The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
As simple, easy-to-grasp music games go, Ultimate Band deserves a nod of appreciation. Sure, these are simplistic cover versions of pop songs, the story is juvenile, and overly easy gameplay dominates the game. But it also doesn't cost $160, and it plays on a game system nearly every family in America with small children has in their living room. Understanding the game is largely targeted to this audience, the pros and cons are a wash, and families should have a pretty good time. A band creator allows you to deck out some zany musicians, and the straightforward, pick-up-and-play motion controls work successfully. Four-person band play is the way to go (no singer, just an arm-swinging frontman), and every instrument feels unique. Keep expectations in check, and your band should have a good time, even if it's nowhere near the ''ultimate'' music game experience.
Email the author Matt Miller, or follow on Game Informer.