Why is it that I have a knack for reviewing awful games, (Coincidentally awful games that I have all achievements in) and each review tends to have a quick little quote to sum it up; "Too little, Too Late" sums up Rock Revolution: An embarassing attempt to compete with games like Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero: World Tour. (Those two came out around the end of 2008, alongside this one)
Like other crap i've played, (Monster Madness was a good example) I didn't really know this game existed. I had heard some things about it, like how it wouldn't even come with a guitar controller, but it was fairly unknown to me. In fact, a week after its release I spotted a PS3 copy for 25$. THEN I saw a xbox 360 copy for... 10 dollars. Did I mention this was a week after it came out? Everywhere else (with the drumkit, which I'll talk about later) it was a whopping 120$. I didn't see ANYONE buying this anytime soon.
The best game to compare this to is Guitar Hero 2, in terms of features. There is no character creation, all the songs are covers, and the setlist is fairly small. However Guitar Hero 2 came out in 2006, and that game was awesome. If Rock Revolution came out two years ago, it would have been one hell of a competitor: It's got online play, a music studio, AND drums. But just looking at it now is a flatout joke.
How about the presentation? It has a sense of "blah" to it, it's not truely awful but doesn't do anything well. Visually it's okay, and the band members look decent. (The singer really needs to stop punching the air though...) The crowd looks so bad it makes the guitar hero crowds look realistic. The audio quality is solid, even though the actual audio is pretty awful. (I'll talk more about that in a bit) It gets the job done, but still feels generic at best, and vomit-inducing at worst.
But does it work? Personally I'm a huge fan of music games so I wanted to give this game a shot, but like other awful games (Again, gotta bring up Monster Madness) it's unintentionally hard to play, for one reason: the notes. In Band/Hero, they come towards you and are easy to see. In Rock Rev, they go down on a 360 degree angle. This isn't very hard when you get the hang of it but it's a really stupid design choice. Different isn't always better!
Your not travelling the world in this game, rather recording records. Each record has 6 songs to complete: 4 songs, and 2 challenges, which are the highlight of the game. These challenges involve playing a song without hitting certain notes, the note track speed increasing as you play better, or playing a certain part of a song 100%. These are actually different from other games and have a certain novelty, but these are overly difficult to complete, mainly the challenges where you have to play a part of a song FROM MEMORY. Thank god for youtube.
So i've said how the game comes with no guitar controller, but other ones work well at least. I tried a guitar hero 2 and rock band controller and they worked great. The drums however are a mess. I've haven't actually played the RR drumkit, but just look at the damn thing! 7 pads! At least the Rock Band one works okay, but you still have to deal with that vertical note chart. Also the kick pedal is the middle note. So it goes Red, Yellow, Pedal, Blue, and Green. Again, if you try hard enough you can get the hang of it but it's just not worth the effort.
The setlist, dispite being covers, isn't actually that bad. It's got great songs from other games in the genre, (Like Run to the Hills, Pull me Under, and Spoonman) plus other kickass songs we didn't see yet, (Like Stone Cold Crazy and the Metallica version of Am I Evil?) but the covers range in quality from "Whoa that's a cover?" (Spoonman) to "HOLY SHIT MY EARS ARE BLEEDING." (Run to the Hills, All the Small Things) The guitar sounds awesome in the songs, but the vocals are hyserically awful. There isn't even 50 songs on the disc... compare that to Rock Band 2's 78 songs or GH World Tours 80-something. Oh, did I mention there is no vocal support in this game? Likely because drunken college students could sing better than these developers.
Online play is balls. There is nobody playing. I do like however that you can play with 4 instruments on a song head to head online. Up until Guitar Hero 5 no other games did this. Props?
Achievements are a nightmare, and I did not have fun with this one. If you are ace at guitar hero, you shouldn't have much of a problem with the majority of the achievements, but some are just nuts. Getting all platinum albums (Which means beating every event) on expert is insane because of the challenges, but on drums it's even worse. Try doing 100% on expert drums of "Holy Wars" by Megadeth for a solid minute. I DARE YOU. At least the online stuff will only take 3 hours of your life if done right. You have to play 100 games but only win 50. So bring a friend to the pain!
I didn't even bother with the music studio. World Tour did it so much better, dispite it being overly complex.
This is just another game that trys to cash in on the music game craze. Rock Band has been going solid as a multiplayer experience, Guitar Hero World Tour may have gotten mixed opinions but it was a good transition into the multiplayer (Band) experience as well, but Rock Revolution is just a disaster. It's ironic how Konami (the publisher of this stinkburger) not only started the music genre with DDR, BUT THEY ALSO STARTED THE GUITAR PERIFERAL AS WELL! (Look up "Guitar Freaks" if your curious) How fitting, because that game sucked, yet paved the way for better games. How also fitting that how Konami started the genre, then go on to crash and burn.
*The only reason i'm not scoring this embarassment to the genre a 1 is because of the decent (But poorly done) setlist, and the fact i've had some good times throughout the guitar career.*