|System: PS3, X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Harmonix||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: MTV Games, EA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 20, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
May 14, 2007 - One of the biggest buzz-getters so far this year has to be the much anticipated joint venture between the creators of Guitar Hero, Harmonix, and MTV games. There are many who say that this game will be the future of music-based games. But what's all the fuss about?
First of all, Rock Band looks to offer a previously unparalleled level of interactivity with the songs you perform. You will no longer be regulated to just singing a part or playing a guitar; with this game, you'll be able to play any part, be it bass, drum, vocals, or guitar. You'll have the option of fostering and developing your talent with just one instrument, or you can try your hand at them all! Now I know what your thinking: what kind of peripherals does this mean I need? Well, unfortunately, there will be quite a few you'll need. But the good thing is that they'll more than likely be sold in a bundle. Also, if you don't want to suffer the cost all at once, Harmonix has confirmed that the X-plorer control from the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero will be compatible with Rock Band. No word on if any microphone peripherals from other games will also be compatible with the game.
Now that you know the different parts you can play and the equipment you'll need, what can you do with it? Well, of course, you can play music by yourself, but what fun is that? The online support is where the most exciting possibility for this game lies. Rock Band will be giving gamers a unique opportunity to connect with other gamers from around the world to create their own four-person rock band to jam online. There will even be support for camera peripherals so you can see each other while you're rocking out.
And once you're done with your online jam session, you can take your band to an online battle of the bands. Although it's not quite certain how the visuals will work, and whether you'll be able to see your competition as well as your band-mates (can you imagine a screen split eight ways?) But, nevertheless, the idea is to connect live with people around the world and showcase your band's skillz in an online forum. One might say that this type of communication really helps bridge the gap between gamers and creates a really special type of relationship between them. This is a sort of proactive gameplay that online facilitation can create.
Of course, if you want your band to stay more local, there will be a party mode where you can invite friends over to your place, plug in your respective instruments, and rock the night into the early morning. And who said gamers weren't social? This game will do for the musical genre what Mario Party did for mini-games. It'll be the life of the party!
Another very cool and new thing about Rock Band is that the backing tracks will be original artists. No more obscure singers humming along to classics like on Guitar Hero or Dance Dance Revolution; now you'll get the real thing! And this is all thanks to MTV signing on and lending their tremendous influence in the music world. If the record companies didn't want to work with the gaming community before, hopefully the success of this game will encourage more cooperation between the two entertainment sectors.
As of right now, virtually nothing is known about what the game will look like, or even what songs will be featured in the game. Both Harmonix and the publishers have been keeping a very tight lip about any specific details regarding these two issues, but hopefully they'll deliver a beautiful game with an amazing soundtrack with something in it for everyone!
Rock Band, is truly going to be a trailblazer in the musical gaming genre. Not only does it allow you to play one of four instruments, but the online capabilities are just amazing. You'll be networking and playing music via your console with your band-mates from around the world. And that's something that I don't think anyone would have imagined could be possible with a game system. But it's simply amazing, and I'm so excited not only for this game, but for what else lies ahead in the future of gaming. If we keep making these types of leaps and bounds, who knows what's possible?
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer