Giant Bomb Review

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Rock Revolution Review

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  • X360

This poor clone of today's music games is especially sad when you consider Konami's rich history with the genre.

Konami started this gangster isht...
You can trace the modern era of the rhythm game back to RedOctane and Harmonix. The hardware guys and the software guys, respectively, teamed up to create Guitar Hero, the game that brought us into this new era. Now that they're both split onto opposite sides of the Guitar Hero/Rock Band divide, it's easy to forget that they used to be bros. That makes it even easier to forget that they essentially created Guitar Hero by building a better, Western version of Guitar Freaks, Konami's guitar game that predates this current rush of plastic instrument madness by years--but only made it to home consoles in Japan. So it's a little sad to see Konami's current music game release, Rock Revolution. Sure, they're the original masters of the form, but this new release looks like it was cranked out by some new jacks who didn't know any better.

If Rock Revolution was released in 2004 or 2005, it would have been revelatory. But by today's standards, it's way behind the curve. This is a three-player rhythm game that lets two players play guitar and bass while a third can play drums. The game is played in the now-typical rhythm game format, so you're rated on what sort of combo of properly hit notes you can string together as you play through the songs. Unlike the competition, Rock Revolution sticks to the flat, 2D presentation of the notes you need to hit, much like you'd find in the company's Dance Dance Revolution or other Bemani games. This looks kind of cheap, and also seems worse from a gameplay perspective, as you'll need to view the entire length of the screen to see what's coming up. A 3D "highway" where the notes come at you give you more information in less space.

There are over 40 songs in Rock Revolution, and they're all covers. The game doesn't even acknowledge the original artists, instead just using a list of song titles on the back of the box and in-game. So if you're trying to figure out who originally performed "Sk8er Boi," the game doesn't make Avril Lavigne's name easy to find. Also, the quality of the covers in the game is almost universally awful, making the game sound like a deceptive Walmart compilation.

The game attempts to carve out its own niche by offering different challenges in the game's career, such as one that places "poison" notes on the tracks. If you play too many of the bad notes, you'll automatically lose. Another speeds up the note track as your multiplier increases. Another mode has you play a portion of a song twice, then asks you to play that same portion without it telling you which notes you need to hit. Overall, I found all of these additions to be incredibly annoying. You can skip a bunch of them and still proceed through the career.

There's also an online mode, which I've tried a couple of times now, but haven't run into anyone else playing it. The online modes are one-on-one versus, co-op, and band battle, which allows two groups to go at it. A studio mode lets you use the instruments to lay down your own tracks, though it doesn't seem like you can actually go back into the game and play these tracks, only listen to what you've recorded and add effects.

The game doesn't have its own guitars, leaving you free to use a compatible product. On the 360, we tested it out with Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero World Tour guitars with no issues. The game will have its own drum controller coming out in November, but a menu option lets you switch between the Rock Revolution drums and a standard five-trigger setup that's compatible with Rock Band kits.

...and this the motherlovin' thanks they get?
The Rock Revolution drums feel overly complicated. They have six pads up top along with a kick pedal. The six pads feel like they were almost randomly slapped onto the rectangular box that houses the kit. While it might have more pads than the other kits, the positioning doesn't feel right. Some elevation between the different pads might have helped them make more sense when using them. Also, it's probably worth noting that bolts need to be hand-screwed into the frame to build these drums, which makes it harder to change heights for different players and gives you a small bag of parts that you'll have to store when it comes time to stash these in your closet.

I kept looking for something in Rock Revolution that would redeem it and justify its existence. It's $10 cheaper than the average 360 and PlayStation 3 release. But $50 is still probably $30 too much for a game that comes off as a low-budget title. If you're playing loud enough, the noise from your plastic instruments will drown out the poor quality of many of the game's covers? No, that doesn't really play, either. Instead of trying to wrap my mind around this troubling cash grab, I'm going to move on and do my best to forget about Rock Revolution. I recommend you do the same.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
68 Comments
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Posted by Natural20

it's just sad really

Posted by LordAndrew

What a shame. Konami can do much better than this.

Posted by papercut

Take a seat next to pub games rock revolution. You've been very bad.

Posted by Lies

Wow, sound terrible. Wasn't going to buy it anyways, but that is pretty bad.

Second 1-star review on Giant Bomb.

Posted by Caddy

I still don't know why they even bothered. I know it's a highly popular genre at the moment, but you actually have to make the game good, at the very least.

Posted by elliooo

Haha, forgetting this game ever existed sounds like the way to go.

Posted by SamFo

Awesome! Jeff's first 1 star review!

Posted by GioVANNI

Olol.

Posted by zoozilla

Don't do it, Jeff!  Get your lighter away from that TNT!

Posted by deaux

Before its release, Jeff had speculated that Rock Revolution might have some value if looked at as a song pack.  Guess not.

Posted by REMOVE_NOZZLE

It's like a car crash that you can't help but rubberneck.

Oh the irony, Konami.

Posted by FallopianTube

Incredible Jeff 1 star avatar thing

Posted by HazBazz

OK, Brad and Vinny, we need to see your 1-star avatars now

Posted by JesseG

What a waste of effort on the devs part

Posted by jangofett88

The circle of mad yet accurate trash talking about this game is complete!

Posted by Metamorphic

The game is not worth it Jeff... it's not worth it. Don't do it man, it's going to be alright.

*snatches lighter off Jeff's hands*

Posted by MattBodega

The 1 Star Bomb has been dropped for a second time!
So, I guess this game isn't even useful as a "track pack" to play more new songs with standard GH/RB hardware. What a shame.

Posted by AnEternalEnigma

I hope no one is surprised.

Posted by Media_Master

not surprised at all

Edited by Kontrapunkt

Poor effort in almost every aspect, who in executive said "Oh yeah lets just make this it worked for them, huh, huh? Whos with me?" and then it seems as if they had no choice but to admit defeat and commit suicide by making this awful product. colon left bracket.

Posted by killzeek

yes was actually waiting for him review since i actually played the game XD

Posted by F1

Po Konami...

Posted by Milkman

Hahah, I literally just starting laughing when I saw this review. LOL, you suck Rock Revolution.

Posted by John

This is so sad, wtf Konami?

Posted by CleverLoginName

There will be many sad children this Christmas. 

Posted by Superchris129

Fuck you, this is 5/5 stars. ZOMG You give rock band 5/5!?! It's exactly the same!!~

Posted by norton123

HAHA epic fail.

Posted by Geno

Sadly, this will probably sell the same, if not greater amount than Rock Band or Guitar Hero because of uninformed parents.

Didn't the developers know from day 1 that this would suck hardcore? Or was it just some ploy using the above behavior to milk the popularity of rhythm games?

Posted by BawaTheGamer

wow. must be terrible. Ive never played this genre of games, so i have no opinion.

Posted by HatKing

I LOVE that picture of Jeff cartoon next to the review score.

Posted by toadstule

Very nice 1 star picture.

Edited by Travis

Not really relevant to this game, but..

Vinny's 1-star picture.
Brad's 1-star picture.
Posted by Xero

owow

Posted by vinsanity09

haha love the "Hello" (NWA) reference in the pics

Posted by Endogene

At least they tried something original with the DS version (although they failed miserably in making it fun....)

Posted by TheWorstPlayerEver

im suprised you even decided to review this game with all of the high profile games coming out and knowing that this game would be crap

Posted by ferrarimanf355

NOOO JEFF NOOO!

Posted by malxmusician212

wait, do u use the 360 controller or like, an instrument, or what kind of a controller do you use?

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Jeff's 1 star picture is awesome.

Posted by TomA

And it will sell way too much...

Posted by Roger_Klotz
Posted by Jayzilla

the review caption is worth every game getting one star! i love it!

Posted by Bill_Hickz

I think the only way this game could of stayed in the ring in this fake band royal rumble, is to incorparate every single crazy J-Pop song from their drumming and guitarfreaks catalog and put in ALL OF THEM (maybe a 1000+),  that way you just hit RANDOM song and play some crazy as band called  the "Super Fuzzy Pink Kitty Masacre",  you will never hear or play that song again, but that doesnt mean it wasn't awesome.

Posted by insanejedi

So will that 1 star pic actually transfer to AC/DC pack?
TNT Ready to explode?

Posted by Sata

They should just try to make a western DDR. With the 'highway' design.

Posted by StaticFalconar

lols at the one star pics.....

Posted by destruktive

They just want's to get in on the money :|
Sad really. 

Posted by MattyFTM

Damn, I was hoping this might be alright. It had some potential to be a half decent clone of RB/GH, but it obviously isn't. Oh well, back to Rock Band for me.

Moderator
Posted by RHCPfan24

YEAH! 1 star!

Posted by MetalGearSunny

I wonder how the cover of "Chop Suey" sounds....

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