MTV Music Generator 2 Review
If anybody had bothered to read the review of MTV Music Generator for PSOne, you would notice that I had nothing but praise for this game and everything that it did. Not too long after, Codemasters would reveal to us that a second one would be on the way for the Playstation 2. Hot diggity damn! I surely was excited to see the sequel to the original, which by the way had kept me busy for days! The original Music Generator had featured awesome samples, and the ability to rip portions of a song from a CD was awesome. So as the waiting continued, Codemasters would announce that Funk Master Flex would be the spokesperson of the game, as well as the 'cover-boy.' In addition to that, bands such as Apollo 440, Zombi Nation and Gorillaz would be contributing their tracks the game. Alas the day has come, Music Generator 2 has arrived, and I receive my own personal copy of the game. But is this game better than the first, or just a re-hash?
This game is definitely not meant to be a visual jewel. The graphics are moderate at best, but then again there aren't much "graphics" to speak of anyway. Sure there are 3D objects bouncing around on screen during videos, but those could be handled by the Playstation as well, and don't require much polygonal muscle. What kept me from giving the visuals a really low score, is the amazingly clean interface. Every single menu is smooth, there are many colors to look at, and for various reasons they just look good. Not much to really mention about the visuals really, so why don't I just get into the gameplay.
Simply said, the original PSOne game plays better and is better. That is not to put down Music Generator 2 as a bad game, because it certainly isn't, it's just that it's an incredibly hard game to get used to. Getting the hang of creating your own song may take about five minutes, meanwhile learning everything else about the game may take days. It took me an incredibly long time to figure out how to create my own video, and when I finally did make one, it came out half-assed. Despite what the game packaging says, this game is not easy to get a hang of. The original game was far less complex than this one, making videos was an easier task, ripping from CDs was easier as well, and most importantly when put together, the song flows smoothly, because the selections in the original had blended with each other much more gracefully then the ones in this game. When switching beats and listening to the change, the movement almost seems abrupt, and it seems like there is very little you can do about it. Those patient enough will enjoy Music Gen. 2, the game does have over 11,000 sound samples, included in many categories such as hip-hop, garage, house, college, pop, rock, R&B, and trance. The second one doesn't really do much to impress me, like the original did. This one is far more complex to utilize, and those who have never played a Music Generator title should first purchase the Playstation original, and then pick up the sequel.
Unlike the original, the samples here aren't as hot as they should've been. Granted many of them are great, but the rest are all terrible. The voices are especially awful, I have no idea what the developer was thinking when they 'okayed' those horrible voices into the game, that is one aspect I stayed away from when I made my tracks. I didn't incorporate the voices into my songs in the game either but at least those were decent, these just plain suck! The sample sounds don't fit very well into their category, in-fact the whole category system needs to be abolished, because almost none of the samples fit their respective placement. Though I must mention that during my track development I had come across some great samples that I continuously use, but sadly that number was minimal and hence the game lost its touch incredibly quick. The soundtrack is really what keeps me from giving the sound a totally miserable grade, with bands such as Zombi Nation and Apollo 440 donating their efforts into the game, this category gets saved from humiliation.
There isn't any 'actual' controlling required in Music Gen. 2, it's all very simple, just move, point and click. So why not give the control a ten you ask? Easy, instead of having gamers suffer by using the analog stick as a means to moving the cursor, the idea of implementing USB mouse compatibility would've been a very, very smart one, Jester! I frankly don't like having to use my analog stick to move a cursor, when there is a USB port right beneath the controller port, just waiting to be used. I guess only Epic (Unreal Tournament) had the knowledge to realize that USB compatibility needs to be used more and more in console games. Music Generator 2 should have been one of those games, as its interface is ideal for mouse compatibility, *tsk, tsk, tsk*.
In the end I must express my disappointment with Codemasters MTV Music Generator 2. Not only was the game worsened, but it almost feels like more effort went into the game's licensing than gameplay and improvements. The game could prove to be a good game for those who are willing to devote a lot of time to it, but my personal vendetta is with this game's many terrible sound samples. Compared to the excellent ones found in the original title, the samples in the sequel are disappointing, especially the voices. For those still not sure whether or not this is a good game, I suggest renting the game and trying it out for yourself.
7/3/2001 Arnold Katayev