Mad Maestro

Mad Maestro

What we liked:

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What we didn't like:

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DEVELOPER: Desert Productions   |   PUBLISHER: Eidos   |   RELEASE: 03/12/2002

As my partner in crime Glitch Override I am reviewing the second half of Eidos’ newest batch of money grabbing goodness labeled Fresh Games. These are games grabbed from Japan and slapped with a fresh label and prettied up for a US release. These original titles are coming to an audience that may or may not accept them, we will only be able to tell with time. Enough BS let’s get on with the review.

First off Mad Maestro is a music simulation that takes a new route to the almost stale genre. You are a conductor that must keep your orchestra in tempo and the tension meter down. The pressure sensitive buttons act as your baton buttons, some notes require a harder press others require a light tap, some even require a certain pressure while a direction is pushed. Sound overwhelming? It can be at times, but give yourself a few songs and you will be ok. The game can change pace at any time which adds some flavor, but for the most part the game is pretty repetitive. You can master it in a day and that kind of sucks, the free mode adds a touch of replay but not much.

The graphics in the game are average, Japanese cartoonish characters with odd shaped heads and bodies. It looks like a giant virtual anime, there are lots of colors and the frame rate stays pretty smooth. The animations are pretty standard nothing special but the stages are very lively especially when you are doing well, the opening stage proceeds to dance about and is very pleasing to the eyes.

The music is where the game shines, you are performing some of the classics of our lives, from simple orchestral pieces to complex works of musical art. Not being a classical music buff I cannot give you specifics but some of the pieces are absolutely amazing to hear in dobly surround. Another cool feature about the sound is that the harder a button is pressed the louder the music plays, also when a direction is pushed another instrument is added to the mix, excellent sound.

In the end this game is a fresh idea from the minds of Japan, but perhaps this is why it stayed there for as long as it did. It is a nice novelty and fans of classical music will adore it. The main problem is that the game gets very boring after a few sessions and does little to bring you back. Hopefully they will not discontinue bringing these games out over here as they are great to experience, just maybe not for 50 bucks.

Ken McKown
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

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