad naked on an underground takeover. If anything Rap & Hip Hop music is now the most popular music genre in the world. So it was only a matter of time before an iPhone game developer came up with the idea of scratching our decks to some of the industries most famous. Along comes I-Play, a division of Oberon Media whom have done exactly that. I-Play have seemingly hat tipped from the successful guitar hero games, spiced in some Beatmania vibes and added in all the stars from the Hip Hop world to deliver an on the move bemani experience.

hiphopallstar Hip Hop All Star Review

Story – N/A

Not really applicable, but you basically start out as a DJ looking to rise to the top by getting decent gigs. You start out as a DJ at a house party and then end up scratching decks to big stage arenas.

Gameplay – 8

What firstly will strike you with the game is the amount of music tracks you’ll get to play through, an impressive line up which includes Kid Cudi and the legendary Busta Rhymes. The aim of the game is to press each coloured track at the correct time a flashing vinyl appears over it, doing this successfully keeps the music sounding fresh. If you hit a big wave of notes on time you will build up a combo score and the fans will go wild. Continually building your combo will give you the chance to use your second deck and scratch your way to stardom, unfortunately this doesn’t really work that great and seems to be bolted on to give extra variety instead of necessity.

As you plough through the game you will play at various gig venues, whilst the degree of difficulty increases the further you progress. Each stage ends with a DJ battle against one of your rivals, the key to winning is getting your note timing correct and picking up power-ups to use on your competition to put them off, this is basically how the multiplayer is comprised of, which can bring some interesting and tense matches. The game has 6 achievements along with accessories which you unlock throughout the game to kit out your character which adds a reason to stay with the game even if it does start to feel a little stale in the latter stages.

hiphopallstar2 Hip Hop All Star Review

Graphics & Audio – 7

Graphically this game is great. I personally love the menu system which has you using your touch device to spin round the options. The game is bright and colourful whilst retaining that underground graffiti style imagery. Where the game lacks is the audio. The sound effects are good. The crowds, the scratching noises all deliver but unfortunately the audio quality of the songs are pretty woeful, they sound mono and that’s a shame as this game would have been perfect to pop in the headphones and really immerse your self into. I think I-Play perhaps had to compensate audio quality for quantity of songs and it’s something that really undermines all the hard work they have gone to with the presentation and the game play. I don’t know the ins and outs of Apples vetting system and whether there is a size cap for each game, but it would explain the decision made to compress the audio to such a level.

Fun Factor – 7

Hip Hop All Star is a fun game and is certainly a great companion for short journeys, the game has some interesting music but admittedly after awhile you rush towards the DJ battles where most of the fun resides. Improved audio quality would have made this an absolute purchase.

Online – 8

I-Play have gone to town with the online features, the ability to post your top scores and trash talk people on Facebook is a nice added feature that console gamers can only ever dream over until at least November 17th 2009. Finding a match online was pretty easy. I’m guessing we were fortunate as online lifecycles of games are very short. In terms of how it plays online, it’s smooth. There isn’t any lobby system but it’ll find you a game if there is one available. Bluetooth works as a similar principle finding others in the vicinity that are searching for a multiplayer match. So it all works here, without any major problems but also without much variety when it comes to game modes. You will also be able to purchase extra content for the game if the existing song base isn’t enough.

Overall Score 7.5/10

The audio quality isn’t the best and it really stops the game from being an absolute recommend, but those with ears accustomed to listening years of medium wave may not find this an issue. The presentation is crisp and the game play is great in short sessions. If you enjoy the songs featured in the game, you can even grab yourself a FREE MP3 just by recommending the game to others, not bad eh!

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