They’ve been around for several years, but music seams finally hit their peak when games like Guitar Hero were released about a decade ago when gaming consoles were sold like a hot cake and we, in our childhood, were addicted to the titles. This was one of the first series with a rock-and-roll theme and is also extremely popular with the younger crowd, even today, but no one could have guessed that another mainstream title would take that idea, build on it and make it even better than before. No one had an idea of such a wonderful creation would follow soon.
In Harmonix’s Rock Band, players are not only able to play a guitar simulator, but drums, bass, and even vocals as well. In fact, there is a bouquet of instruments to try out. The whole point of the game is very simple. Everyone in it must work their way to the top to become the best band of all! Think like a Guitar Hero on steroids. Isn’t it?
A New Kind of Music Game
The video game developers really know how to pull in casual and hardcore players alike because their advertising is meant to appeal to many different people as it is done in roulette games and roulette tips. Backgrounds and character designs look as if they came straight out of a Kiss rock concert not only in the commercials and magazine advertisements but even in the game itself. It is so realistic.
Perhaps the best thing is the stereotypical rockstar clothing that adds even more to the gritty, hard-core image found throughout the game. Just have a look at some of the posters available on various gaming-related websites or simply google it.
Expect to see a lot of headbanging, guitar strumming, vocal screaming, and simple rocking-out by nameless characters. Of course, the ability to customize characters has been removed from this version, and Rock Band has never exactly contained a story mode, but the latter is really just a minor nitpick that doesn’t detract from the enjoyment at all.
Thrashing Music and Sound
The audio seems to be slightly loud, in-your-face, and possibly even nostalgic for older people who grew up with the large list of classic songs. It’s all about rock and roll, so any kind of voice work has been omitted since the team probably didn’t think it was necessary. Yes, and still it is really catchy. It has acquired interests of uncountable number of fans and gamers from across the world.
Songs by Aerosmith, Nirvana, Deep Purple, Metallica, and more are present, giving players a wide musical range to choose from.
Each song has a certain pattern of musical notes that must be played according to color with the drums and guitar. The score will increase as notes are hit, boosting the star rating (the highest is five gold stars, the lowest is one star). This feature is awesome and meaningful as well.
Some songs even contain a Big Rock Ending where players can press all the guitar buttons, slam all the drum notes, or sing all-out to get a larger score in the end. There is a catch to this, however, and the very last note must be hit perfectly for it to count or all the “rocking out” will be for nothing. Vocals are a bit different, however, since singers must match a note pitch given to them on screen, similar to Karaoke Revolution. This needs to be adjusted. Many may judge differently if the mindset is something else.
Heavy Metal Gameplay
To the left of the screen is a meter that changes color as notes are hit. The band will stay successful if it stays above the green mark, but if it hits the red bar they’re in danger of failing. Once they fail a song the band will be kicked off the stage in a flurry of boos. Luckily, players can change difficulty levels if they’re having problems.
Easy level is like couch-potato playing. It is simply so easy. Believe me. But the notes are scarce and people will rarely have to use the kick pedal on the drum set. Expert, however, will prove to be a high-adrenaline challenge since notes will scroll by very quickly. More daring fans should expect to be moving their hands a lot with guitar and stomping the drum’s kick pedal quite often in this mode.
Perhaps the greatest fun about the game is multiplayer. The general feel of playing with friends can be empowering if everyone meshes together well, or extremely amusing if they have no hand-eye coordination or singing skills. Either way, the experience can still be great no matter the person’s skill, and even if a bandmember fails a song the rest of the band can use Overdrive up to three times to bring themselves back into the mix.
There are quite a few major issues with multiplayer gameplay, however. Most of the online sections found in the PS3 and 360 versions are eliminated in the PS2 version, meaning no earning fans and no co-op. Band World Tour also changes a lot, being stripped of the very things that made it fun, such as traveling between cities. This is worth checking.
Another thing that is disappointing is that the Rock Band does not support downloadable content as of now, so songs that are downloadable for other versions of the game won’t work with this one. However, it may be expected in the future that downloadable content would be made available. The developer may give an ear to the issue.
To Sum it Up
While exciting and incredibly fun, the Rock Band feels like a somewhat watered-down version of the PS3 and 360 game due to the removal of some of the crucial elements that made other versions so complex. At the same time, it’s still a blast to play and is definitely worth the $160. It is still one of the best music-based games and worth checking once. Meanwhile, it is learned updates would be made available from time to time.
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