August 6, 2001
Moderngroove: Ministry of Sound Edition - Review
When the PSOne was released one of the most impressive things on the free Demo1 disc was the interactive CD player. This allowed you to manipulate the graphics on screen to keep them in time with the music and create some very trippy visuals. It was a cool concept and for the first time a console had the power (and CD player) to create impressive visuals. Six years later, and with a much more powerful system, Moderngroove: Ministry of Sound Edition looks set to rekindle interest in the genre, although you are stuck with their selected music tracks. First for some information about the Ministry of Sound, and the features on this disc.
|One of the visual effects to music.|
The Ministry of Sound started as a club in 1991 and over the last decade has become one of the biggest dance brands in the world. They have released numerous CD's, clothing, and now interactive DVD's. Moderngroove: Ministry of Sound Edition has over 5 hours of new House, Breakbeat, Techno, Trance and UK Garage music spun by five of the worlds hottest DJ's including Tall Paul (Hard House), Ferry Corsten (Trance), Paul Jackson (House & Garage), Krafty Kuts (Breakbeat) and Paul Dakeyne (Progressive House).
|This is the visual selection screen.|
So what's this disc all about then? Well basically this is a new selection of 60 different tracks from the 5 artists, which can be played back through your PS2 much like a regular music CD. However you also have the opportunity to create a visual masterpiece to accompany and change in time with the music. The game includes over 500 animated objects, 1200 unique images, 200 original video clips, and 32 user-controllable real-time effects and particle systems. It's possible to select any sequence of music, and sequences of graphics to display while being manipulated via the buttons on the controllers. Each button has a different function. Pressing the directional controls rotates the images on screen, the triangle shakes the screen, while the square reverses the colours of the image. It's quite fun, but will become tiresome after a while.
Visually this game would have made a wonderful tech demo for Sony prior to the systems release. The graphics are silky smooth and that includes both the film clips and the graphics being rendered and manipulated in real-time. In fact the game is so loaded with visual effects that you will never see the same mix twice.
|These visuals are the organic style.|
Without a doubt the most important aspect of this title is the music, and it rocks (well raves anyway). As previously mentioned the disc is loaded with over 60 tracks, or five hours, of music. Unless you are a clubber many of the tracks will be unfamiliar to you however some songs such as Warrior (by Warrior), Ubik (by Timo Maas), Kernkraft 400 (by Zombie Nation) and Touch Me (by Rising Star) should be familiar, if only when you hear them, to most people. While Tall Paul provides the most commercial tracks on the disc the others all provide a strong variety of styles and tracks that are likely to keep you going well into the night.
This is such a hard title to review. It's not a game at all but more like an interactive CD, and in that case it really comes down to your taste in music. Personally I love dance/rave/club music which is why I love this title so much. Yes, the interactive section may become tiresome after a while, but it's the music that really stands out, and with over 5 hours of tracks you are definitely getting value for money (the title sells for only $59.95). If there is one complaint I could level at the title it's a lack of distinct music styles. Where is the hardcore? Where is the happycore? If you love trance, garage or breakbeats then this title is a must for any collection. Hopefully a slightly harder Volume 2 will appear one day, but this will definitely suffice for now. Ravers unite, and get this title now.
|Tall Paul has commercial tracks.|
* I have not put in a Gameplay score as this isn't really a game. It has been judged primarily on the music, graphics and value for money.
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