Review by Merv Hart
Do you remember when the Playstation first came out, and the demo disk that showed trippy visuals that reacted to music? I was highly upset when plugging in my PS2, to find out that trippy visuals on the Playstation were a thing of the past - until now.
The Playstation 2's advanced hardware really becomes evident with Moderngroove: Ministry of Sound - whereas a regular CD can hold 800MB of data, a DVD holds upto 4.7gig, allowing for over five hours worth of dance music - ranging from House, Progressive Trance, Break Beat, Progressive House and Garage.
If you're familiar with those musical terms, then you'll definitely want to own this title. Comparing it to a typical double CD compilation at £15, this holds 2.5 times as much music for only a fiver more. Bargain! World class DJs such as Tall Paul, Ferry Corsten, Paul Jackson, Paul Dakeyene and Krafty Kuts offer you some of their finest mixes, for you to either listen in order, or to make your own playlist from the songs on offer.
The visuals are mind-blowingly lovely to look at - there are over 180 animated 3D objects, 1000 unique images, 80 full 3D backgrounds, 400 video clips, 30 particle systems and 20 user controllable real-time effects. All are fully customisable, you can set up a playlist of effects to compliment your playlist of songs, and you can rotate, shake, and move the screen's object's at will - you don't need to though, as the objects pump, wiggle, and rotate perfectly to the beats. If you're a keen PC owning house/garage fan then it's likely you'll have downloaded mp3s, and some winamp plugins to feast your eyes upon - this title blows anything you've previously seen away.
To complete the package of sound and visuals, Ministry of Sound combines the two and offers dance karaoke! Turn the karaoke option on and lyrics will scroll across the screen, offering you further cause to embarrass yourself at house parties. You can also add your own text to the mix, and activate them by pressing the up button - soon you can have "chooooon!" or other such "massive", "banging", "biggin' it up" phrases shooting across your screen, allowing you to "keep it real".
It's not perfect - the ability to save your options and playlists to the memory card is sorely missing here, although Moderngroove say that's the first thing they'll remedy in version 2. If you're thinking of having a virtual mixing desk on your PS2 then think again, for if you do choose to mix and match the different tunes on offer then it won't be a smoothly mixed affair - mixing two different styles of music is something technology can't handle do at the moment.
But casting these minor niggles aside, Ministry of Sound offers brilliant visuals to over 5 hours of music, and the price is right. Ministry of Sound is far more than a game, it's an interactive listening experience - expect this to be the first of a highly successful franchise, for a new era of music is here, and it's looking good. If you're a dance music fan, then this is an essential purchase.Overall score: 9 out of 10
Publisher: Ubi Soft
Recommended Price: £19.99
Available: NowBuy Moderngroove: Ministry of Sound for the PS2 from Amazon