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Groove Jigoku V
  opened by paleface at 04:07:38 06/01/09  
  paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Action_Variety; loc=JPN]
Aka "Denki Guru Guru Jigoku V," a collection of seven very mini games plus a much more complex turntable game/simulation sort of thing.
The minigames are things like chopping wood but not cute animals that sometimes get placed in the way instead, or crossing a street collecting mushrooms while watching for cars; they usually involve one or two buttons and maybe the d-pad.
You're given a random selection of three to choose from at a time. Playing a game and doing well at it earns you "Yen," when you then spend in a sort of gumball machine collection mode, collecting little trinket icons.
Some of the games are okay, but most aren't that compelling, such as the one where you just...put caps on pens. Over. And over. Until you get sick of it and decide you've earned enough Yen (1 per pen plus maybe a bonus if you capped it on the correct end, and the Yen score counter goes up into the millions!).
Most of the minigames, and the gumball-buying thing, would reappear later in the much larger and at least as weird PSP minigame thing called Beit Hell 2000 (see entry 1021). It seems quite odd to me that these quirky little things would have been saved by some Sony developer or producer for resurrection seven years later, but the whole thing is odd enough that I suppose an obsession with it by someone involved in the early project shouldn't be all that surprising.
Oh, there's also a mode where an apparently random illustrated face talks to you in screen text for a few seconds. It's in Japanese and I have no idea what's supposed to be going on.
The turntable mode is the most interesting thing here. I'm not sure how it's related to the minigames, but GJV was produced for Sony Music Entertainment Incorporated, so maybe that has something to do with it (and developed by the fairly obscure "Opus"; this game is apparently pretty hard to find these days).
The turntable plays a short groove loop which you can reset (scratch) at a single fixed point with the Circle button. The shoulder buttons toggle on and off speakers representing the groove's four channels. Square and the d-pad let you select from maybe ten or so grooves and maybe about as many types of dynamic effects, each effect having four varying applications activated by the d-pad directions. The X button lets you swap between two grooves on the fly.
Most of the effects and grooves aren't all that great--some effects seem more eye-shock than anything else, like one that jerks the screen around suddenly--but a few are okay, and you almost feel like you can make some sort of synth jam by toggling the speaker channels, wiggling the effect, and scratching now and then.
It does get more sophisticated than that, although we didn't really manage to get through much of the multilayer katakana pop-up text menus; it *looks* as though you can save/load short turntable compositions, and maybe have a number of them cued up so you can switch between them. Not sure about that but that's what the menus seemed to imply; I wonder if anyone ever bothered to do that.
The title screen is worth a mention for the background sound: what sounds like a drunk guy in front of a mic, told to say "Groove Jigoku V" in dramatic ways over and over. Very weird and memorable.
· Beit Hell 2000 (PSP)

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