Daigasso! Band Brothers

(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

Daigasso! Band Brothers, Nintendo, 2004, Grade: C
I admit that I have a weakness right now for music-based games for the Nintendo DS and 3DS. On the other hand, I’m only buying games that are available used for under 1,000 yen ($9 USD), which kind of limits what I can get. But, one day I was at Bic Camera, going through their used games section, and I came across Daigasso! Band Brothers, which I knew was music-related, but I didn’t know anything more beyond that. Then again, it was 450 yen, and I figured that I could put it in my collection and just forget about it if it turned out to be something I didn’t want to bother with right away.

(Main menu. Single Play, Band Play, Edit, Option and Demo Play. Demo just lets you practice using the controls on a dummy song. The three posters used here in the menu are also supplied as printed posters as part of the physical extras materials.)

So, guess what happened? Actually, I just finished playing Nodame Cantabile, which has a very simple stylus-based “touch the note” system, and I was hoping Daigasso (lit. “Big Ensemble”) would be similar. Instead, the control system is a lot more like Street Fighter. At a 1:1 tempo, the notes play way too quickly to even hit them by accident, much less trying to follow along with “A”, up arrow, “B”, “B”, right arrow, “X”, etc. instructions. I’m perfectly willing to slow the tempo down to try to get the timing right, but I’m not sure I want to put the time in to be able to play any of the songs correctly all the way through; not with a playing system that’s this complicated. Then again, the game does have an impressive song list, including Smoke on the Water, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat Theme, Pocket Monsters Medley and When the Saints Go Marching In, so it would be nice to just be able to have the game auto-play and listen to all 70-some songs in “MP3 player mode”, if it was available. Also, the game has an edit mode, so I assume you can rewrite the songs as desired.

(Enter the music studio to start playing the “single player” game.)

Looking over the wiki entry, it seems that Daigasso didn’t have all that much of a fan base, and the U.S. release never happened. Kind of a shame, but I can understand why it didn’t do all that well sales-wise. So, yeah, this goes into the collection for later usage if I ever get around to playing it in the future. (As a side note, the package comes with 3-4 fairly impressive mini-posters advertising the “music studio” and the main characters that the game is based around.)

(The control system for playing the currently-selected song. And I never did like playing Street Fighter…)

Kiri-e Kite

Kind of by accident, I found myself being invited to a kiri-e (cut paper artwork) class on Sunday. I’d been told that it was going to run from 1:30 to 4:30. But, when I got to the room the group was using (long story), I discovered that the class had actually started at 1. And then, they shut things down at 4 PM. The teacher knew I’d be coming to the class, and had selected 3 harder patterns for me to choose from (just about everyone else were beginners). I’d done one of the patterns before (a water wheel house at sunset), and I decided to try the two kids with the kite. All the beginners were able to finish their pictures in the 3 hours they had. I, on the other hand, was thinking that the class would go to 4:30. I was cutting as fast as I could, but I was still just on the outline when everyone else started cleaning up. I finished the interior cuts and began cutting the outer edges to finish off the pattern. I had 5 seconds left, with about 4 or 5 more cuts, when the teacher tried interrupting me to kick me out of the room. I rushed the last of the cuts, packed the outline away, and left the room just as it was being locked up.

Normally, this wouldn’t have been a big deal. The wheel house pattern took 5 hours to finish, and I had to do that at home, too. The problem this time is that I wasn’t able to consult the teacher on what colors to use for the kimonos and the kite. I’m not particularly good at color selection on my own, and the teacher has a larger collection of patterned paper to work with. On my way home, I looked in Shinpuku, the biggest stationery store in the city, and they didn’t have much in the way of patterned paper (I wanted something like gift wrap). So I had to settle for the paper I already had in the apartment. It took me another 4 hours to finish the picture, and a lot of that was spent just trying to decide what colors would work best with each other. The biggest issue, which I discovered on the wheel house, is that all of the black in the outline really contributes to an over-all darker image when you employ lots of reds, blues and greens. I had to make a conscious choice towards pinks and lighter blues, without making everything boring by having too many shades of the same color. I would have liked to have a yellow kite and/or streamers, but the only yellow paper I had was too garish. This is the best I could come up with.

As I was making the first few cuts on the outline, it suddenly occurred to me that having a record of the shading in the picture would be useful for figuring out what sections all had the same color blocks, so I grabbed my camera and took the top photo. And, yeah, when I got home and had to do all the work on the picture without being able to ask the teacher for help, this photo turned out to be a life saver. I have the bottom black and white outline included here for anyone that might want to try this pattern out themselves.


2Cellos – Whole Lotta Love

Ok, I’ve just GOT to mention this one here. 2Cellos came out with a new video mashing up Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love with Beethoven’s 5th Symphony 4 days ago, and it’s already at 800,000 videos.

Direct youtube link.