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Bust A Groove

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Released: 1998

Genre: Beat-’em-up

Format reviewed: PlayStation

Publisher: SCEE

Developer: Metro Graphics

Submitted by: James Langstone

I have never been one for mainstream or normal gaming, which is most likely why this particular and quite bizarre hybrid game drew me in.  Bust A Groove is not just a typical rhythm game, it is a kind of fusion between something like PaRappa the Rapper and a fighting game.  Which were also two other types of games that dominated my early childhood years.

The major difference between this game and others like it such as Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero is that is it played like a fighter.  Instead of timing single onscreen notes into directional or coloured chambers, players must enter combos to the beat.  These become harder and harder to pull off within the allowed time, making the longer ones worth much more points.  The idea is to use these combos to take the spotlight away from your opponent to win the game.

Another similarity to fighting games is that you can directly attack your opponent to throw their timing out, making them miss a combo.  You can also dodge attacks and resume combos, just like a counter attack in something such as a Street Fighter game.  You must also choose a character in which to do battle with, instead of just choosing a song like in other rhythm games.  Matches also progress in a one on one fashion ending in a final boss stage, again like what one would find in a fighting title.

It was all these small changes that drew in unsuspecting gamers such as myself to look beyond this as just being another dancing game.  It was so much more and inspired quite the level of heated competition between those who played it.  Giving a clear definition of skilled players who know what they were doing and new comers who would just flail about.  Coupled with an amazing variation of music styles of ever genre, Bust A Groove is not your typical PS1 title.  Yet at the same time I seriously doubt it you would find a game like it in today’s market.

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