Release Date: March 1, 2007
Genre: Business Sim
The Bottom Line: Not everyone has what it takes to become a rockstar - at least in real life. "Shady O'Grady's Rising Star" is all about getting the perfect band together and taking the music world by storm. At the core the simulation elements are strong. The repetitive gameplay keeps it from becoming a must-play.
- Good concept
- Background music
- Strong simulation system
- Song writing puzzle gets old quickly
- Driving around city is dull
- Cities look alike
- Characters need a graphical overhaul
"Shady O'Grady's Rising Star" Features
- Start a band in one of ten types of musics - rock, jazz, ska, rap, pop, blues, metal, folk, country, or blues.
- Hire band members and work together to become the next band to take the country by storm.
- Buy, repair, and upgrade musical equipment.
- Go on tour and travel across the country.
- Earn points towards advancing skills in songwriting, playing, stage presence, repair, business, and production.
- Take care of the needs and health of members of the band.
- Do landscaping, run errands, and other odd jobs to keep the cash flowing in while you want to hit it big.
- Drive the van around town.
- Customize each member of the band's appearance by buying hats, glasses, pants, and shirts. Give each a different hairstyle.
- Background music are tracks from real-life musicians trying to find their way in the business.
- Trash hotel rooms while you're on the road.
"Shady O'Grady's Rising Star" Review
Musical careers don't occur over night in "Rising Star." It takes a lot of practice, songs, low paying gigs, and odd jobs to get anywhere. But first, you have to create a character. Customize the name, instrument, skills, style of music, and clothing. Once that's complete, it's off to picking out a band name and finding band members. New band members can be found and hired at the music store. Carefully look over their skills and how they will interact with the rest of the band before asking them to join.
Once you got the members there is plenty to do - practice, write songs, hang out at clubs, and try to get gigs. In between all that, money needs to be raised to pay for the nights out, new clothes, and equipment. Down the road maybe the band will sign a recording contract.
Deciding how to divide the band's time between practicing (the more your practice, the better you perform songs), songwriting, doing odd jobs, and resting will be your biggest obstacle. It add needs to be done, finding the right combo is the hard part. I found the key to be giving everyone some new clothes, going out to a club about once a week, doing odd jobs often, and spending the rest of the time practicing and writing songs.
But let's back up a bit and look at what it takes to amass a collection of quality songs. It helps to have a coupe of team members who have skills in songwriting and/or members with high inspiration scores. The actual process to write songs is a memory game. You have to make turn over and match blocks with pictures of instruments on them. Sounds like a good idea? Sure seems like it would be. I like the idea more than the quality of the song being decided solely by the skill level of the band. The novelty wears off quickly. If I wanted to play a memory game, I would. At the very least, switching up the type of game played would be a step in the right direction.
The driving is an area of "Rising Star" that needs a makeover. To get around town to make purchases (instruments, jobs, band shirts, etc.), you drive a van using the arrow keys. The roadways are clear - no cars or people. At the very least, obstacles would certainly make it more interesting.
The foundation for "Rising Star" is solid. Text management gamers will appreciate the game's numbers game of practicing and earning skills to get to the next level. "Rising Star" has the potential to become a must-play game. Spruce up the character creation, overall graphics, a way to make money that isn't tedious, and add a couple more songwriting puzzles would help the fun factor. Perhaps a sequel (if there is one) will take it to the next level.