Rock band 2 is a fantastic installment in the musical instrument playing genre. I was a fan of Guitar hero when it first came out for what it was and it was new i really enjoyed the game for the challenge it was after playing the guitar for 8 years before the game came out so nice feel to it. However the thing that Red Octane did that Harmonix didnt want to do was just focus on the guitar aspect of music so they split and did there own thing. Which in my opinion has put Guitar behind quite a ways on the advancing the music in games.
Guitar brought a lot of songs that we all air guitared at some point in our life or tried to blow out our ear drums while driving down the road however whenever i wanted to play a particular song i would have to switch disk just to play one song so it was old and the guitar was really really tiny wasnt a real feeling of anything remotely real unless you play the ukulele. Rock band brought what some people really wanted to do in music. Some players wanted to stand up and sing their hearts out as they were leading the band into the rock'nroll hall of fame and others wanted to do gut busting drum solos and Harmonix delivered that very well.
Everyone is going to have there own opinion and will probably think i am wrong in some way or another on this review and thats their choice but looking at it realistically i enjoyed seeing on GH2 when you played co op how the two artist moved together but it was still very stiff legged didnt do much but move around stage time to time or not at all and would only really get into playing if you were doing well. Rock band even playing solo the artist had there own personality that you chose so it fit how or what style of music you would play and watching your character that you dressed up and gave them the axe they shredded on or base,drums, etc which fit what you would use probably in real life if you played that well. Watching them get into the music and interact with the others more and the actual song would get me more pumped and enjoyed playing the song that much more. Granted you still had to do well to have the characters really get into it but it was mind blowing when the crowd started singing the song along when you did really well.
The instruments for this were very well done the guitar was excellent it was larger in size and the buttons were quieter which is superior for some that want to play late and have to have the TV's volume down and all they could hear on GH was the clicking of the guitar and the clicking of the strum bar. It was also nice to not hear a lame car horn when you messed up on a note because for me when i would hear that i would get frustrated a little and mess up even more. The drums for the first attempt at doing drums were great had a nice feel to it the only things that i wish it would have had different is 1. quieter heads. (which you can now purchase silencers for those for about $19 bucks or something like that and they work wonderfully and make the sound almost not there depending on how hard to hit it) 2. the cymbals being up off the stand which has also been fixed on the RB2 drum set but not the original 3. Where is the option to get a second kick pedal for Double Bass. Some songs while playing if you werent really good at drums had practice before would really tire your one leg out and you would forget to kick or you would kick late and start missing notes.
The different between GH and RB that i was amazed about was that on RB the songs were from the actual artist not just a Made famous by like how it was in the first GH and some of the second GH. That was thanks to MTV for Rock Band and Rock Band had a massive music selection and was the first to have a full album download and a added bonus for RB owners when RB2 came out you could export all the old songs from RB and play them on RB2 i loved that it was nice to not have to switch disks just to play an old song the downfall to that was that you had to pay for the validation license which was 400 microsoft points.... that was ripped personally but well worth it overall great game either solo or co op with a few friends