Rock Band Reviews

  • Removed Gamer
    Gamer has been removed
    43 17 16
    Can you believe there's no Rock Band review? UNTIL NOW.

    Back in 2005, WAAAAAAY before the music game genre was milked to death, we got a game called "Guitar Hero," with its sequel, "Guitar Hero 2," released the following year. These games need no introduction.

    But although we did get a Guitar Hero 3, the original developer of Guitar Hero, Harmonix, jumped ship in mid 2007 and created something completely new, innovative, and mind blowing: Rock Band. With a better emphasis on multiplayer, and new instruments, it was poised to take down Guitar Hero and become it's own franchise.

    Which it kinda did.

    The drums and the microphone. These were the two things that catapulted Rock Band over Guitar Hero 3. Sure, anybody will tell you that playing the guitar was still better in GH3 (it's called GUITAR hero, after all), but the drums were great, unique, and something great to take your anger out on. (Even if they were prone to often break, particularly the kick pedals)

    The guitar feels far more loose than the GH3 counterpart, with an extremely loose strum bar, and "solo buttons" at the bottom of the guitar, in addition to the regular fret buttons, that are, well, kinda useless. In theory you can tap these during the solos without strumming, but you'll need lightning fast fingers to do so.

    The vocals are just that. A microphone that measures pitch and tempo of your voice. It's also the primary instrument used to make someone look like a jackass. The "talkie" parts where pitch doesn't matter are unquestionably broken (which were, of course, fixed in later instalments), and there were "percussion" sections were you make noise into the mic. You can clap, tap the mic, shout, hit yourself in the crotch with it, whatever works. Its good for keeping vocalists involved.

    The career mode is phenominal. The single player stuff is "Guitar Hero 101," where you play different songs in a set order and move through pre-determined setlists, but the "Band World Tour" is where it shines. You one of 4+ gigs in different cities (which can pre-determined setlists, custom ones, or even completely random) and work your way to virtual stardom, and even the damned "Endless Setlist," which has every song in the game one after another.

    Of course, creating a band wouldn't work without a solid character creator. Rock Band delivers, if (by today's standards) doesn't innovate. Compared to the character creation in Guitar Hero 3, which didn't exist, it's a nice change of pace... even if the options are fairly light (Not counting clothing options).

    Try to visually a 6 foot tall pale man with red dreadlocks wearing pink spadex all over his body while wearing 3d glasses and make up that can only be described as "just gave slimer from ghostbusters a blow-job." Thanks Rock Band!

    There's also a score duel mode, but nobody plays that. It's basically like Face-Off in Guitar Hero. Whoever scores more wins. No Band vs Band... yet.

    Since this an earlier released game in the music genre, several of the songs are in fact covers, but not those "MY EARS ARE BLEEDING" kind. If you block out the vocals, Run to the Hills does in fact sound like Run to the Hills, but it's a minor thing.

    Arists like Queens of the Stone Age, Soundgarden, Weezer, and The Who are all present. It's well rounded, but not as good (in my opinion) as the "HOLY SHIT THEY GOT METALLICA, SLAYER, AND IRON MAIDEN IN THE SAME GAME" setlist we saw in Guitar Hero 3.

    But OH! There's all the DLC. There's TONS of it. Over 1000+ songs availiable to download. This is the sole reason we aren't on "Rock Band 26.5" yet. It's like making your own Guitar Hero setlist, without all the crappy "Kool Thing" and "Miss Murders'" thrown in.

    All in all, Rock Band is a true product of it's time. The music genre has been beaten to death (thanks, Activi$ion), but back then, all the Guitar Heroes dropped their jaws when this behemoth was released. It doesn't have the features and innovations that it's sequels/band spinoffs had, but nobody will deny, that this was the first time we could really feel like we were rocking out with our cocks out.
    5.0
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    Pedle ZelnipThumbs down, as this is less a critique of Rock Band, and more a praise of the game by someone who clearly very much likes it. It does come across as a bit fanboy-ish.
    Posted by Pedle Zelnip on 24 Feb 14 at 23:14
    Pedle ZelnipFor example, where's the critique of the fact that the multiplayer is local only? Or that band world tour mode is incredibly monotonous (ie you play the same damn songs over and over and over again)? Or that it's just plain waaaaay too long (most cities require upwards of 40 songs to play before unlocking an achievement, and there's a LOT of cities)? Or that (perhaps less fair given that this was the 1st iteration) the vocals are much less forgiving of people who have a natural range between octaves than in subsequent rhythm games which featured vocals?
    Posted by Pedle Zelnip on 24 Feb 14 at 23:20
    Elliot PiersonJesus christ this review is extremely biased
    Posted by Elliot Pierson on 08 Feb 18 at 11:26
  • TrimSkinkTrimSkink563,463
    19 Oct 2014
    4 0 0
    As a big music fan, and a fan of the genre, I felt it was important to fill out my review for this game, seeing as I've completed it and can help others. As always, short and sweet.

    This game was ahead of its time. Enjoyable songs, co-op and single player and cheap peripherals. The guitar may not transfer to an actual guitar very easily, but it helps with the hand-eye coordination, and the drums, on the other hand, are a lot like actual drums (in play style only - plastic is a little clunky). There are many ways to pass your time in this game, whether it be solo, band career, online battles or learning to play/sing. Rockband is an incredible game, with a great setlist, but some achievements aren't for the faint of heart.

    The solo career for bass and vocals were easy, but finishing the solo career on expert for drums and guitar will take some skill. With over 40 songs, there are challenges for newbs and professionals. The playability of the game itself is very user friendly. Quite easy to set up, great visuals and rarely any lag issues, but beware when setting the difficulty on your career. There are several songs on the playlist which will have you completing all the sets and having to restart all over again when you can't pass on expert or hard (run to the hills is hard on expert, but almost harder on hard drums). A good strategy to have is, when you're having issues with a song, save the star power but don't use it. It'll give you a breather in spots where you need it (RTTH on expert isn't for the weak wristed). With a setlist like this, how could it get old? I answer, when you have to play the songs 10 times a piece, very easily.

    The band career is another very important part to completion of this game. I've been blessed with years of vocal and piano lessons, so doing a little multitasking (bass/guitar and vocals) was necessary, since the band tour was LOCAL only. If you choose to do it this way, make sure you practice all the songs (which will be necessary to be able to pass the Endless Setlist). Some of the trickier songs, like RTTH and Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld, were hard to do both, but humming is the best remedy to this, since you can focus on the bass and just forget to sing the words. Humming works fine. :D But this isn't a guide... I'm getting sidetracked... ;) Tons of fun with a local partner, but twice as rewarding if you can do it yourself.

    The online isn't up to par, in my opinion. 2 fun game modes, but no song selection. Plus, the online is quite dead now, so doing these can be tricky. The score duel is fun and so is the tug of war, but quite lacking in this department for selection, I'm afraid. If it weren't for the great, stand-alone game, this area would be a little more disappointing, but the game itself was lots of fun. It's a shame that the devs on this game chose to breeze by the multiplayer competitive.

    In summary, this game was an amazingly, fun ordeal and I'm pleased to have completed it. Very rewarding and pleasurable. The setlist was enjoyable, the solo and co-op were wonderful and well developed. It's a shame the multiplayer wasn't a little more "well-thought", but that aside, it was still too much fun to not recommend to others. Rockband was a challenging and fun, the songs were amazing, giving it replay value and might even teach you some new tricks. I hope you've enjoyed my review. Thanks so much for reading.
    4.0