Def Jam: Rapstar
It’s going to be interesting to see how Def Jam Rapstar performs after the sales of Rock Band and Guitar Hero seemed to take a dive this year. Some are calling time on the music genre boom, but here comes a game that could touch on a whole new group of people who have never been served before. Def Jam Rapstar is bringing the likes of Public Enemy, Kanye West and the Wu-Tang Clan to the PS3 and this time it’s not about seeing them beat each other up. This is about the pure skill, rhythm and style of the MC and in that respect, at least, Rapstar is a clear success.
The selection of tracks here is as broad and popular as you could hope to find. You’ve got Dizzee Rascal’s breakout hit Fix Up, Look Sharp all the way to the old-school Push It by Salt-N-Pepa, and that means you shouldn’t have to be the hardest of hardcore hip-hop fans to get into this. And the mechanics are as simple as you could ask for.
If you’ve played games like SingStar before or done some singing on one of the guitar games then the whole bouncy-ball rhythm thing will be easy enough to follow. Rapstar also offers a practice option on each track where you can pick the verse or chorus you want to practice.
The most exciting thing for all the wannabe emcees out there, though, is going to be the Freestyle mode where you can lay and record your own lyrics over the top of a number of different tracks. You can also record a video using the PlayStation Eye and upload it all to the Rapstar site. It all seems to work pretty well and could lead to a great community building around this game.
However, this is far from a perfect package. For a start, the asking price for the game alone without a mic is a little on the high side at £50 when you only get 40-odd songs on the disc and you’ll also need to add another £5 if you want a mic to come with it. Bear in mind, though, that some online searching should turn up some bargains, so that’s not so much of an issue. The presentation, however, is. The menu system feels a little thrown together in places and not all the songs have videos with them, which is a real shame when some of those vids are superb.