About the Game
Music. I remember the day well. One of my best mates years ago invited me to have a go of a game called Rock Band. Although I didn't know anything about it, I was very intrigued by the concept. So I went round and played, and boy did I quickly got hooked. Not long afterwards I bought the game myself and I have been rocking ever since. So here is three reasons why the Rock Band series is a classic:
Reason 1: Huge Selection of Music
Music games like Rock Band generally rely on a great soundtrack to make the game more awesome. Since the very first Rock Band, all the way up to the latest Rock Band 4, each game has awesome soundtracks. Each game has a particular “feel” to it's soundtrack. The first game focuses more on core rock and classic rock genres. Rock Band 2 features the core rock genre with more focus on metal. Rock Band 3 features the core rock, a bit of metal, but more focus on pop/rock. Finally Rock Band 4 features classic hits and lots of music from this decade. Which one of these soundtracks are your favourite all depends on what type of music you mostly like.
Harmonix are one of the pioneers of DLC. They made excellent use of the system by releasing songs weekly for over 4 years! That's over 2,500 extra songs to add to your library. Singles are available (released as singles or you can buy a few tracks off packs) and packs range anywhere from 3 tracks to a whopping 18 tracks. These packs are usually artist packs, with best of collections and even whole albums. It's astonishing what Harmonix have achieved, and they are still releasing new songs to this day too!
Reason 2: Fun instruments and gameplay
Brace yourself, here's a brief history lesson. Harmonix in 2005 created Guitar Hero, which allowed you to play as Guitar and Bass. After releasing two more games in the series, they released Rock Band in 2007 and had Drums and Vocals added, to make a total of four instruments to play. Rock Band provided the first full band experience in a video game, and arguably to this day it remains the best. This is largely down to variety of the instruments on offer.
Guitar and Bass feature your standard five lanes, five button formula that Guitar Hero fans will be familiar with. Most players play guitar, and it's not hard to see why. It's probably the easiest to get to grips with (that's if you can't sing!) and loads of songs have great guitar tracks. It's my favourite instrument to play too, especially when one of my favourite songs to play as guitar comes on the screen!
Drums is the next instrument. Either featuring four pads, or four pads and three cymbals for Pro Drums, it can be quite tricky at first to master the art of hitting the right notes and foot pedal in harmony. But when you do master this technique, you will really enjoy playing drums. It's quite a similar experience on playing an electronic drum kit, so drum away!
If you have ever played Singstar, then you will be right at home with Vocals. Sing the best you can and in the right pitch, and those points will be yours! Vocal harmonies involves two or three singers singing along to the song. Lead, duet or backup, there's a lot of possibilities, and lots of fun to be had here. Your enjoyment here all depends your natural singing “talent” and of course your familiarity with the songs.
Reason 3: It's a well-thought game
Because Rock Band doesn't have a complex story, flashy cutscenes or anything like the high end games releasing at the moment, it more relies on smart and well-thought interfaces and structure for it to shine, outside the massive song catalogue.
For starters, your band is central throughout the whole game. It doesn’t matter if you play in career mode, quick play or play a show, your band is central. This means you will spend more time customizing your band members into unique people or create copies of real-life musicians. With the awesome editing features available, it shouldn't be a problem. If you like me, you will get attached to the band you will create. Trust me!
The music library is also well designed too. It has to be, considering that some players out there have thousands of songs in their library. You can sort out songs in a few ways, so you can always find the song your looking for. This screen also shows the difficulty of all the instruments, basic song info and your previous score, all throughout going through loads of screens. It makes picking out your favourite songs really easy and quick – even more so when loading for songs takes seconds too.
So there you go. A brilliant series of games! Rock Band is simply the best rhythm game of all time. Grab all four games, export all the songs you can into Rock Band 4, buy loads of extra songs with DLC singles and packs, and you have the complete music gaming experience currently available!
My One Big Highlight
The very first song I ever played on Rock Band, was Detroit Rock City by Kiss on the first Rock Band disc. It was quite a special moment when I picked up that guitar and didn't fail out on easy! That song still remains one of my favourites to play in the whole series, and that's saying something considering I have over 600 songs in my collection!
Elephant In the Room
Rock Band 4 is missing some features from older titles. Pro Guitar and Keyboards are gone forever, and with some other modes currently missing, it does feel a little light in features compared to Rock Band 3. Apart from the formionted keyboards, most things have come back via updates, so it's not a huge problem anymore.