Bratz: Girlz Really Rock
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2008-11-03 Nintendo DS Mini-games E (Everyone) THQ

I wasn't too happy to have to play another Bratz title, as you can probably imagine. I'm really not fond of these big-headed, pouty-lipped dolls with a "passion for fashion".

Bratz: Girlz Really Rock follows the girls as they go away to summer camp, Camp Starshine. The intro sequence is like an animated version of High School Musical, a lot of singing as everyone rides the school bus to the camp. And the animation actually doesn't look too bad either, it's colorful, fluid and the sound comes through nice and clear.

Shortly after you arrive at the camp, your first task is clear: look around the stores and buy a new top and some pants. Great! Already with the fashion, style and hot clothes topic? And where in the world do summer camps have a shopping mall of sorts? I comply and purchase a white blouse and new jeans with the available Blingz, only to be forced to put them on to even be able to leave the respective store... Platform shoes and tight bell bottom jeans, just what you want to get around at summer camp, right?

Not even 10 minutes in and I was already annoyed. Fortunately, there are a few aspects of the game that seem to redeem it, the first being the ability have pets (or Petz, as they call them - I wonder if Ubisoft has noticed?) and the main goal of the game, which is to organize a fundraiser concert in order to save the camp from closing its doors forever.

The tasks and activities in the game are presented as mini-games, which are also accessible from the main menu, if you want to play them on occasion.

Rock Diva Jam is a mini Guitar Hero game, where you tap or strum across the symbols as they reach the targets. Initially, the targets are placed in a row, but in higher levels they will change places, making it more complicated to hit the right notes at the right time.

Routine Memory has actually nothing to do with memory. It's a DDR game, where you tap the footprints as they pass over the targets. Targets will also change places, by moving up and down, increasing the difficulty.

Downhill Stylin' is a snowboarding game where you must press the right buttons as they appear on the screen, and you can also take photos as you go by pressing the left trigger. Drop Zone is played in the same way (except for the photo option), with the activity being skydiving.

Glam Cam and Paws For Effect are both snapshot games where the goal is to take the best possible photo. You mode the camera lens with the D-pad, zoom in or out with the triggers, and snap a picture with A.

There are two fashion creation games. Bead My Friend is basically Bust-a-Move, you shoot pieces from the cannon on the touch screen up to the top screen, to create combos of three or more of the same beads. This will create an accessory for your inventory (pet collar, bracelet or necklace). Sew Your Style is how you make clothing items. Objects will be rolling into the screen and you must group them in the right categories. At the same time, your pet will be running around to complicate things.

Once you have clothing and accessories, you can customize them with the Fashion Designer. To do so you must purchase dye, ink, fabric patterns and patches, and combine them to obtain the final item.

There are also two pet activities. Racing Stripes is a simple series of races where you tap the stars and Blingz as they light up so your pet runs there. Miss a star and the pet will slow down. You can also tap your pet at any time to interact with it. This works like Nintendogs, where you speak into the microphone to get the pet to respond to commands such as "here", "sit", "speak" and "roll over". You can also purchase food, toys and accessories for your pet.

As for the overall look, that intro scene looked about ten times better than the actual game. The characters look blocky and there are jagged edges everywhere, but they animate nicely and the 2D artwork isn't too bad.

For the most part, Girlz Really Rock is really just another Bratz game. Still the same attitude and concepts revolving around fashion, looking good and competing with the boys to see who's best. But at least there is a better message in the efforts to save the camp as well as pet care and interaction. Maybe the Bratz are finally growing up a little.

Special thanks to Kristina Kirk and THQ for providing a copy of this title.