on November 20, 2007
When I first heard that Harmonix was creating Rock Band, I thought to myself, "Guitar Hero Remix". Until I heard about the mic and then the sweet drum set. So I was amped for this to come out. Then GH3 came out and all I could think of was "Dang...Rock Band better be awesome cause I just can not put GH3 down". Then I hit up my local Best Buy with a mock set-up of RB..and once I hit those sticks on those drum pads..I was in heaven. I was already going to buy RB, but now I HAD to have it.
I bought it the day it came out as soooon as my local Target opened up. Went straight home (with Kane & Lynch also...which at this time hasnt been played..heh) and began opening it up. After a few minutes of setting up (drums take a few parts to put together..nothing hard though..no tools), I was ready to go.
I started off with the drums (like probably most people). I'm gonna have to say..they are a lot tougher than I thought they were gonna be. I've never played drums in my life so it's gonna take a little time to get used to them. When I tried them at Best Buy...they had a demo that didnt include the base pedal. Well now I have to worry about stepping on that, while also worrying about where I'm slamming my two sticks at also. Sounds easy right? I really dont think so..least not yet..lol. By no means am I dogging this part though. I can see that this will be a lot of fun, especially when you start playing on Hard. On Easy the beats are so slow that I really do not feel like a rocker... I feel more like I'm some slow drummer in some jazz band. But I know it's like that to get people like myself accustomed to this new piece of equipment.
Secondly, I grabbed the new guitar. I put it on Medium and began playing a bunch of songs. I looovveee this guitar. The top fret buttons feel so good. One the edge of the green button and the orange button, there is a lift about half an inch high. So when you start playing on Hard or Expert and you start moving up and down the fret buttons trying to hit every button, you won't get lost cause you'll bump into those lifts. Definitely helps out. Also at the bottom you have 5 more fret buttons with the same color. Once a 'solo' appears on screen (the background will be a shade of blue) you can use these buttons and not even have to strum. Just hit the buttons once the button appears on the line. So much fun and you feel like even more of a rocker. The selector on the guitar has a bunch of sound effects that you can do on the fly. Pretty cool I guess, but I swear I cant hear a difference. Not saying it's not there, but I just havent heard the difference yet. The ONLY gripe I have about the guitar is the Whammy Bar. Its so dang long and almost gets in the way of my strummer. It looks very good, but I'm just not diggin it. It's not crazy bad where you would hate the guitar, but I would have liked it just a bit shorter. One last thing about the guitar. My roommate is insanely good at Guitar Hero and he is in absolute love with this new guitar and the new way it plays out on Rock Band. He doesnt even want to look at the GH guitars anymore..lol. He has issues with the whammy also though.
The Mic is next. I've never played a karaoke game before on any system. I never really cared for it (even though I do like Karaoke sometimes...when I'm drinking). I also didnt really know how it worked. Well before I stopped playing RB for a while, I decided to try it out. HOOKED. Seriously hooked on this part of the game right now. I was laughing at first while singing cause it was just funny to me, but then I really started getting into it. Then my roommate wanted to join in with the guitar. So we picked Creep and aced the crap out of it. Next thing you know we had Mississippi Queen playing and then I'm standing up and just rockin the mic. Right then I could just TELL this was going to be a very fun party game. I'm getting off track here. Ok, back on. When you sing you have to keep the pitch or tone of your voice on track with the line that shows on the screen. There is an arrow that will let you know if you are to high or to low. When it's time for your 'energy' meter (star power), you can just make any noise or statement you want to to activate it. I just usually hold out the note of the last word longer than usual to activate it...or scream ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?! (cause it always gets a laugh..lol). The only thing I dont care for is that you have to tap the mic on certain parts to make a tambourine sound or a cow bell sound. It's not bad if you are JUST singing, but I can see how that would be crap if you were playing a guitar or drum also. It doesnt HURT you if you miss those beats, but you dont get extra points. So far I love the mic, but probably cause I've never played those Karaoke games before like I said.
Although the 360 version isnt wireless cause of Microsofts greedy self (they use a proprietary wireless that they charge companies to use and Harmonix didnt want to pay for it so they could keep the PS3 and the 360 versions the same price), it's not TOOOO bad. The wires are a lot longer than the GH guitar wires. Plus the 4 port USB that comes with the game is a godsend for this game (make sure you have one more outlet for the USB plug). Hopefully they'll make some wireless stuff later.
When you start your career, you'll get to start customizing your guy or gal you want to use. Lot of different things you can do also...I was very surprised. If you ever played any of the Def Jam fighting games, then you might think back to those games like I did. Faces, Rock Styles (fighting styles on Def Jam), Hair, Height, Color, Rings, Bracelets, Pants, Shoes, Shirts, Tattoos. It's crazy. Lots of items to choose from the start and more and more as you get farther into the game. I unlocked 5 things in 5 songs I believe. I cant talk much about career mode since I stopped after my first 5 songs since I had to get ready for work. What I played though was really fun and what I've read and seen on videos (mainly from the rockbands website) its seems like it's going to be a blast.
I still love Guitar Hero. 1, 2 and 3. Not 80's, but whatever. I'm still gonna play them because of certain songs. But I think Rock Band has become my new favorite. Especially since once in a while, we have a good group of people show up to just drink and play GH. I think Rock Band is gonna replace that thanks to the 4 player support, GREAT song list, and more than just a guitar or two to play with. Actually I know it is..lol.
While you are reading this... I'm pretty sure I'm playing Rock Band. =D
***UPDATE for 22 Nov 07.***
2 more gripes about this game.
1. Harmonix seemed to use a LOT of constant repetitious notes..for example..you have to hit the blue button say...6 times in a row..then the red..6 times in a row..then back to blue..6 times in a row...then yellow..six times in a row...and on and on. I dont mind this on some songs...but I'm just saying they used it a lot this time around. Even my roommate was getting aggravated with it.
2. I believe my guitar is starting to act up like others that I have read. My strum bar after only a day is getting less responsive on the down strokes. I'm missing notes for no reason. I started using the up stroke instead and now I'm hitting ever note. I'm gonna send a request for a new guitar soon. Usually I'm not a victim of the faulty hardware that many people come across (I've never even seen a red ring of death in person on the 360...knock on wood), but this time I think I am. *sigh*
Cool stuff I like though since I first posted.
1. I figured out how to use the Guitar sound effects switch. Gotta be using star power (energy..whatever). Very fun!
2. Love how the star power adds up even while you are using it. Huge improvement over GH's.
Thats it for now.
LOVE this game...really I do. Just wish the guitar didnt start messing up. =(
***UPDATE for 23 Nov 07.***
2 really cool new things I like.
1. I REALLY love how when you are doing good during a song...the crowd starts to sing along with the song. WOW! That made me feel more like I was there than GH ever did. Very cool feature.
2. During Thanksgiving...I took my game over to a friends house. We had enough people to put a 4 player group together. Talk about A LOT of fun. 2 people never even touched GH before. Yet they had a blast playing all three instruments. The one girl I was playing with who I would have thought would've been on the mic more since she likes karaoke STOLE the drum set almost the whole time..she loved it. It was a lot of fun watching her beat the crap out of the set..lol. I was on mic most of the time since most were scared of it. Sometimes other people took the mic over, and even though they were sometimes bad..it was never embarrassing. Most of the time the other people were to engaged into their own playing or either it was so bad that it wasnt embarrassing, but just down right funny.
I had way to much fun with that game this Thanksgiving. Like I said way earlier..I knew this would be a great party game. We didnt even think about putting GH in.