killroycantkill's Rock Band (PlayStation 3) review

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This will do until you get your own gig.

Rock Band is a multiplatform rhythm game for the Playstation 3, and Xbox360 (Also soon for the Wii) made by Harmonix (ex Guitar Hero guys). As stated Rock Band is a rhythm game that has you pressing buttons on plastic instruments as notes come streaming towards you on the screen. The game comes with a guitar, drum set, and a microphone (considering you get the special edition version of the game). The game has a pretty steep price tag for the whole package but the game is definitely worth the price. Or now if you don't want every instrument they now sell all the peripherals separately so you can buy the game and just one instrument if you want.

Songs are mainly focused for multiplayer gaming but that dose not mean that playing the single player is any less fun. For single player you choose your instruments from the ones listed above, create your character and then you start rocking. The game is played by pressing coloured buttons on your instrument corresponding with the colours that flow down the chart. Also via the Guitar Hero series they have the super power of the game called Overdrive. You get this by hitting a series of white gems that occasionally scroll down the screen and when you get your bar half filled you either tilt you guitar or play the drum fill to activate it. This power gives you double points for notes and also refills your rock meter at the side faster which will help you on tough parts of the songs. The main set list contains of 58 songs with such great songs as Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who, Foreplay/Longtime by Boston, Don't Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult, the list goes on. Also Harmonix have put in the famous bonus track list with bands like Freezepop and Honest Bob and the Factory to Dealer Incentives. These bonus tracks are great additions to the list and go along well with all the main songs.

The difficulty of Rock Band starts off easy enough for people who are new to the rhythm genre to be able to play and have fun, but in the high difficulties it is challenging enough to keep you veterans of the timed button mashing on your toes. Also the difficulty curve is very even. There is never a point in the game where you will be playing a set on medium then the next set on medium will just come out of know where and kick your ass (*cough* last set on Guitar Hero 3 on expert *cough*). The hardest of all the instruments though is unsurprisingly the drums. The kick pedal is a new thing for your brain to get used to and will be hard at first but as you get later into the game you will be wondering how you ever had a hard time with it.

The guitar for Rock Band is modeled off the real life guitar, the Fender Stratocaster and is solidly built and is also wireless. Unfortunately it dose not connect directly to your systems wireless, it is wireless because you have to plug in a wireless nub into one of our systems USB ports. The neck on the guitar is thinner than I would like it to be since I am used to the Guitar Hero neck thickness but it is still comfortable none the less. The button set up is your standard five button set up with your favourite green, red, yellow, blue, and orange buttons. The one cool new feature on the guitar controller is the added "Solo Buttons" on the lower neck of the guitar. These buttons are smaller and closer together. When you get into a solo on the guitar track (you will know when you are in it when the note path goes all blue and a percent sign shows up above the path.) you are able to hit all those notes without strumming which is a great help on the harder difficulties. Like the insane solo on the song Green Grass and High Tides by The Outlaws. Also another new feature on the guitar a little slider on the guitar which changes the sound effect that the guitar makes when you go into overdrive mode. It is not a big part to the game but it adds some fun. Also the bass is set up the same way as the guitar; accept the multiplier can go up to six instead of only the regular four.

The drums are one of the more interesting instruments to play in the game. It has four main pads that you hit with the drum sticks and the bass pedal on the floor. The drum set is wired, but that is good because you do not want any latency between you hitting the pad and the notes on the screen. When you first start drums the bass pedal will be the bane of your existence and you will possibly want to smash it. But once you get used to it you will be able to alternate between hitting the pads and the pedal without thinking about it. Some of the song gets ridiculously hard on the drums. For example Run to the Hills by Iron Maiden. This song was the last song I beat on the drums and it is noted as the second hardest song…… The song is just a flurry of red coming at you all the time for the whole song. The drums are not the sturdiest of the instruments; in fact I had my bass pedal snap in half on me. Nothing a little duck tape couldn't fix but that's not the point. The drums are going to be smashed on they should have made them a little sturdier.

The last instrument is the microphone. It is a standard microphone… There is nothing special about it. The game play for singing is your standard karaoke game the words come across the screen and you have to sing the word at a certain pitch. One cool thing is that when like a tambourine or cowbell part comes up in the song these circles and when they get in the area you hit the microphone against your hand like a tambourine and it's a really fun addition to the singing.

Even though the single player game is straight forward complete a set of songs then move on to the next until you are done. The multiplayer has a more depth to it then that. In multiplayer you have your standard quick play option but now you also have Band World Tour. This mode you and a friend make a character or use previous ones that you have created and make your own band. You get to make your own band name, choose where you're from and then you're off. In the start you play the easier sets getting money and getting fans. The more fans you have the more venues and song you can play. But also the game forces you to get better so you can't just cruise all the way through the world tour mode on easy. Eventually when you get to a certain amount of fans you will have to move up a difficulty level. The difficulty raise dose not come too fast that's to the latest patch and the songs do not repeat too often so you won't be hearing the same song over and over in the set lists.

The game has been out for a while and with that a ton of downloadable content has come along with it. Rock Band has been coming out with a minimum of three songs a week since it came out. Since then they have also released two albums. They have released Judas Priest album Screaming for Justice and The Cars self titled album. All the songs are priced at $1.99 unless otherwise posted like on whole albums or song packs.

The game overall rocks (pun intended). You have a great 58 song list before any type of DLC and with the DLC the list climbs to 100+. Great peripherals to rock on, amazing note charts, and a whole bag o fun in multiplayer Rock Band is game that you have to add to your collection. Between rocking out with your friends and three new songs coming out every week Rock Band will have you playing for a long time to come.

Pros: Great rhythm game, good graphics, great song list, superb note charts, there's an instrument for everyone.

Cons: Instruments are a little fragile, single player mode dose not stack up to the fun of multiplayer.

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