Review: Rock Band 2

10 11 2008
RB2 screenshot

RB2 screenshot












I’ve been a fan of Guitar Hero since the beginning, and while yes, I am a grown male, in his 30s, I also recognize that I have been a fan of the rythym game genre since Dance Dance Revolution.  However, while the original Guitar Hero seemed to forge new ground in terms of immersion and fun gameplay, the sequels seemed to continue down the road of “been there, done that” territory.  

So it was with much excitement that the first Rock Band was announced, and I can say that without a doubt, the first Rock Band title brought back a lot of that excitement and fun gameplay.  The addition of the drum kit and microphone made the game that much more fun and lended itself to more of a “party” atmosphere than Guitar Hero’s single experience.  In fact, even when playing two-player modes, it still felt like one person playing with another one person, rather than a cooperative or different experience than playing alone.

So after finally playing Rock Band 2, I can safely say that the formula still works.  The setlist is wonderful, and after rocking out on everything but the drums (I am terrible at coordinating my feet and hands at the same time, in different rythyms), I happily report that the game still feels like great fun, whether playing by yourself or with friends.  

(see the rest of the review after the jump!)

Guitar play is much like any other music/rythym game, and holds up as good as it has in the past.  While I cannot personally speak to the drumming side, my friend who played the game with me is obviously a big fan.  However, surprising to me, is that singing has been the most fun I’ve had playing a video game in probably over a year.  Mind you, it’s not mind-bending fun like a puzzle game, or is it anything complex like a strategy game, nor is it akin to button-mashing in a fighter or something.

But for pure joy of play, signing in Rock Band 2 is a unique and entirely pleasurable experience.  I never sang in the original Rock Band, so I cannot add much to whether the mechanics or gameplay has changed since the first game.  But I can most definitely say that in RB2, it works as it should, and that the karaoke experience is hightened by the crowd noise, the enthusiasm that naturally comes from singing in front of your friends (who more often than not, really aren’t paying much more attention to you, especially if drumming), and takes what Guitar Hero started and transforms it into a unique and rewarding experience.

I have only played the game on the Xbox 360, but should money ever come into my hands, I plan on purchasing the Wii version, as I think this game would hold a LOT for families (well, mine certainly).

Whether playing on the 360, PS3, or Wii, I would heartily recommend the game to anyone looking to choose between the two leaders in the genre.  Guitar Hero World Tour is out now, and while I’m certain it offers quite a bit, it also seems like a “catch-up” game to what Rock Band introduced at the beginning of this generation.  Overall, I’d give the edge to Rock Band 2, and cannot wait to play again soon.

Overall, this game is rated by OtakuDad as:

Gameplay – 9/10

Visuals/Immersion – 8/10

“Is the rating appropriate for the game?” – Yes

“Does the game potentially take away from, add to, or toe the line in a Christian walk?” – Toe The Line* 

*(There are songs that have a sexual nature, but in general, none are offensive, and there is no swearing throughout the game)




One response

11 11 2008

ditto! great review.

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