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    ajlouie's Rock Band (360)

    [January 14, 2008 11:19:28 PM]
    GAMEPLAY #2

    Playing on the expert difficulty provides an exceptional challenge, and really makes it feel like the real thing. Because in truth, the player is actually playing as many notes as the real musician, the difference being it is on a toy guitar with five buttons. What I really like is that fact that it gives the illusion of being a musician without the horrid intonation and bloody callouses that have yet to develop on the fingertips.

    The aspect of teamwork is what really separates "Rockband" from "Guitar Hero". Since everyone is playing as a band, the players, although they may be playing on different difficulties, must all perform at a certain level of proficiency. If one drops out by failing, everyone starts to fail until he or she is brought back through the use of overdrive. This process can only be used three times on each player.

    Activating overdrive ("Rockband's" version of starpower) is a fun concept of "Rockband". It is activated by mimicing a rockstar's movements and actions. For example, the guitar's overdrive is used by tilting the guitar at a ninety degree angle while the singers overdrive is activated by singing or saying anything in a glowing section of the song. It is used for two things which really make everyone playing work together. It can multiply the total score income by x2 for each person who has it activated (up to a total of x8) or it can be used to "ressurect" someone who has failed out. My housemates and I ended up using this a lot for people in the "band" who insisted on playing on the "expert" level.

    DESIGN

    I thought the song choices were well thought out starting with easy-to-play ones like "Here it Goes Again" to Metallica's "Enter the Sandman". My only complaint is the lack of song options, but that is an easy fix given the use of the internet. New songs are available for download practically every day. The background is also really interesting to watch although it's hard to focus on playing too.

    Even though the graphics weren't the same caliber as "Halo 3" or "Gears of War", it was realistic enough to provide eye candy away from just the "notes". It was nice to hear the "crowd" cheer when my band played well, and inspirational to hear them boo us. It all adds to the feeling of playing music in front of a live audience.

    The beauty of "Rockband" is simply it's simplistic but ingenious design. There are only five buttons, but it does an excellent job of imitating the five strings, spree of frets, and limitless impossibilities on a real guitar. The drums are simply drums. Drummers say that if you can play expert on "Rockband" you probably have the coordination to play real drums, although there probably is the problem of knowing which color applies to the various parts of the drums et. But even the complexity of drums is narrowed down to the simplistic learning curve involving colors. It really involves everyone, musicians and non musicians, in a group effort to "play" music together without the use of a music teacher and diligent practice. With a little bit of getting used to the concept, everyone can be a rockstar!

    This entry has been edited 2 times. It was last edited on Jan 14th, 2008 at 23:34:35.


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    [January 14, 2008 10:33:57 PM]
    SUMMARY

    In the rhythm game Rockband, the player is given one of the various game controllers acting as instruments: guitar, drums, or a microphone; and is then challenged with the task of "performing" the song according to directions notated on the screen. The player then chooses a song from a list(generally the songs are pretty popular amongst the modern society) and plays the song tapping the correct colored buttons in rhythm to the colors shown on the screen. The user is then "graded" by his or her performance based on how many "notes" were played correctly.

    GAMEPLAY

    The phenomenon of rhythm games has taken the world by storm since "Dance Dance Revolution" hit the arcades. Then "Guitar Hero" was released and became one of the most popular rhythm games to this day. Recently, the rhythm game "Rock Band" was released and added to the simple but ingenious concept of interactive rock guitar in video games by adding bass, drums and vocals as well, all playable simultaneously, as if the participants really had a band in their living room. For those of you who do not know how the game works, the objective is to hit, strum of sing as many notes accurately notated by colors falling from the top of the screen. There are five colors acting as buttons on each of the instruments: green, red, yellow, blue and orange. Instead of having A, B, X, Y, etc. on a controller, you have these colors as substitution in order to make the game work. In the actual game, these five colors, in that order, are positioned at the bottom of the screen acting as beacons that light up when pushed down on the appropriate instrument. As the song plays, the different colors fall from the top of the screen at whatever tempo the song is, and the player's job is to push down and strum (or strike) the corresponding color (acting as a music note) when it is in line with the beacons at the bottom of the screen. If a note is missed, the song playing is interrupted by a "wrong note sound", meant to give the player the impression that you are actually playing the song. The vocals is a much simpler concept, and it is very similar to a karaoke machine. The only difference is that it grades the player's singing by a "pitch meter" that is notated by a line and an arrow. The arrow is the player's current pitch, while the line is the correct pitch. The object is to get the arrow lined up as close as possible to the pitch line.

    I especially liked the gameplay of Rockband. The designers really did a good job of adding that sense of accomplishment to the completion of a song. It gave me the feeling that I was really playing a guitar, drum or singing in a professional group, and the music that I was making was genuinely "rock" material. I am currently a music major as a trumpet player in UCSC, and it was great to capture the essence of playing a guitar without the steep learning curve. Virtually anyone can pick of a Rockband instrument and pass a song playing on the easiest difficulty, and it still provides the feeling of genuine accomplishment. I've seen it in the eyes of our neighbors who consitently come over to play

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 14th, 2008 at 23:33:06.


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    Status

    ajlouie's Rock Band (360)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 14 January, 2008

    GameLog closed on: Monday 14 January, 2008

    Opinion
    ajlouie's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

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    See info on Rock Band

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