Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove 3D (Nintendo 3DS) - Review by Andrew
Gabrielle and her Ghostly Groove originally began life as a full-on 'Monster Mix' for the Wii. This did reasonably well with critics and gamers alike so it was only a matter of time before the title made it's way to the 3DS. Handheld rhythm games are hardly a rarity though and the past few years have seen a generous amount of titles released on the back of the Guitar Hero craze. It's been quite a wait for us to eventually get grooving with Gabrielle but what kind of dance moves does she have?
The reason why Gabrielle is having to become involved in a collection of Ghostly Grooves is really quite bizarre with our young heroine attempting to return to her body after sneezing too hard. The only way to bring her back to the world of the living is to collect screams (we did say it was bizarre). Fortunately, this slightly puzzling storyline means just about everything and anything to happen whilst also allowing the introduction of vampires and monsters to add to the already odd cast of characters.
Before you begin any type of dancing here you'll have to name your character and, in keeping with the strangeness of the whole package, picking a male name will still have you playing a female character. The Story Modes takes you on an adventure visiting castles, forests and even laboratories all of which feature dance challenges. Success will see the track added to your collection so you may revisit it later in an attempt to beat your score.
There's even some mini-games based on memory, speed and, keeping with the games quirky theme, one where you must collect the various pieces of a skeleton before time runs out. There's also a fair amount of extended gameplay and even once you've completed the Story Mode you can indulge in a spot of badge collecting although this will cost 50 of your valuable screams for each visit to the vending machine.
While rhythm games used to be reliant on the face buttons, the touch-screen has allowed for a completely different interface and that's where it's all happening here.
The world the designers have created is possibly the strongest part of the game and the cute but quirky characters are likely to win over even the most cynical of gamers. You can even change the look of Gabrielle herself thanks to a whole collection of unlockable costumes and other accessories with everything from Cowgirls to Punk Rockers available.
While the quality of the music is very good some of the selections seem rather odd and the soundtrack doesn't seem to reflect the games spooky theme. There's no spoken dialogue either, just pages and pages of text.
Ghostly Groove does a wonderful job of setting an achieveable learning curve which is essential given that this is pitched at the younger gamer. Interaction begins with a simple tap, challenging the user to hit a circle just as the outer ring closes in on it. Later on you'll be forced to trace lines or even rapidly tap the screen, in order to collect screams, and even collect plants by flicking the stylus up at the base of the screen. It's all very responsive too and we never had an interaction issue at any time during the game.
The 3D is passable but there's nothing really outstanding here and we'd recommend keeping you Grooving to the 2D setting.
Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove isn't the greatest rhythm game available but it does have enough charm and quirky characters for the majority of gamers to overlook it's shortcomings. This will, of course, mean ignoring the endless and unnecessary dialogue but if you are a fan of getting your digital groove on there's more than enough here to keep you entertained for quite some time to come.
Pro: Wonderful Characters, Easy to Play.
Con: Some Odd Music Selections, No Male Option, Nothing Original.
Final score: 7