Rock Band 2 Review

artist: Music Simulator date: 07/30/2010 category: games

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Music Simulator: Rock Band 2
Released: September 14, 2008
Format: Xbox (with upcoming PlayStation releases)
While there aren't any dramatic changes in Rock Band 2, it can still be considered the ultimate party game.
 Experience: 7.7
 Extras: 8.7
 Overall Impression: 8.3
 Overall rating:
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reviews (3) 129 comments vote for this game:
overall: 8.7
Rock Band 2 Reviewed by: UG Team, on october 17, 2008
20 of 21 people found this review helpful

Experience: When the original Rock Band hit the shelves back in 2007, it was hard to deny that it had raised the bar in terms of music video games. While Guitar Hero was still ultimately for all of the wanna-be guitarists out there (or more aptly, people who just love riffs), the multi-player aspect of Rock Band has made the latter an instant party game. You might not be able to navigate the five multi-colored buttons on the guitar controller, but damn it, there was a good chance you had rhythm or could carry a tune. That made the release of Rock Band 2 a highly anticipated event, even if there weren't any keyboards introduced in the latest version. If you enjoyed the first edition of Rock Band, then the latest version certainly makes for a nice extension. There have been tweaks made here and there to the original controllers, with the most notable improvements made to the drum kit. In the initial series, it was often difficult to hear the song over the loud bangs against the mini-drum kit and that issue has been addressed. The drums pads are significantly softer (and quieter), and the bass pedal has a firmer construction. It also appears that the drum kits will eventually have places where cymbals (limited edition Premium Drum Kits with such features should be available in the future) can be inserted into the drum kits. All of the updates have made many Rock Band 2 players Who fancy themselves drum pros happy campers. It will take a bit of time to unlock all of the songs as usual, but Rock Band 2 does allow you to quickly transfer over all of the songs appearing in the original Rock Band. It adds up to a pretty monstrous list of songs, which can easily be navigated through various search options (ie decade, genre, etc). There aren't quite as many as the traditional classic tracks you might expect to hear on, say, Guitar Hero. I personally was expecting more riff-driven songs across the board, but a wise friend did advise me that certain songs are geared more for the singers or drummers in the game. In fact, when you are going through the song list, each track will show just how hard or easy (on a scale of 1 to 5) that the song is for the vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. It should also be mentioned that Rock Band 2 includes, cue dramatic music, the new Guns N' Roses track Shackler's Revenge. The newest guitar released is a gorgeous little controller, modeled after a Fender Stratocaster. I was excited to get started playing on it, but it seems the beauty may need to time to be broken in. It's likely that each controller has different sensitivity levels, but all I know is that I had to press quite hard on the 5 buttons in order for the notes to register. To make a long story short, I went back to using my controller from the original version. It's a shame because the latest controller is visually a stunner. In some ways Rock Band 2 followed in the footsteps of Guitar Hero 3, with the addition of a battle element as one specific example. Whereas in GH you might battle the devil, Rock Band 2 allows you to battle various bands registered users of Xbox. You might have a set of 3 songs titled History of Metal, and the better you get, the tougher your competition will be. There is some pretty stiff (and 99-100 percent accurate) competition out there, by the way. You'll also have a straightforward challenge option where you are basically playing to improve your own skills and unlock other challenges. If you find it more fulfilling to beat your fellow Rock Band 2 players across the country, definitely choose the Battle of the Bands. // 8

Extras: The graphics have been definitely been improved, although you might not notice right off the bat. Take the time to look at the animated band playing as your buddy has his or her turn, and you'll notice that your characters have some pretty specific choreography to go along with the song selected. Some artsier, music video-like elements have been added into the animation as well, and the graphic area tends to be one of the strongest aspects of Rock Band 2. // 10

Overall Impression: Rock Band 2 still has plenty going for it, even though the initial novelty may have worn off on some people. There have been quite a few improvements made to the drum set and overall navigation of the game itself, and that means a lot less frustration during the songs. While the new guitar controller is amazing to look at, it might need some time before the buttons are able to be fully worked in. Again, this might just be an issue for specific guitars, so there very well could be controllers out there that are problem-free. In the end, the game manages to cover a lot of bases musically (you get everything from emo to metal to grunge), and if anything, that will allow it to connect with a wider variety of music lovers. // 8

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overall: 6
Rock Band 2 Reviewed by: vacant101, on january 28, 2009
2 of 14 people found this review helpful

Experience: Not good. Definitely worse than Rock Band, the songs being somewhat not as good as the first one. I recently played Guitar Hero World Tour and loved it. It was challenging on harder difficulties but Rock Band 2 on some songs was too easy and also, I don't like the way they've set the career out. It's now in venues and gigs which means that in order to pass a gig, you have to finish all the songs in that gig before you can move on. Rock Band 2 takes too long to finish and I'm actually still completing it now. You have to replay songs over and over and over again, which is really boring, seeming as the setlists are sometimes 4 or 5 songs each, of which the songs are a mystery. On Guitar Hero World Tour, you play each song once and once only, but in Rock Band 2, you're constantly playing the same songs. After a while (I've found myself actually doing this) you find yourself rolling your eyes every time you see the song title. Absolutely no replay value what'soever. // 5

Extras: The extras are fun to mess around with however. A no fail cheat is available, which is really tempting, but that's not how you're supposed to play the game, you're supposed to fail and get slightly frustrated. It also disables saving and achievements. There's also a speed modifier where you can play it super fast, but really there's no point. Is it just me, or have they rushed this game? // 6

Overall Impression: I love some of the songs but as I said, after playing them ten times over and over, it gets annoying. All that I hate about it has already been said really. I will look forward to Rock Band 3 if that comes out and hope they do a better job with that than they did Rock Band 2. There is supposed to be a Beatles based Rock Band also appearing but I'm not really a massive fan, so I think I'll give that one a miss. // 7

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overall: 10
Rock Band 2 Reviewed by: Cladroflcopter, on july 30, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Experience: My experience with this game is amazing. It is an awesome game. I have known about Guitar Hero When it first came out and I loved it. Through the years Guitar Hero was loosing it's popularity. Rock Band came out and stole the spotlight. Haha. Rock Band is an amazing game and I would recommend it to any one who loves music and/or games. // 10

Extras: Rock Band has four instruments. Guitar, singing, bass, and drums. If you look at a lot of reviews on Rock Band they say " I broke my foot pedal for the drums playing expert." haha. What they don't know is that it's the pressure you put on it, so it doesn't matter what difficulty you're on. It has so many bands ranging from Red hot chili peppers to Judas Priest. It has 84 songs and more from the downloadable content. // 10

Overall Impression: I love that it has so many bands and songs. What I hate about it is that finding a person online can take FOREVER. I love the drums more than any instrument on the game. I have almost every type of drum in the game. I got to the 54th song on the endless set list, which is a set list that makes you play every song on the disc (not downloadable content.) the guitar is really fun because of the solos on the game. The bass is fun because of the score multiplier on it. Singing is fun because you feel open, I guess is what you would call it. I recommend this game to anybody who loves music like I do.thank you for reading my review. // 10

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