Rock Band 2; The Show Must Go On
As children, we all dream of becoming a rockstar. We want to play the guitar like Jimi Hendrix or beat our drums like Ringo Starr. We can now live out those dreams in the comforts of our own home. There is now the option of choosing which band we want to be a part of, Rock Band 2 or Guitar Hero: World Tour. Can the sequel live up to its predecessor or is there going to be a new band in town? Only one way to find out…
The controls remain practically the same as its predecessor with the exception of the drums which have received a bit of an upgrade. They have become sturdier and are much quieter while playing. The kick pedal is reinforced with a metal plate so there are no worries if you have a powerful foot. The included guitar/bass has an extra set of frets for those of you who want an extra something during solos. These frets don’t require you to strum the guitar but only work during solo sections of a song. The strum bar is a little weak though. There is little feedback when you strum the notes, resulting in more forceful strums. Nothing really needs to be said about the mic; we all know how one works. It is very responsive works just as expected so if you can’t sing, then I suggest playing another instrument unless you want to hear how off key you sound.
There is plenty to accomplish in Rock Band 2. What will probably take up most of your time is the World Tour mode. Here, you will create your own band and play gigs, gaining popularity through cash, fans, and stars. The better your band performs, the more cash and fans you receive, eventually becoming a world wide sensation. You can change outfits in the Rock Store or hire a staff to aid you. Play solo or with a group of friends; it’s all up to how you want to manage your band. The songs can be repetitive as gain fans and stars to unlock more venues. If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge into the tour, then there are plenty of Quickplay options available. There are both Solo and Band Quickplays for those who simply want to pick a song and play and then there are Tug of War and Score duel in which you challenge an opponent either locally or online. If all of this is too easy for you, then take on the entire world in Battle of the Bands. This is a cool feature where the stage is set and bands compete for the top score. Another new feature is Tour Challenges where there is a specific goal in mind when playing.
Rock Band 2 builds on what Rock Band created. It features more songs and a wide variety of options. You can even import songs from the original Rock Band if you wish. The best thing about the game is its ability to just pick up and play. Music enthusiasts will want to get their hands on it but so will people who have never played a guitar before, or drummed, or sung. It is the perfect party game. And hey, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to party then that’s okay, you can always go online and rock out with others. If you ever get tired of the 100+ songs available then you can download more. It’s a game that will continue to evolve and get better.
I would have liked to seen some sort of count down or something when you unpause in the middle of a song rather than jumping straight into it. Also, say you are in Tour mode and are trying to get back to the main menu. It’s going to take a lot of button presses before you get there. Not that big a deal, I know, it was just something I noticed. The game is easy to learn but difficult to master. Playing Expert on any instrument is something I have yet to grasp but thankfully there are plenty of difficulties for all the novices out there.
Rock Band 2 is fun for everyone. Even just watching is enjoyable as you get to listen to some great hits, that is, if the people you’re watching do well. The holidays are just around the corner and if you’re still looking for that gift for the gamer in the family, Rock Band 2 can be it.