Rock Band Blitz (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])
Developer: Harmonix Music Systems
Publisher: Harmonix Music Systems
Released: August 28, 2012
MSRP: $14.99 (1200 Microsoft Points)
Rock Band Blitz is a rhythm game by the people who have brought you the other Rock Band games. Although it shares the title of “Rock Band”, it has a very different way of being played. Instead of using plastic guitars and drums, you just use your regular Xbox 360 or PS3 controller. This might sound confusing but it is fairly simple.
How do you play Rock Band Blitz?
In Rock Band Blitz, you only have to two lanes of notes as opposed to the original 5 for guitar and 4 for drums. You hit these notes by using the A button (360) for the right note and the d-pad for the left note. The tricky part of playing these notes is that you must switch instruments throughout the song. You will play as vocals, guitar, bass, drums and keyboard for each song.
In order to play the other instruments, you must switch lanes by using the right bumper to go to the right by one lane or the left bumper to go to the left by one lane. From there you can keep hitting the bumpers to get to your desired lane, however, you can’t bump over from all the way to the right to the left. The reason you want to switch lanes throughout the song is that you have a increase the score multiplier for each instrument before you reach a checkpoint throughout the song.
How is Rock Band Blitz different from Rock Band?
Unlike previous Rock Band games, you can have the multiplier for a song be over 4x for each instrument. You have the chance to increase each instrument’s multiplier by 3 for each checkpoint, however the checkpoint only goes up by the instrument’s that has the lowest multiplier. For example, if you increased your guitar, bass and drums multiplier by 3 but only increased the vocals multiplier by 2, then the overall multiplier will only increase by 2. So if your guitar, bass and drums were at 4x and the vocals is only at 3x, then by the next checkpoint the highest you can be is 6x because that is 3 more than the vocals 3x and the vocals had the lowest multiplier. It may sound confusing but in practice it is easy to follow.
How do you score better for each song?
The increasing of each multiplier is one of the biggest strategies for each song as you will want to get each track up to the highest possible multiplier before the checkpoint. This allows for a lot of different tactics of how you can approach each section and allow you to plan out which instrument you will want to focus on first. Along with planning out your tactics for increasing multipliers, you will want to plan out how to use your power-ups throughout each song.
The power-ups in Rock Band Blitz range from many things like the traditional increasing points by 2x but there are several different new types. You have 3 different slots for each power-up. These power-ups range from a blast note, which will blow up any surrounding notes, a giant truck which will drive on the notes highway and destroy incoming notes, or even instrument specific power-ups which will increase the points for a specific instrument. These power-ups add a lot of diversity to how each song can be played and can add to the strategy for how you will approach each song.
Can I play Rock Band Blitz with others?
There is some real incentive for you to challenge your friends online with the mode “Score Attack”. In Score Attack, you either challenge someone or you are challenged by someone at a random song and have to try to get the highest score. Here is where most of the strategy for getting the most amount of points comes in handy. The winner of each match will get more “Blitz Cred”, which will unlock more new power-ups and some more coins which you use to purchase power-ups for each song.
Although Score Attack is fun when you challenge someone to a song, you have to wait 3 days for each season to end and even with that, you can only challenge 10 people. And even after you complete the 25 songs that comes with the game, playing through the DLC of extra songs that you have downloaded (from past Rock Bands which are exported to Blitz for free), you don’t really want to spend your coins on the extra songs so you pretty much are just trying to complete each song quickly to get more coins for the next time you challenge someone. However, this has been addressed by a patch which has increased the amount of coins you get after a song.
Rock Band Blitz is an incredibly fun game. It is a different, creative way from the original, plastic instrument based Rock Band games. Plus all of your old downloaded songs from the previous games work for Blitz and your Blitz songs work on the other Rock Bands. So who the heck won’t want to sing “Jessie’s Girl” the next time they play Rock Band!
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