The PlayStation 2 seems to be becoming somewhat of a home to music related games, and each of them so far have been fairly impressive and each with their own special features that have made them stand out from the crowd. Clubworld is the latest in the genre, and is packed full of features that allow any budding club DJ to really show off their skills.
Clubworld starts with an introduction from Carl Cox, and there's a full tutorial available for anyone who hasn't used eJay before, or just wants a guiding start to making something that even Carl Cox might be proud of. It's a wise move to follow the tutorial, or at least take a quick flick through the manual, as it's vital to know a few of the button combinations to make using the creation tools all that much easier.
Navigation between tools makes use of the R2 button, and moving to various parts of the screen within a tool requires you to hold down R1 and towards the direction of the settings that you want to change - without knowing this you'll not be able to get off the main track arranger screen, and won't be able to include new samples or change the samples to vocals, keys, sound fx, and drums to name just a few of the sample sets that are available. Once you know the key buttons though, it becomes a breeze, although maybe a bit slower than using a mouse on a PC version of eJay.
In comparison with PC versions of the eJay series, Clubworld is a bit limited in some areas, such as the fact that you can't upload your creations to the internet or burn them to CD to share with friends. You're also limited by the number of samples, and can't import your own, so unlike eJay on a PC, you've got to make do with the default sounds - this isn't a major problem though when you realise there's over 10,000 to pick from.
Each club it's own style of music, ranging from the likes of House and Hip Hop to Ambient, Reggae and Techno, and the clubs are located all over the world including The End in London, and Amnesia in Ibiza. There's also details about the opening times, number of floors and bars that each club has, which seems at first seems a bit of a strange and somewhat pointless bit of information to have in such a game, but no doubt it's all part of the "music making experience" that Clubworld revolves around.
Clubworld isn't all about sticking lots of samples in to a track arranger though - you've also got access to a mixing deck, drum machine, and even a virtual set of decks. Once you've created your own track it's off to the video mode to watch trippy visuals that are timed to the beats of your music, and there's several visual effects available which can be selected by hitting the left thumbpad.
As a game, eJay Clubworld is very enjoyable and will make you want to go back for more, spending hours fine tuning your creations. However as a music creation tool, it's limited by the obvious factors of it being on a console - you can however use the PS2's built in digital-out port to record your favourite tracks to minidisc. Clubworld is however easy to use, and in a matter of moments you can make a tune that sounds at least half decent, and the four player Live Jam mode will provide hours of fun with your friends huddled around the TV.Overall score: 7 out of 10
Publisher: Empire Interactive
Players: 1 to 4
Recommended Price: £39.99