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Rock Band

MobyRank MobyScore
PlayStation 2
84
3.2
Wii
83
2.5
PlayStation 3
92
3.8
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Description

Rock Band, by the original developers behind the Guitar Hero games, takes the concept a step further. Instead of solely playing the guitar along with songs, this game allows players to start a full virtual band with up to four players, with different sequences for each of the three supported peripherals: guitar (electric and bass), drum and microphone. Gameplay is based on hitting scrolling notes on the screen in time (scrolling vertically for drum and guitar), and getting the right pitch for the vocals (scrolling horizontally at the top of the screen, along with the lyrics).

The game offers a Solo Tour Mode for a single player or a Band World Tour (as well as Quick Play) for two to four players. By doing well players earn cash to customize the characters in the Rock Shop, with tattoos, face paint, clothing and logos. Customized characters are automatically locked to an instrument. Other customizations include movements on stage, instruments, and the general physique and appearance in the game. To succeed, players need to reach a set score through their combined performances. Multipliers for playing perfectly are tracked for the individual instruments and there can also be separate difficulty levels. The Star Power from the Guitar Hero series has been replaced by Overdrive, a meter filled by not making any mistakes in certain sections of a song. In band play using Overdrive also increases the band's score multiplier.

Players who fail during the song are locked out and the audio mix takes over. Other band members can revive the player by using their Overdrive. Failed players will however drag down the band's overall performance, so it becomes important to bring back band members. Next to the Overdrive sections, there are also Union Phrases (score bonus and extra Overdrive) and sometimes Big Rock Endings at the end of a song where another bonus can be gained.

In the Tour Mode players visit 41 venues in seventeen different cities. After the initial venues, others need a certain numbers of fans to be unlocked and certain continents only become available when tour buses or private jets are acquired. Not every venue comes with a set list of tracks. They consists of single tracks, multiple tracks, custom setlists or mystery setlists. Performing poorly can also have the band lose fans. Extra competition is included to attract managers, roadies and deals with record labels.

Next to the main modes there is also a versus mode for the individual instruments (Tug of War), Score Duel (get the most points) and a Tutorial mode. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions feature multiplayer games with new songs through downloadable content.

The European version is not sold as a single package. Instead, there is an instruments package and the game is sold separately, for a much higher price than the original US release.

Screenshots

Rock Band Xbox 360 Overdrive active, boosting our score multiplier.
Rock Band Xbox 360 Gameplay is, well, identical to Guitar Hero.
Rock Band Xbox 360 Main menu
Rock Band Xbox 360 Tutorials teach new players the basics.

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

The Best Party Game on the Market Xbox 360 Brandon Tabbert (19)
Fantastic Music Game, Fantastic Party Game PlayStation 3 Tom Cross (31)

The Press Says

Game industry News (GiN) Xbox 360 Dec 04, 2007 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Planet Xbox 360 Xbox 360 Nov 28, 2007 9.5 out of 10 95
TeamXbox Xbox 360 Nov 20, 2007 9.2 out of 10 92
Game Freaks 365 PlayStation 3 2007 9.2 out of 10 92
Realm of Gaming Xbox 360 Aug 16, 2008 9.1 out of 10 91
Defunct Games Xbox 360 Dec 10, 2007 91 out of 100 91
Hooked Gamers Xbox 360 Nov 23, 2007 9 out of 10 90
GameDaily PlayStation 3 Nov 21, 2007 9 out of 10 90
DreamStation.cc Xbox 360 Mar 13, 2008 9 out of 10 90
Boomtown Xbox 360 May 28, 2008 8 out of 10 80

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Trivia

Controversy

The game was much more expensive in Europe than in the US. The US bundle (game, drum kit, microphone and guitar) retailed at $169.99. In Europe, no single bundle was available. The game was sold separately from the instruments. The instrument pack identical to the US one (safe for the game) cost £129.99/€169.99 ($256/$267). The peripherals were also sold separately. The game itself cost £49.99/€69.99 ($98/$110). That way, a full European bundle could be priced up to $377 based on the suggested retail price, or more than twice (!) the US price.

There was a consumers backlash on the internet and European online retailers such as Play.com immediately knocked off $100.

In September 2008 an official price cut was announced for the instruments edition, bringing the suggested retail price to €140 in mainland and £110 in UK ($198/$192), still not as much as Play.com immediately deducted at the launch.

References to the game

Rock Band was mentioned in the 2008 movie Eagle Eye. -Spoiler Alert- It was given as a gift to the son of the main female character, Sam Holloman (Cameron Boyce), by the main character, Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf), for his birthday at the end of the movie.

Sales

On 18th January 2007 MTV Games announced to have sold 2.5 million downloable music tracks in eight weeks, in the US.

Awards

  • GameSpy
    • 2007 – #5 Game of the Year
    • 2007 – #5 Console Game of the Year
    • 2007 – #3 Multiplayer Game of the Year
    • 2007 – Game that Makes Us Want to Treat Our Guitar Like The Who Award
Information also contributed by beetle120

Related Web Sites

Contributed to by Sciere (243642) and Ben K (23018)