Game Review

Maestro! Green Groove Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

A medley of musical mayhem

We've already seen several companies break their past retail releases down into pieces and sell them off as individual DSiWare releases, so it really comes as no surprise to see Neko Entertainment following suit with their first DSiWare release Maestro! Green Groove. The good news is that this release comes from a game that was never released in the US and was made available only in very limited quantities in European territories. Now DSi owners can take on one area from the retail release that combines music/rhythm gameplay mechanics with various platforming elements to form one of the more unique gaming experiences you're ever likely to encounter.

The goal in Maestro! Green Groove is to guide your bird along the many strings in each level, collecting fruit and strumming the notes to the rhythm of the music playing in the background. And while strumming notes will play the biggest role in earning a good grade for the level, there will also be times when you'll have to jump up to higher strings or drop down to a lower string in order to stay on track and grab various fruit for points. To do this you'll have to strum the string from above to bounce your bird into the air or strum from below to drop him down. Once you reach the end of the level you'll be given a grade based upon your performance and you'll have to score at least a B+ in order to move onto the next level.

As you progress along through the levels in Adventure Mode, you'll occasionally come upon a boss that must be dealt with. This is where the game turns into a Simon-like musical challenge where you'll have to mimic the exact musical performance of the boss in order to damage him, but if you mess up you'll be the one that ends up taking the damage. Once you've taken out the boss, you'll then move on to the next regular level.

As you unlock levels in Adventure Mode, you can then choose to go back and play them again using the Track Listing mode. This gives you a chance to better your grades in each of the levels you've beaten and can also be a good way to practice up on certain techniques that you'll encounter in later levels. You can also play through the levels using Free Play mode, where you can just play the levels for fun and strum the notes any way you choose without having to worry about a penalty or scoring points.

No matter which mode you choose to play, the play control is perfectly responsive to every strum or tap you make, so you've always got the tools with which to beat any of the levels: if you make a mistake, it's all on you in this game. Of course most of the fun is figuring out the best way to manoeuvre the levels while managing to not only strum all of the correct notes, but also pick up as much fruit as possible in the process. It's attempting this balancing act that will create such a hectic playing experience once you hit the more challenging levels later on in the game. And going back after you've finished the game to better your earlier level grades can be every bit as much fun as they were the first time around.

Since this was originally a retail release, the audio/visual presentation is obviously quite solid. The visuals in the game are extremely vibrant and detailed and you won't' find a better package of classical music to play along with. You'll be treated to Beethoven, Chopin and Dvorak as you strum your way through each of the game's many levels. You'll even be able to change the sounds of the various instruments in Free Play mode if you feel like mixing things up a bit.


Maestro! Green Groove manages to take two very different gameplay styles and combine them into one of the most unique and enjoyable gaming experiences available on the system to date. Not only is the game extremely playable, it also features some absolutely diabolical challenges in the later levels that should challenge even the most seasoned gamers. Although the game only features one area from the retail release, with all of the extra goodies and rampant replay value, you'll more than get your 500 Nintendo Points out of this wildly enjoyable DSiWare release.

From the web

User Comments (36)



HipsterDashie said:

If anyone downloads this, can you let me know what tracks it contains? I've got the retail version, so I'd like to see if there's anything in it for me if I download it.



Corbs said:

Beethoven's 5th Symphony
Dvorak's New World Symphony
Chopin's Nocturne No. 2 Opus 9

I have the European retail version myself.



Corbs said:

I believe there are over 24 tracks. I know there are 6 areas. This DSiWare release contains one area and four tracks (3 musical pieces and one boss track).



Dodger said:

I like good classical music, I like platformers, might be good. Still are too many other games I want to buy a points card right now.



Mayhem said:

I'm glad this game might get a slightly wider release now, especially in the US. I got my hands on the DS original a few months back and it was definitely worth the hunt.



EdEN said:

Well, it's either get the game in pieces or import it. Still, 500 for one area times 6 is a $30 total investment. Might give this a try next week.



grumblegrumble said:

Yes, downloaded this after a few days of mulling over the description and I did get it and love it... Not only am I a classical music fan but I love the graphics and game mechanics of this game. I also give it the same review score, right on! More like this one plz! )



homopod said:

Yep. This game is really good. I won't download DSiWare though, because I've already played the retail version. Thanks to guys who made it.



joek0 said:

I love it! I got 100% scores on the 3 regular levels on easy. Not an easy feat. Here's is an excerpt from an email I sent them and the response.

To: Neko
I have just downloaded the DSIWare version of the game. I like the orignal gameplay in the game. Are the other 5 worlds going to be done on DSIWare. Will the DS version come to North America.

To: Me
Hi Joseph,

Thank' for your support. ^^
If this spécial version as a suffisant success on the ware..., we wish to propose another new version builded around on of the original world, of course.

Concerning the cartridge original version..., we are still trying as much as possible to release it in US. But, The market is hard to find a Publisher partner!? :-/

Send your comments to Neko on their website,



grumblegrumble said:

joek0 - Re: Your comments from Neko... I don't see how a game this creative and fun could have a problem finding a publisher!? It is really an amazing game to me... would love to see more either on DSiWare or a DS full cart.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@grumblegrumble: It's simple...creative, fun games with no brand recognition usually don't sell very well.

This review is quite encouraging. Given that I was forced to buy twice the points I needed to download Animal Color Cross, I do believe I'll download this with the remaining balance.




Fun game! Wish the full cart version was available in the U.S. One issue to bring up, and I was wondering if anyone else had this problem. I was about 80% complete and booted the game up. I continued playing where I left off and noticed the main menu music was still playing over top my current levels music, drowning out the sound effects/music, etc. I rebooted my DS, tried to start again, and it continued screwing up. I backed out to the main menu and the music kept layering over top itself. It sounded terrible. Tried playing one more time and the game and DSi locked up. I couldn't even turn the power off. I ended up having to do a soft reset to get everything to come back. Hopefully my save file is corrupt and this isn't a bug in the game. I will try starting over from scratch with a new save file, and see if the issue pops up again.



BlueKirby said:

@IMURZRO I had to do the same thing, and make a new save file. it is unfortunate that such a bug is in such a excellent game.



Corbs said:

I tried several times to replicate this bug at 80% and never could. Were you able to get it to happen again IMURZRO? I'm curious. I even played through the retail game again the other day and never had a problem.



WolfRamHeart said:

I'm really tempted to download this. I've been trying to locate a copy of Maestro! Jump in Music to import but no luck at all. The retail copy is simply impossible to find. I really hope that the other parts of the game will soon be available for download on the DSiWare shop. That way I can just get it there instead of going nuts trying to find a hard copy.



sonic_brawler95 said:

I enjoyed Faceez, and I'm loving Dodogo (Neko entertainment's other DSiWare releases) so I''l probly check this out.



EdEN said:

Downloaded it over the weekend and only have two more levels left to finish it. The harder versions really make it a very hectic game but fun in the end. Didn't realize Neko released Dodogo as well which I also enjoyed a lot and felt it offers a lot of content and is priced just right.




@ Corbie
I haven't tried starting over yet. I just couldn't motivate myself to do it. Hopefully for everyone's sake it was just an issue with my save file. I've moved on to Dragon Quest IX for the time being.



KiroX777 said:

@21 did you say this game made your dsi lock up?? maybe this game can be used to hack the dsi 0.0 i hope so, maybe some save exploit could be possible. is any1 here into dsibrew? see what this game can do...



EddieP said:

Zavvi.com has a ton of retail copies; I'm still wondering whether to buy one or not - I find the game really hard even on easy ?



Bobpie said:

Hopefully this will be better then the graphically horrible iPhone version which now cannot start....



Bobpie said:

Okay: buy this, it's totally worth it. And they'll make more if we do.



paperskyx said:

I kind of want to buy this, it looks fun. My only concern is the bug that people are talking about. I don't want to waste money on a game that will just mess up my DSi.. Does anyone else know more about this?



xxx_Kirby_xxx said:

I have Maestro! Jump In Music, and one of the areas is Green Groove, does that mean that the whole game is just the tracks/levels from that certain area....?



xxx_Kirby_xxx said:

I'm not getting this.... Worried about that bug. If my DSi stuffs up, me trying to fix it will stuff it up even more.



Colors said:

I'm thinking about buying this (the full retail version) on Ebay. But it's $50

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