Rock Band Review | XBOX 360, Reviews | LITHCast

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Rock Band Review

By Leslie Kivett


Game: Rock Band.
Console: Xbox 360
Developer: EA, Harmonix, MTV games.
ESRB: T for Teen.

Since there really is no story here, ill jump right in to something else. The first thing I want to mention is the fact the characters in Rock Band seem real. They jump around the the rhythm of the song and actually play the notes you are hitting as well. They are also completely customizable. This is a big thing, because in the Guitar Hero series, the characters are pre selected for you with 2 or three different outfits, and they move as if they were robots. Its good to see a drummer that actually hits the symbols with the music and not just at random. Also the singer is a great improvement from the Guitar Hero series, he doesn't just stand there like a doofus. It sings the song like it was real and jumps around to the music. Now you may be thinking that I'm bashing the Guitar Hero series, and that the reason the other musicians in the guitar hero band are not as detailed is because the games name is Guitar Hero and mainly focuses on the guitarist, but it would have been nice of those guys behind Guitar Hero to put a tiny bit of effort into the surroundings.


Section 2.A: Guitar.
The Guitar mode plays just like the guitar hero series, only better. Yes, you do hit note after note using the clever fret buttons, however there are few new features included in this mode. For example, the bottom frets. They are located on the on the bottom half of the guitar. During solos (which are designated by the note stream turning blue) you need not strum if you are playing with the bottom frets. Simply press the fret to hit the note. Another cool thing about this guitar is that looks like a real guitar. Nice color, and the frets are painted to look like an actual guitar. The colors can be found on the side of the fret buttons. Also, not only is the middle fret designated with a texture, but both end buttons can be told apart with individual textures as well.

Section 2.B: Drums.
Drums in my opinion are the most fun you can have on this game. There are 4 pads that you can hit with the included drumsticks that each give off a different sound. Also, there is a base pedal for the base drum. Each time you must hit the base pedal, it is signified with a gold bar across the stream instead of another colored note. There is also a solo drums tour as well as multiplayer capabilities. You don't even have to hit the drums with any force, simply tap them and you got it. However, when you get to the harder modes then you will want to hit them harder and faster. Which is a good thing, they can take a beating.

Section 2.C: The Mic.
The Mic is the one instrument that if you are playing multiplayer, people will give up their turns so they don't have to use it. Not to say its not any good, but most people just don't have singing voices. Even if you are not interested in exposing your family to your singing voice, you should still try it. Its good fun at parties, and just to do alone. Eventually, you will learn that you don't have to sing at all. Simply get the pitches of the song. For high notes simply scream into the mic. For lows, just kinda growl in to it. Its not hard, but most people are against singing in public. But I will tell you now, there is nothing like seeing your friends scream their brains into a toy mic.

Section 2.D: Multiplayer.
If you have but one instrument to use, but want to play multiplayer, no problem, hop online in score battle, band play, or Tug of war (which is where a bar across the tops goes toward either player depending on how well they are doing. However, if you have friends that live nearby and have Rock Band, you are in for a treat. You can play Band World Tour. Where you form a band and try to reach the top in score and skill. Good luck, cause there are some good bands out there. Also, there are lots of achivements only available in World Tour.


The way they portray the world of Rock and Roll in Rock Band is a it cartoony but sure works out. Its like a combination of The Sims (how surprising), Wind Waker, and Guitar Hero only with Xbox 360 ranking graphics. It looks very nice. Also, the various camera angles really show the detail (THANK YOU EA!) in the guitar and stage. And then in certain songs, the camera will go wompy and create an inverted color scheme that flows seamlessly into the game.


In my opinion, the song list in Rock Band, absolutely destroys that of Guitar Hero. With songs like "Highway Star" By Deep Purple, "Do you wanna be my girl" By Jet and "Ballroom Blitz" by Sweet, Guitar Hero shrivels up. Also, with a range of awesome downloadable songs that mix perfectly with the standard ones and a few ones that break the chain its an all around fun time for any person who loves any genre of music.

Overall, Rock Band is a great party game and deserves a permanent place in your game library. Weather your playing by yourself or in a group, you will have a great time. With only a few minor set backs (no base guitar tour.) and just a few songs that no one wants to play, its a good buy. Now if only they got Through the Fire and Flames on it. I give Rock Band a 9 out of 10.