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Release Date: November 20, 2007
Game Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3
If you're a fan of Guitar Hero, there are now drums and a vocal mic beckoning you to play the latest music simulation game Rock Band. Rock Band is an all-new platform for gamers ready to take on the challenges of the Rock & Roll lifestyle.
UG Team, on december 07, 2007 39 of 41 people found this review helpful
Experience: There's been plenty of controversy among the UG community about whether or not music simulation games should be given the time of day, and to add fuel to the fire we have tried out the newest video game offering, Rock Band. So for all of you who have dedicated countless hours to your Guitar Hero craft, this review is for you. Rock Band does feel somewhat similar to the GH series, particularly considering Harmonix (Guitar Hero's former developer) created the new game. There are just as many differences that allow for a new experience, however, particularly when it comes to the group dynamics.
You'll get a pretty thorough setup upon buying Rock Band, including a Fender-themed guitar controller, a vocal mic, and a drum set (that looks somewhat similar to an electronic set). One of the biggest pluses in the entire game is that there are specific calibration settings that match the type of TV set you have. For example, if you've got a DLP system at home, all you have to do is click on that setting and you're ready to go. It's simple, and more amazingly, it's accurate. It was an absolute relief to not have to try out calibration after calibration setting to get a halfway decent reading.
When you get the Rock Band disk cued up, there's a similar vibe to Guitar Hero in terms of the touring band concert storyline. The graphics are stepped up, though, and you're given the option of creating your own character -- from the hair to the lips to, well, you name it. The game somehow takes the specific character you created and can place them in various scenes while you're waiting for the next song to cue up. There's also a fantastic selection of guitars/drums as well, with Fender being the primary instrument featured.
Once you get past the general build-a-character portion, the real action begins. The big novelty of Rock Band is probably the drum portion. A lot of us have already partaken in a game of Guitar Hero, but it's rare to find a home game where you can play on a quasi-drum set. The learning curve is tough, and it's to become humbled when you sit down at your set. With guitar you might have a song down on Hard or even Expert after a few tries, but drumming on Expert is a downright chore. The bass pedal is a beast of thing, and they use a lot of it in Rock Band. I talked with a drummer who said the pedal has more spring than your genuine pedal, so maneuvering it takes patience. The Medium level is actually a lot of fun, and although not a breeze, it's probably the recommended starting point.
The vocal portion of the game is the touchiest and you'll have to know the song pretty well (or at least the notes and timing) to pass Expert. It's very lenient on Easy and you don't even really have to sing comprehensible words to pass, but it gets a little bit stricter with each level. The game prints out the lyrics, while giving you cues like Awesome or Messy to let you know what kind of impression you're making. It would have been great to have a few more classic metal or rock songs to sing along with, but Iron Maiden's Run To The Hills and Boston's Foreplay/Long Time are great additions. // 9
Extras: If you've become comfortable with the guitar controller in Guitar Hero, you'll be in for a few changes with the Rock Band setup. The buttons definitely have a different feel and take a while to get used to at first. One of the coolest aspects of the controller is that it has buttons placed on the highest frets. When you hit these higher buttons, you don't need to strum, as if to simulate a tapping style. In terms of accuracy, enough cannot be said about how beautifully the Rock Band controller plays multiple eighth notes in a row. The new controller strums perfectly in situations like that, whereas in Guitar Hero it could be chore because of the calibration issues. The solos take some getting used to because the system is very sensitive with hammer-ons. In terms of difficulty Guitar Hero III is still the insanely hardest one out there, but Rock Band still offers plenty of challenges. Even better, the practice mode allows you to Switch the speed easily and without having to return to the main menu. // 9
Overall Impression: The most entertaining aspect of Rock Band is the fact that you're able to include multiple people at one time. Up to 4 people can play simultaneously, although you'll have to purchase an extra guitar controller to have a full band. The reaction from the individuals Who played in my band were ultimately pleased with the entire game, and that's a pretty big compliment considering the people all play genuine instruments in real life. So all in all, it's safe to say that Rock Band will be making multiple appearances at parties we have in the future. // 9
HandT, on december 17, 2007 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Experience: It is hard to articulate the style of Rock Band. It simply feels authentic compared to Guitar Hero 3, which looks like Rock Band's annoying little brother in comparison. Graphics are good, but nothing worth staring in awe at. There are plenty of weird moments such as where a singer may dive into the audience and then, a second later, magically appear on stage. Plays smoothy and there are no bad dips in framerate. // 9
Extras: The strat controller is fantastic and the additional five frets near the bottom of the neck for solos along with the effects switch offer some unique diversions from typical shredding. The strummer feels gummy at first, but after I became used to it I found it hard going back to the clunky Les Paul with GH3. My strat had a defective strummer, but they sent a replacement controller promptly and I didn't have to pay a cent for shipping. The drums are neat and the mic is good quality. // 7
Overall Impression: The song list is, simply put, the best of any music game yet. "Don't Fear The Reaper", "Green Grass and High Tides" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" are just a few examples of the amazing inclusions. There are also plenty of songs to choose from. Including downloaded content, I have over eighty songs. Some may be disappointed that the notes don't fly as fast as in GH3, but the time frame you have to hit notes is much more strict. For some real difficulty in guitar, download the Metallica pack. I've yet to beat "Blackened" or "Ride the Lightening." Great fun with four people, and for those with Xbox Live, you can quick play with random players online. If your budget can take the hit or you and a few buddies want to chip in, it's a great game. // 9
TylerPTH, on february 11, 2008 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Experience: Well after playing guitar hero 3 non stop everytime I went to a friends house I was so confident that this was a game I wanted to buy for my xbox 360, but since from playing it so damn much, I knew what it was all about and knew the whole song list and had played every song more then 20 times, which got kinna boring. So to keep myself from wasting money on a game I played to much and knew everything about I thought I would put in an extra $70 and buy Rock Band, now what caught my attention about this game was the amazing song soundstrack. Learn To Fly, Welcome Home, Don't Fear The Reaper, Wanted Dead Or Alive, Run To The Hills, and so many more awesome songs. Also the drums got be really into it since I had been shredding the buttons off the the guitar hero controllers for so long, it was nice to see something new to try out and start on easy and gradually work your way up the difficulty, like a lot of people would do on guitar hero for there first time playing. // 10
Extras: Rock Band will come with 3 instruments. A Fender Stratocaster electric guitar controller, which have 5 buttons at the top of the neck like GH controllers and an extra set of buttons further down the neck of the guitar that can be used for soloing wich you wont need to strum if you use them during solos. The 2nd Instrument is probably the main reason why I bought the game, the drum set. There are 4 colored pads and a kick pedal, so if you have thought about wanting to buy a drum set and have never played before, give the drums in this game a go first and see how you like it. And the final, 3rd intrument is a microphone, which there is really nothing special about, it's just like any other karaoke sing along game, but it is a little harder to try and get the pitch and everthing right, so this is a good practice tool for any future famouse singers out there. // 10
Overall Impression: I have a love/hate thing going on for this game right now, I love it because if you have a few buddies over this game is an absolute blast and is so much fun to play, but if you are by yourself don't just do one thing make sure you switch it up or else it will get boring. One thing I hate so much about this game is how cheap the guitar and drums were made. The body of the guitar feels really cheap and it will feel like it will break really easily, so if you get mad don't throw your guitar at the wall lol, and the strum bar is good because there is no load click sound like on the GH controllers but it is also not as responsive as the GH conroller, you will have to push down farily hard to hit the notes. The drums, the drums are fun and all but try not a bang on them to hard because they will break and wont respond once they are hit. 2 days after I bought the game, the green drum pad broke, but I wasn't upset. Just call them up and then will send you new ones(there is more to that but I wont go into it). But I must say if you are debating on if you should get Guitar Hero or Rock Band, spend the extra money and get Rock Band because it is a lot of fun. // 7
Rock In Rio, on july 26, 2008 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Experience: This is the game for anybody who likes music in general. Be it classic rock songs such as Blue Oyster Cults "Don't Fear The Reaper" or a metal song such as Iron Maidens "Run to the Hills". The game comes with a wireless Fender Stratocaster controller, a drum kit with four pads and a foot pedal, and one microphone with the Rock Band logo printed right on it. First off, the Strat controller comes with the standard five fret buttons low on the but there are a few differences between the buttons on the Strat and any GH controller. For instance, the buttons on the RB controller are laid down in the neck and are not resting on top of the neck. This gives it a less toylike appearance. There are also five frets on the highest parts of the neck that allow you in solos to simply tap the fret button and the note will be hit just as if you had strummed it. This feature is great for anyone Who has smaller fingers, but this could be a big problem for large fingered people. If you happen to be one of these people you will constantly be screaming $**t as you miss a note. The Strat also comes with a little toggle Switch that allows you to choose from four different sound effects. The strum paddle is not just a triangular paddle it has somewhat of a ridge on it making it easier to hold.
Now the drum pad. As I mentioned before it come with four pads and a foot pedal. As you drum out the beat to "Run to the Hills" frantically trying to get overdrive the games version of star power trying to save yourself from getting booed off stage and having to start all over, or you could try to match the insane drumming ability of Kieth Moon in "Won't Get Fooled Again". The hardest part of the drums to get the hang of is definitely the foot pedal. The drums are probably the only instrument in the game that will actually help you in real life because all of the pads represent a real life part of a drum set such as the cymbals or the snare drum. This game could actually improve your drumming ability if you play on expert. Now on to the singing portion of the game. This works pretty much the same as any karaoke revolution game. You have to sing the correct note, but instead of singing to pop or country garbage you are singing to some of the greatest songs in rock history. The game gets progressively harder as you go up in difficulty(duh) requiring you to be more and more precise as you progress. When you are belting out the lyrics to Sabbaths "Paranoid" you truly feel like a rock star. One last challenging part of the game. One of the most fun and challenging things to do in the game is play an instrument while singing. This really requires you to know the words and correct pitch to sing at. It sounds hard but if you can beat the games on singing any difficulty and beat an instrument on a difficulty then it should be no problem. // 9
Extras: I love the Strats sound effects Switch. The chance to sing and play guitar or drums is way more than could be expected from a GH game. The next gen versions of the game allow you to create your own character and go from town town playing gigs at different bars and theatres. // 9
Overall Impression: I love the accesibility of the game. Easy to get into, hard to master. My overall impression of the game is it is way better than GH. It just gives you so many different ways to Live out your rockstar dreams. One thing that may turn someone away is the price. Starting at about $170 for the PS2 version and $180 for the PS3 and XBOX 360 versions. // 9
Cladroflcopter, on july 25, 2011 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Experience: My experience with this game was pretty good. It was an amazing game when it came out, especially the use of the full band. Playing it now, I would choose Rock Band 2 over this, but The original Rock Band is still fun. I prefer 2 because depending on the system you got Rock Band 1 for, the gameplay would be completely different. Some of the differences are: 1. On the Wii, when you start the career mode, you can't create a character. 2. Some of the menus look different. And 3. You can't get DC songs on some systems. This game wasn't bad, but the detection with the drums is a lot more precise. It did have it's flaws, but this game is still amazing. // 7
Extras: There isn't much I will be able to put in this section, because it didn't really have extras. It was really just a game-only kind of game. It has the quickplay mode, the career mode, multiplayer modes, a few videos of how Harmonix got the idea to make the game, and the usual option menus. There was one cheat they put into the game, and it was to unlcok all of the songs. There aren't any game modifier cheats. For the Wii, there wasn't an online gameplay option, so if you wanted to play with other people and not by yourself, you would have to get some of your family or friends to play it with you, but there are so many people who prefer FPS (First Person Shooters) games, that it's not easy to find people who would rather play this than Call Of Duty, Medal Of Honor, and many other games. // 6
Overall Impression: My overall impression with this game was alright. I love the use of more than just a guitar kind of gameplay. It was a new game, but it wasn't as amazingly new and exciting as the Guitar Hero series were. To a lot of people, it was just another fake, plastic, music simulator. A lot of people complained about this game and would say that the people who would play these kind of games need to get a life and play a real instrument instead. It did have a lot of complaints, but a lot of people didn't realize that this game was meant for parties, a simulation of being in a band, and having fun, but mostly for bringing friends closer together. For being what it is, it's definatley worth getting, and I reccomend this game to anybody who wants to have fun, listen to some awesome music, and another excuse to play a video game. // 9