Highstreet 5 Review: Pump Up The Volume



By Kei Beneza (Dividelife), OnRPG Journalist

It's really easy to name a Musical game since people aren't really new to it nowadays. Games with note balloons (Arrows) like Dance Dance Revolution and Audition are pretty much everywhere. And although we end up hearing the same set of songs all over again, it never really stopped us from playing the game for a long period of time.

High Street 5 is no exception, being a new musical MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) that shares the same dance system as Bust-a-Groove. Players must press directional keys followed by a well-timed spacebar everytime the light hits the marker. It may seem like a pretty repetitive concept but the main fact that you'll have to compete with a whole bunch of players makes it a different story.

Like most MMOs, you'll be leveling up and earning in-game cash as you dance and groove to the beat. You'll be dancing to a series of hard-hitting tracks that are most likely to be familiar. The in-game music is composed of songs from the Asian and Western Pop culture, and the sense of familiarity makes it easier to groove to the beat. In my opinion, the dancing game is merely a small factor of the game since it's all about communities and "Friendster-like" interface. Then again, I may be wrong... let's check it out.

DANCE DANCE!

If you think that you're gonna be hitting buttons and dancing to the beat, then I guess you're on the right track; However, the game has a series of game modes to choose from. This makes the game rather challenging and overly annoying, though of course-- the more you lose, the more you tend to want to get better. The sounds make up for the repetitive gameplay. Listening to it is one thing but getting to tap your fingers while listening to your favorite songs make it somewhat worthwhile. Now, if you can jive and play bust-a-groove for two years with no one to play with but the second player, then maybe a whole community of virtual dancers would do you suffice. The variety of songs would definitely be big enough to satisfy your thirst for musical games.

Hey Sparky... you look pretty gnarly.

High Street 5 lets players customize their characters in order to gear themselves up for the party (or street party to be exact). Whether it's a gnarly 'fro or a hip hop jersey, you'll find that the character customization system is most likely to be a blessing for your character. Besides, you wouldn't wanna go in a party dressed like you're going to the mall with your parents right? Gear up and stand out!

Graphics

The graphics are okay, with cell-shaded models that look good while dancing. I honestly can't imagine this game with a different character peg. The characters are brightly colored, allowing them to stand out in the middle of the lightly rendered party place. It also illuminates their clothes, giving characters their good share of individuality (given if your characters don't dress up like everyone else).

The cell-shaded characters look rather squarish though less polygonal compared to most of the MMOs out there. Although it's polygonal, the graphics however isn't that obsolete for you not to appreciate it. It's still enjoyable and would still appeal to gamers who are willing to give this game a try.

Turn it up!

Ah yes, the sounds... the most important part (and main essence) of musical games. The tunes are rather catchy since the game pretty much caters the good songs from the Hit Charts. You'll be grooving along to songs by famous artists like: Rhianna, Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Rain, Utada Hikaru and many more. Now if that's not hard to resist, then you probably should consider tweaking your musical timeline.

Turning up the volume while keeping the bass up will BOOM you to sensational heights as you watch your characters dance ever so vigorously on the dance floor.

Pick a track, a start rollin'!

Wait, wait... didn't you say that this was a community based game?

Yep, I sure did! High Street 5 is a game that was made for people who would like to interact with one another while having fun. This is pretty much similar to how you would want to enter a bar to socialize, the only difference is that this is more on the virtual level. Unlike other MMOs, the game lets players create their own personal page. It is pretty much similar to My Space where people can upload pictures and information about themselves for people to check out. A Blog feature has been said to be on the works. If that's true then I'm off to High Street 5 for more dancing goodness.

Another feature that caught my attention is the Megaphone option. The Megaphone lets players broadcast their message throughout the server. Wanna propose? Take a bow and let the world hear your "cheeziness". Not satisfied? If so then the SUPER MEGAPHONE is the answer to all your problems. This version of the megaphone lets you broadcast your message throughout the entire community. Now if that doesn't solve your problems, then I honestly don't know what will.

Stand back for the Judge's decision!

Let's see... the game has a good set of tracks and a whole bunch of dance moves... That's probably the only thing a musical game needs. If I must expand, the graphics are heaps better than other dance games out there and the community is quite lively. Enjoying street parties while in the comforts of your home should be good enough for your parents not to object.

Character Customization has always been something to think about, and this game doesn't go short on you when it comes to that aspect. Whether you're in the mood to be a party goth (if ever there was one) or a Break Dancing Hipster, High Street 5 has enough clothes to let you create your desired character.

This game is most probably the best damn dancing game out there.

The Good:
-Good community
-Good set of Music
-The game's gimmicks.

The Bad:
-Is this really a game? Or a gimmick inside My space? (not that bad though)
-framerate issues
-background needs more texture.

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