Tuesday, April 28, 2009

VIDEO GAMES: Rock Band 2 Review

*Posted October 30, 2008*

First a dose of history. The boys at Harmonix created Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero 2. Then they split from the big-wigs and partnered up with MTV. The bigwigs still owned the rights to the Guitar Hero franchise, so they hired Activision to come in and make the sequel. The result was Guitar Hero 3, and although a solid game, nothing new was brought to the table. Harmonix decided to make Rock Band, the next big leap forward (added instruments, customization(!), downloadable content). The losers at Activision realized they sucked and basically admitted defeat by copying Rock Band for their next project, Guitar Hero: World Tour. Again, nothing new brought to the table. You still play songs with a singer, drummer, and guitarist. I'm pointing this out because I want you to know how much Guitar Hero sucks now. Not one original thought amongst them. So, it was a no-brainer when I decided to buy Rock Band 2. The good news is that since I own Rock Band 1, I can reuse the old instruments and just pay $60 for the game instead of $180 for the whole package. The bad news is that Rock Band 2 also doesn't break new ground. The interface is improved, and the catalog of songs is very impressive (I know nothing about music, yet I know a lot of the songs from the 70 or so in the game). You can still jam online with people around the world or just party locally with a bunch of people in the living room. The problem with Guitar Hero is that they made it a competition. Their game modes involve lame things like flipping the frets to confuse you. It shouldn't be about solving puzzles. It should be about fake playing music, and Rock Band gets it. The best new feature is the No Fail option. It encourages people who have never played the game before to get up and give it a shot and not worry about screwing things up for anyone else. It's all about the jam. Awesome game. Go buy it now.


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