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Rock Band 2 Review
publisher: MTV Games
developer: Harmonix Music
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Sep 14, 08 (released)
|» All About Rock Band 2 on ActionTrip|
When Harmonix released the original Rock Band less than a year ago it brought a wealth of new features to fans of rhythm games. The ability to sing, play guitar, bass or drums with up to four people at a time added new depth and a level of complexity that veteran rhythm game fans had been longing for. With Rock Band 2's release for the Xbox 360 so soon after the original, it's natural for people to suspect that what we have been given is an add-on disc and not a true sequel. Fans need to know if what they getting with Rock Band 2 is just a new set of songs with some minor feature tweaks or is it what it claims to be: a worthy successor to the original game with new material, better gameplay and of course, more new songs. So what is it? Add-on or sequel? Depending on who you ask, the answer to this question is both, yes and no.
"Strangers in the night..."
Reminds me of Arkanoid.
In order for a sequel to be successful, a developer has to walk a fine line of adding new features and tweaking what needs to be fixed without smothering what made the original so popular. With Rock Band 2, Harmonix kept what worked from the original game: You can still customize your rocker by purchasing clothes, tattoos, hairstyles and accessories but don't expect any major innovations here, as all of the new additions are only in the window dressing; that is you can't change the physical attributes of your character, just the paper doll like attachments. You can still choose to tackle the game on your own as a singer or using any of the instruments or play with up to 3 of your friends in the World Tour. If you don't have any friends (Stop looking at me!) you can go online and play with others, which is a nice new addition. Playing the songs well still gets you points, money and fans which unlocks new venues with new songs to play.
Getting players into a band is smoother this time around as it is much easier adding people to your group and you can even change your band role if you like. Also players of different skill levels will be happy to hear that you can enable a 'No Fail' mode if you have someone who keeps ruining your rock and roll fantasy. Another change to keep the fun coming is that you will keep gaining fans and points even if you stay at the same difficulty setting. In the first game, you had to increase your difficulty level in order to gain the fans needed to unlock new venues. Now you can keep rocking on Medium and still gain those new unlockable venues and songs, just at a much slower rate than if you were playing on Hard or Expert.
Drums were in my opinion, the most difficult instrument to play the first time around most likely due to the fact that I have the coordination of a slug on horse tranquilizers. I must not be the only one who sucks at playing drums because a trainer has been added. This feature will help 'teach' you how to at least look like you know what you are doing and not instead, look like you are having a seizure. That being said your best bet is to learn the basics using the trainer and then spend the bulk of your time playing the actual songs for maximum effectiveness. As the old adage goes: "Practice makes perfect."
8.9 Very Good
More songs, easier to get multiple players on the same system into the game, easier to switch to another band spot, no fail mode helps avoid a murder when playing with noobs;
Not much else new for a sequel, license fee of $5 to access songs from the first game, can't modify the base character models any more than you could in the first game.