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Bratz: Girlz Really Rock
Score: 38%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Blitz Games
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Family/ Rhythm

Graphics & Sound:
The Bratz are back again. I swear Cloe, Jade, Sasha, and Yasmin are never going to grow older. In Bratz: Girlz Really Rock, it seems like they've taken a few step back actually.

The graphics look like a game that was made 10 years ago. I do realize that it is a PS2 game, but so was Bratz: Forever Diamondz and the graphics on it were quite well done. In Girlz Really Rock, the characters aren't fluid at all. Their movements are stiff and limited. You can't even run through the water. I guess that would have taken too much animation. You can even make your character stand on a raccoon if you get it at the right spot. Things like that just shouldn't happen in a well done game.

The sounds are just as bad. For a game that you have to play music as a part of it, the music is very tinny sounding. Since the Bratz have their own music, of which 8 songs are available at itunes, you don't get any other licensed music in the game.

If you've seen Camp Rock, then you already know the basic plot of Bratz: Girls Really Rock, only there are no real rock stars in the game. The Bratz have gone to an artistic summer camp. At the end of the camp, there will be a competition to see who is artistically the best (dancing, singing, etc.). The Bratz have to work on their moves during camp so that they will be able to be the Tweevils' new best friend and thus beat the Tweevils again.

While they are on their quest to improve their skills, Cloe, Sasha, Jade, and Yasmin are asked by their friends at camp to perform some pretty mindless chores for them, such as finding out what a certain girl's favorite music is for Dylan. You can do these in any order and take your time doing them. If you take too long, the person will send you a text message asking when you'll be done. You still can't skip the cutscenes, so be prepared to listen to everything they're saying before you can go talk to someone else.

You'll need to go to the dance studio and the music studio at a minimum to get your skills down perfect. The dance studio is going to require you to be dressed properly, though. Let's face it, the Bratz aren't dressed properly for camp at all, much less ballet. This means that you've got to go to the fashion designer to get the right clothing. To keep track of all this and your chores, you use your PDA cell phone. Under it, you'll see text messages from everyone that you need to go visit.

Bratz: Girlz Really Rock is even easier than the previous games in some ways, but harder in others. The tasks you have to complete are easier in my opinion. The camp is a bit smaller with fewer places and people to visit. If you need to go to a specific place, you can choose the map and then choose that place. When you leave the map, you'll see an arrow under your feet pointing you in the correct direction.

The more difficult part is finding any enjoyment for very long in the game. The choice of clothing and fabrics is more limited than before. I guess since you're at summer camp that is to be expected, but it is still disappointing. Moving your character is difficult at times too. You have to run across bridges instead of through the little stream, and it's not always easy to get your character on the bridge. The controls just aren't as responsive as I would like.

Game Mechanics:
The mechanics of the game are easy to learn, even if they don't always respond well. The left stick controls your character's movement. With it, you make the Bratz run to wherever you want to go. The right stick will turn the camera so that you can see the landscape better. It's not as if you usually need to though. Most everything you need to do involves talking to people, and they're easy to find. The (X) button will let you talk to these people.

The buttons and the D-pad will become more helpful in the mini-games. You can go skydiving, play music, play golf, play on a keyboard, and dance. All of these games feel like a crippled version of what you're expecting, however. The music game, for instance, simply has the notes roll on the top of the screen and the girlz jamming on the bottom. All you have to do is press the corresponding button when the note hits the center of the screen. Believe me, this is very easy to do since the notes don't scroll very fast and there's just not that many of them at once.

In the past, I've recommended the Bratz games that I've reviewed. Even though they probably weren't for your average male gamer, they were really well done for their target audience. Unfortunately, I just cannot say the same thing about Bratz: Girlz Really Rock. The game has now fallen into the trap of most licensed games. It feels thrown out there with minimal effort just to make money. If you're a Bratz fan, I recommend continuing to play your old games and waiting on the next one. Because we know there's always going to be a next one, and this one just isn't worth it.

-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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