It seems like every year there is one game that I can't stop playing over everything else, and it surprises me. I would figure a game like Super Mario Galaxy
would hold my attention for months, but some other game does it every time, and yeah it may not be a better game in terms of overall package, but it is damn close.
Like Rock Band.
For some reason, this ridiculously priced peripheral package is what I do nearly every night. Sure a rented game would take up five days so I can beat it
with ease and accept a showering of praise and achievements for it, but thats not here nor there. Rock Band, the gargantuan love child of Harmonix's past endeavors
. The game is part guitar, part vocal, part drum, rolled into one major prize package that will change the way house parties are thrown in the future.
The game is simple, you create a band from the ground up, and go on a fictional tour around the entire world to numerous venues poorly named after real life places. Starting out in places like Charlies Pub
and Heebie Jeebies
, you move onto bigger venues as you gain a ton of fans by preforming an initial group of around sixty songs. You eventually become so big, you can gain access to platinum deals, millions of fans, your own jet to travel abroad, and become bigger then...well...what this guy
As always, the games setlist is spot on. This time, ridiculously hard guitar songs
are replaced with simpler, more beat-esque songs, ranging from hits from Weezer, Bon Jovi, KISS, The Outlaws, Boston, The Maps, even Metallica. The range of music is well balanced, from a slew of Punk and Classic Rock hits to some hardcore Metal and Alternative songs. Harmonix was wise to pick these type of songs, because few of them I can see in Guitar Hero.
That being said, as a guitarist, the adjustment in difficulty was hard to cope with at first. I basically mastered Hard through the first run-through, and only a select number of songs are in my way on expert. But that is the small price to pay for the good of the game.
Vocals are done with a real microphone, and if you have a REAL
singing voice and don't just lip sync
to your favorite songs while in the car, you could tear this up easily. Like the guitar it starts off simple, short and mellow, but then becomes hard, changing the different octaves in your voice in mid breath. I do this better than the drums, but not by much, that is for sure. If you have real talent, please sing, this is the specialty in the game.
Now we turn to the biggest challenge of all, the drum tracks. With five notes, one of them depending on your foot going up and down on a pedal
, is not easy. I failed on medium quite a few times before I got the hang of it, something I am not prowd to say, but I assume we have all been there. Regardless, the drums are the biggest challenge in the game, because it requires a whole new set of coordination, and once again, Harmonix make's it fun at the same time.
The game is not the most beautiful graphically, but then again it was never about that. To their credit, Harmonix has made a style of their own for the game, from the custom characters and the myriad of options to choose, from tatoos to t-shirts, hair to color, even from guitar skins to a goat head are your options, and they are, admittingly, good looking. What makes it better is the meat and potatos of the game, the multi-player.
You can play by yourself in solo tour, but that just sucks. Badly. This is a multi-player game, preferably live in your living room if you have a chance. It is fun to see players muck up lyrics on an easy song, or fail at a guitar solo, but even sweeter when your in perfect harmony
. This is a type of game you have to play with a group of people, half drunk, taking turns on each instrument and going through band world tour for the fun of it. Trust me, it's fun, and this is what makes the game worth it.
Even the option to create or join a band online, as well as "duel" players online in ranked or unranked matches makes for great competition and friend companionship with people over X-box live. couple that with weekly downloads of new songs for the game, and you have a great game indeed. The downside, the giant empty wallet I now have, and the lack of space I can hold it all into. There are also other flaws, the game forces you to move up the difficulty when you reach a certian number of fans. Now I know not everyone is a super shredder
, but at the same time not everyone is on the same level, so this puts a big hinge on the overall feel of the band sim they have in the game. Also, the custom made bandmates do repetitive movements on stage, and as cool as the stage effects are, they get annoying and sometimes in the way when playing particularly tough solo's.
In the end though, Rock Band is a game that would hold anyones
attention. It is fun and challenging on drums and vocals, at the very least (if your used to Guitar Hero) or drums and guitar (if your used to Kareoke Revolution). The game is not a fun experience in terms of the single player, but multi-player wise, its a real winner. The price tag of over $150.00 and the large space it would hold in your living room or closet is also a turn off, but without the plastic add-on's, the game is no fun either. In the end, Rock and Roll is here to stay for a much longer time thanks to Rock Band, and it is without a doubt the most addicting experience in video games at this time.
Final Score- A-