For those unfamiliar with developer Harmonix, they are the development team behind Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero II, but less recently Amplitude and Frequency. With a pedigree for music and rhythm titles, Harmonix went to publisher Electronic Arts with a new way to bring the music experience home. The game would ship with (almost) everything you need to form your own band featuring drums, bass, lead guitar, and a singer
The comparisons between Rock Band and Guitar Hero are inevitable, so let
Again, the comparisons to Guitar Hero are pretty natural, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the Fender Stratocaster that ships with Rock Band. The Fender that ships with Rock Band has a slightly larger body with a longer neck, very similar to the real thing. The fret buttons are no longer colored on the face, instead putting small color strips on the top and bottom where only the player can see it. The buttons are pushed together like the frets of a real guitar and sit flush against the neck. Sliding down to the bottom of the neck there is a set of buttons that are slightly smaller that can be used for solos On the body is an effects switch that allows you to change between several sound types for your whammies including Wah-Wah, Flange, Echo, Chorus, or off which just whammies as normal. Moving to the center of the guitar body, the new strum bar is now completely silent. All of these changes make for a very different feeling guitar. During the party and at various other points that friends picked up the guitar they all commented that the guitar felt simultaneously better and worse. They all agreed that the look was unbeatable, closely approximating a real Stratocaster. They also stated that they felt that they missed the obnoxious clicking sound from their other guitars. In my personal experience I found that the guitar was no better and no worse than the Explorer Axe
Fun. It is the one word that I work very hard to avoid in any of my reviews. Fun is not quantifiable. Fun is not measurable. Fun can
While some may say that Rock Band is a little bit light on the number of songs, there is no doubt that Harmonix has a good path started with their downloadable content packs. That said, the amount of content present on the disc was enough to keep the party going non-stop for 10 hours straight with a second party already planned very soon.
There are a few things about Rock Band that do have me scratching my head. For reasons unknown, Rock Band doesn