Drums Challenge takes up the button bashing mantle for music games on PSP with a hi-hat, bass and cymbal mashing experience using all 10 of the PSP's main gaming buttons to give it some welly. Using a career mode, you learn to play the drums, then progress through a series of musical styles, encouraged by a series of stylised characters.
The machine plays a few drums, then you need to play them back in time, with you being rewarded for perfect and awesome timing and mocked for getting it completely wrong. Through blues and metal, its easy enough with little hand movement required, but hit Reggae and you need to start planning to move your fingers around the board.
Beat changes can also throw you, its a lot easier to play fast than it is a slow section, but the game seems fairly forgiving. Its just a shame that everything on the play screen is so fixed and rigid, given were so used to the scrolling beat bars of other music games, and the rest of the game has attractive fluid screens. Also, the cue buttons, tucked away in the corner, are a little dinky, despite being the easier method of learning the patterns (for me).
Still, for a couple of quid, there's a lot of rhythm action to be had and Drums Challenge certainly has the personality to keep you trying. If the game screen was a bit more lively - a crowd, beat bars, the rest of the band, anything - it would be a total winner!