Copyright Adam Schlosser

Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser

Posted by Pip

D17- Teamwork Makes Stabbing Easier

Score one for Anger. Some nice reflexes let you chuck those projectiles back at the thrower. Some minor kudos to that projectile as well. Sure it was a sentient projectile that did all the slashing and stabbing, but I think this win can clearly be chalked up to Anger. Slithery tentacles beat out baseball gloves any day. Hmmm, could make a fine recreation for the bored demons of the Spirit Realm... The Sins would clearly rock the league, what with their mighty evil and stretchy shade abilities, but cheating would probably run rampant among a bunch of Vices anyway.

Long, I DO need instructions to know how to rock Review: Rock Band 2 (Drums only) - Just something to keep in mind for my review: I have little to no rhythm and about zero musical skill and Iím pretty sure the gameplay experience changes drastically if you do.
Gameplay- For a music/rhythm game, Rock Band is pretty damn nice. It doesnít really do anything new compared to other music games, but what it does, it does well. The number of options you have is great and the amount of menus you have to slog through is kept fairly low. The world tour/ďstoryĒ mode is put together fantastically and it sadly does give you that feeling of growing and your band becoming more popular even though youíre just wailing away on a plastic instrument in your living room. All of the little things, like the descriptions and names of clothes and instruments, are exceptionally good so, for a music game, the writing is amazing. The tidbits of trivia on the loading screens are actually fairly educational as well. The one big change Iíd like to see would to be to have a variable difficulty rather than one you pick at the start and stick with through the song. It could start on normal and get harder as your note streak got higher and then become easier if you started to whiff out and miss a streak. There are times when I want the song to be faster/harder but there are points I always botch, so easy is too easy and normal is too hard just for those few spots. The only little tweaks Iíd make to the presentation would to be to add a delay between unpausing the game and when you get back to playing (just two or three beats to get yourself resituated would be really nice, as is you have the decision to letting dinner burn or saving your chicken and losing your score multiplier and note streak), hiring people to join your crew doesnít seem to work most of the time (I couldnít tell any difference in my money and fans when I hired different people so I think it only works on select events, which is kind of lame), and you should be able to share money/clothes between the members of your band.
Songs- It would be way too easy to pick apart the song list and name hundreds of songs Iíd rather have (thereís no Dick Dale or Rolling Stones, but System of a Down is in it!? What the f- Sorry, sorry...), but for what you get, itís a fairly varied and enjoyable selection. Except for some parts of the touring mode, you can always ignore the bad tracks. Just for myself, Iíd have MUCH rather seen more classic rock than the majority of the modern bands and any of the speed metal. Not only are they just flat out bad music, but theyíre a pain to play and completely not fun. That brings me to my only major gripe about the game. While I adore than you can complete 99% of the game on Easy, the song difficulty is really unbalanced. Speed metal on easy is like everything else on hard, the jump from easy to normal/normal to hard is a tremendous change, and in sets you can go from doing great to doing horrible in the next song. In the Rolling Stone magazine event, I almost failed the second song and then went on to get 5 stars on the third song. Thatís... not right. It works the same way in reverse as well. Some songs are great on easy and then others become TOO easy and mindless. Itís almost as if they need another difficulty between easy and normal. Iím too good for easy but the foot pedal kills me on normal so Iím stuck. Give me the speed and hits of normal with the minor foot pedal use of easy and Iíd be a happy rocker. Of course the time will come when youíre done with the songs on the disc and a young manís thoughts turn to downloadable content. There are some great songs up for download, but theyíre ludicrously expensive. A song on Amazon or iTunes is typically $1 and thatís not a bad deal. I can download it, listen to it at home or put it on an mp3 player and listen to it while Iím at work or out for a walk. Songs in the Rock Band store are typically $1 or even $2 and can only be used in Rock Band. You canít listen to it from the XMB, you canít listen to it without performing it, and you canít download it to an mp3 player. Yes you can play along to it, but thatís it. It has more restrictions on it and less functionality, yet itís more expensive than a normal song. Thatís really just gouging the consumer.
Sins Committed: Unbalanced gameplay, DLC is too expensive

Of course all my band members are Sins characters, so follow the URL to see a picture of them. The shots are pretty blurry because itís damned hard to get them to stand still.