If there is a Nintendo 3DS game published by Nintendo that has nearly zero chances of leaving Japan, Daigasso! Band Brothers P is one.
Daigasso! Band Brothers P is a rhythm music game developed by Intelligent Systems (the same guys who do Fire Emblem). The series is also known as “Jam by the Band” outside Japan. The game consists of two different parts – performance and composing your own music. In addition, you’ll be able to voice your very own vocaloid, which sings during your performances.
As of the time of writing, Nintendo has released two versions of the game – the full retail version, which costs around 4800 yen, and a “Debut” version, which is free to start on the Nintendo eShop. There are a few differences between both versions, but they remain largely similar. The debut version has certain features locked behind a paywall (vocaloid, composing songs, etc). However, both versions include the tomato system, a currency which lets you purchase songs online. The full version of the game also provides a generous amount of 100 tomatoes, which can be used to purchase 100 songs.
Before beginning the performance, the menu will bring up a selection of musical instruments available for the selected song. The musical instruments available depends on what the composer of the song used. In most cases, options include the violin, piano, guitar, drum, brass, and choir. On the same menu, you can choose the difficulty of the song. The higher the difficulty, the more buttons you have to press.
There are two types of control schemes. Play using a button control scheme (D-pad, ABXY buttons, L/R triggers) with the strings, piano, choir, or drums. Play using the touch control scheme with the guitars or drums. Regardless of the control scheme, the objective for the performance remains the same – hit as many notes as timely as possible. A score will be given based on your performance. In single player mode, if you score 80 points and above, this will add up to an overall score system which rewards costumes to dress up your virtual vocaloid self.
Besides single player mode, you can choose to perform with your friends through online play or local play. Each mode supports up to 10 players. Download Play is also supported for other Japanese region Nintendo 3DS systems.
There are thousands of songs that are available for download which can purchased by using tomatoes. You’ll usually find J-Pop, anime, video game, and other types of music available for purchase. If you’re looking for something premium, Nintendo is also selling music videos featuring Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Fire Emblem for 2 to 5 tomatoes each. Vocaloids featuring Hatsune Miku and other popular vocaloids cost 10 tomatoes each.
An online website called 9129 Suppon features all of the songs available for download on Daigasso! Band Brothers P. You can have a listen to the songs or view the top ranking songs here: http://9129suppon.com/
Overall, Daigasso! Band Brothers P is a game that has delivered hundreds of hours of fun for me. If you love Japanese music and rhythm music games, Daigasso! Band Brothers P is a game you should definitely give a shot. The debut version is also a good entry point for gamers who are on the fence.
Classic rhythm music formula game
Thousands of Japanese, video game, and anime songs/music available
Flexible multiplayer options
Easy way to compose songs/music
Tomatoes ARE expensive
Paywall in various parts of the debut version
Can’t upload new songs to the online service (submissions ended since March 2017)
VERDICT: A wholesome, delicious soup for the musician’s soul.