I totally love Rock Band. It’s awesome. My wife plays. My friends play. It’s crazy addictive. Gameplay is good, fun to play, etc etc. I got to play a sneak preview several months back, and it’s the only game I’ve ever pre-ordered for my Xbox 360 (for those curious, the last time I pre-ordered a game it was Ultima VI for my Commodore 64). So I like it. But as with all things I like, I have gripes.
First up, I am already a little tired of the songs available. Too much hard rock, not enough “fun” songs. I understand the game is called Rock Band, and I know that the kids today like the louder music. But it could use some more lite rock. It could use some ballads. It could use some more classic rock. Here’s some songs I’d love to get/download (incidentally, I am not trying to impress anyone with my music tastes. Don’t like? Don’t care. I do, and it’s my blog):
- anything by the Beatles or U2
- The Doors “Break on Through” (or for creepy factor, “The End”)
- Don Maclean’s “American Pie”
- Green Day’s “Time of Your Life”
- Dave Matthews Band “Crash Into Me” or “Ants Marching” (would need a violin instrument tho)
- John Mellencamp “Jack and Diane”
- some 80s music – The Reflex, Tainted Love, a little Bryan Adams, some Kenny Loggins, some Journey, Def Leppard,
My only real gameplay gripe is on the difficulty of the songs. I understand in World Tour it needs to have cascading difficulties, but I think the game is missing a true Party Mode (although this code is invaluable to unlock all the songs for fun – doesn’t count to your score). When my friends who have never played before come over we inevitably play the same first batch of songs. I’m stuck on guitar so I can revive my fallen bandmates should they fail. It’s a bit repetitive. I think a party mode that has an intro-level version of each song is essential for catching more users.
Next up is the between-game controls. Every controller is ‘live’ which means if you are picking a song while your buddy tries to explain to his wife how to use the guitar, two seconds later you are back in the main menu. Annoying! The ‘leader’ should have complete control up through the ‘select difficulty’ screen.
Lastly, the system for dealing with profiles is a mess. Playing the Band World Tour forces you to make new profiles for each person who wants to play. Playing Solo World Tour requires new characters for each instrument. So bizarre and so frustrating. My friends watched on as I created 3 profiles and (accidentally) 5 characters just to try to have the World Tour let us unlock new songs (until I discovered the above code). Really annoying.
That’s it for my complaints, ultimately it’s an awesome game (so much so that when I had problems with my Amazon pre-order, I purchased the only copy on the island of Kauai during my vacation last month). Playing live with other folks online is super-fun, and anyone who wants to jam, get in touch!