Rock Band Review – Rock your wallet empty.

Rock Band

Electronic Arms, Harmonix

Ps3, Xbox 360, Ps2, Wii

Games that force you to use a controller other than the one that came with your console have seen a surge last generation, with games like DDR, and Guitar Hero. Both franchises have seen success, especially the latter. Developer Harmonix studios already knows this, and that’s why they’ve decided to create Rock Band, the music game claiming to be the best party game ever. Is Rock Band what it claims to be? The answer overall, is yes, but that isn’t to say Rock Band doesn’t have its problems.

The game, along with drums, one guitar, and a microphone is $160. This wouldn’t be such a problem if that is what everything is worth. However, the durability of the equipment is questionable, and the track list isn’t lengthy enough. The drums are made of thin metal, plastic, and rubber. The metal and plastic should hold up, except for the foot pedal. This thing is basically a toddler toy, and undoubtedly will snap, if vigorously stomped on. The drums themselves are made of rubber, which is great, and suppresses sound fairly well, but they collect dust over time, and are impossible to clean, without a vacuum. The microphone, is simply a microphone, that isn’t even cordless, and the guitar, actually is well put together, in comparison to everything else.

The tracklist is held together by about 55 songs, which isn’t as much as Guitar Hero III’s 72. There are some really great tracks, including songs by Jet, Blue Oyster Cult, The Killers, The Who, Nine Inch Nails, and Radiohead. These will have you rocking out to the best of your abilities. Unfortunately, about a third through the career mode, the good songs stop. The horrific R.E.M., David Bowie, and Fallout Boy contaminate your eardrums. Of course, there are people who will love every song in the game, but since this is my review, I get to say what I thought. I say that more than half of the songs either suck, or are by unknown artists. This is a little disappointing, especially for a music game, that focuses itself around its music. There should be some DLC later on, but it’s not free, and not many will be willing to pay even more for the already overpriced game.

Rock Band plays a lot like Guitar Hero. Color coded notes come across a bar, and you have to hit the notes as they come to the edge of the screen. For drums, this is either hitting the green, red, yellow, or blue pads, or the foot pedal, when the orange bar comes across the screen. The controls are responsive to an extent, and the learning curve is really easy if you’ve played a Guitar Hero before. It’s fun as always, and is really simple. It’s pretty solid.

Playing the guitar or bass, is the exact same controls as Guitar Hero. However, things are a bit easier. Expert mode in Rock Band is about the equality of Hard mode in Guitar Hero III. This opens up the game to a more casual audience, and makes the game accessible to anyone. Also, this goes for the drums as well, is the freestyle moments. here, there are no notes on the screen, and you can just hit any notes you want, giving the song a bit of your own flavor. This is welcomed, and Guitar Hero can learn a lot from this.

Vocals is a little tricky. Unlike karaoke, it’s not about reading the lyrics onscreen, its about hitting the right notes at the right time. This makes you feel a lot like a rock star, but is really difficult, and can be embarrassing, when your band keeps failing because their singer’s voice hasn’t cracked yet. I suggest you pick straws to see who has to do voacls, if your have a 3 or 4 man group.

There is a World Tour mode, available offline only, and this is just a long list of songs. Your venue changes every 5 songs, but that’s about it. There are a ton of character customizations you can do, but you won’t touch them much. Near the later stages, the song list really disintegrates and Fallout Boy destroys your mind. In the end, all world tour comes down to, is trying to unlock more songs for quickplay.

What’s really awesome is how your band rocks out on the screen. The character models are sharp, the art style is cool, and the animations are all realistic. It’s really great the Harmonix is taking the power of our consoles into consideration. It’s nothing like Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, but it is a very nice looking game.

Either by yourself, or with 3 friends, Rock Band is a fantastic game. It is a great party game, and will likely replace karaoke at Filipino parties. Plenty will disagree with my takes on World Tour, and the price of the game, as well as the songlist, but it’s my opinion that all those are poor. That aside, plenty will agree with my takes on just how innovative and fun that the game is. If you have 160 bucks to spend, then undoubtedly, you should pick up Rock Band. Many won’t.

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~ by smithbubbajones on April 1, 2008.

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