So 1, 2, 3, take my hand and come with me
because you look so fine
and i really wanna make you mine.
Dun dun dun dundun dundundundundun...
Oh. Sorry. ...right... A review.
Unfortunately for the Wii users, I am not reviewing the PS2 build of the game.
I will say this up front and personal, Rock Band is not the best Guitar simulation out there. It is, however, the number one Band simulation available, and destroys other music simulators in the amount of fun it provides. Clear and simple.
Rock Band's devilishly clever exterior is what fuels the core essence of the game. The actual game hides behind three different devices: A plastic guitar, a "drum set", and a usb mic. With these three different peripherals, a four part pseudo band can be made. Such roles (as you may guess) are filled: Lead guitar, Lead Vocals, Bassist, and Percussionist. With yourself as the solo artist, or with a group of up to four friends, can cover 58+ popular rock songs. I'm not going to mislead you, if you are still reading this, then please go out and get the game. Now.
The game starts you off with an impressive character customization screen. The game allows you to choose different rock styles, build types, faces, and hair. While it might not be possible for some people to make a character look exactly like themself, it is possible to get close to it. After raising money by either playing solo mode, or playing Tour mode, you then can purchase new clothing, accessories, and instruments for your character. It really adds a lot to the game. For me, it made me more involved with the game, especially whenever I noticed myself pulling cool stunts on stage, like crowd surfing.
Each of the four parts of the game have their unique quirks. From lead guitar to drums, each band member is an intrical part of the music act.
The Lead Guitar part is exactly what you think it is. Play the solos from songs such as Green Grass and High Tides, Train Kept A-Rollin, and Rock Band's "theme" song: Highway Star. With my time with the game, it was clear to me that the only song that posed a huge threat to my man hood was "Green Grass and High Tides". This is one of the few songs on that meet Guitar Hero 2 and Guitar Hero 3 requirements. Most of the songs which are included with the game can be beat on expert if you are a successful Guitar Hero on Hard mode [in GH2 and 3]. If you bought the game solely for the solo play on Guitar, get Guitar Hero 2 or 3 instead.
The actual guitar that comes with the game is in debate for it's quality. Many people believe that the Guitar Hero guitar is much better, due to accuracy and over all feel concerns. I enjoy the new peripheral designed by Harmonix because it just feels better in my hands. Which one is better is personal preference, however Harmonix did not create a clear victor here.
The Bass part is, essentially, the baby part. I'm sorry, but it's true. The one perk of the Bass part is that you can obtain a 6x multiplier by going into "Bass Groove". The Bass can only be played in multiplayer, fortunately. The Bassist is the true team player however, the "medic" of the band perhaps. The bassist will be doing the most saving throughout the whole band. Don't forget to only upstrum on the bass parts! That's how real bassists do it.
Percussion is one of the reasons to buy such a game. Mind you, I am not a professional percussionist. I do not beat pads to death for money. However, playing the fake drum set to color coordination on screen is amazingly fun. There are other drum simulators out there, but with the coordination of the whole multiplayer aspect, and with popular music to drum to, this is a real treat. If you have good rhythm and really enjoy the drum parts, it can be extremely easy to be a competent percussionist in Rock Band. It just takes patience and a few months of defeat [unfortunately].
Warning: If you can not coordinate your foot movement to beat, practice. If you can not do it after a few months, the drum part may not be for you!
A nice self explanatory job. To the 58+ song track, you sing in tune with the music. As you set the bar higher in skill level, the accuracy you need becomes greater. It is possible to just hum the tune, but wouldn't that kill the experience?
Are you still here after that? Hmpf. Might as well and keep reading then.
A full band rockin to the beats.
The game ties all this together in a sophisticated, yet easy to navigate interface. From Solo mode to the added Music Store, all the options lead you to a great video game experience. The music selection is great, and the graphics while performing are amazing. However, where the game really shines is World Tour mode.
World Tour mode is the element of pure ecstasy in this game. This mode allows you to perform with up to three other people with each of the four different instruments. After you create the name for your band, and your avatars on screen, you will be able to play at multiple different locations with different songs and setlists. The ability to pick and choose locations and songs adds an element to the game never before: actual choice. If you feel that you aren't ready for a particular song or setlist, don't play it then! Play a different one! Tasking yourself to build in stars and fans is quite the interesting experience.
Not only do you have the choice to pick where and what to play in World Tour mode, but you also have random instances that occur. From charity events to corporate events, you can increase money earned or fans earned. However! this comes at a huge cost. If you chose to try to get the money, you will not gain any fans. If you choose to do a charity event, you will gain more fans, but earn no money! A lot of these events include requirements as well. Sometimes your band will be unlucky enough to run into an event that requires an average of five stars to earn your reward. Most of the time, however, the reward is worth the risk.
Rock Band is a complete rock experience. Harmonix left their Guitar Hero franchise after they could no longer develop for the title. Harmonix then was able to finally put together the game they had been dreaming off: The full music experience. Developed by real musicians for real music enthusiasts. Hats off to Harmonix for starting the Music Genre in an entirely new direction.