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Rock Band is More Than Just Guitar Hero 2.0

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Having played Rock Band, I can honestly say that it blows Guitar Hero out of the water. The Rock Band guitar just feels better than the Guitar Hero one. The spacing is better and it has a more solid feel to it. It’s still nothing like holding a real guitar but for a second I forgot that I was holding a plastic mold with buttons. I’m not saying that the Guitar Hero series is bad, it just doesn’t offer anything new, and Rock Band does.

I played the game how it’s meant to be played, with three other friends. Watching the beads of sweat forming on my friends head as he did the guitar section on Aerosmith’s “Train Kept a Rolling” was not only hilarious but genuinely entertaining. My hand felt like it was on fire after finishing that song and I was just playing on medium. It leaves you with a real sense of accomplishment even though you know it’s just a game.

The Rock Band drum set

I watched my friend play the drums and it’s true what they say: you have to have at least some minimal knowledge of how to actually play the drums to be able to be good at it beyond easy. The microphone is also sometimes unforgiving during the harder songs. But that’s the whole point of the experience, it has to be a challenge or it wouldn’t be any fun.

My gripe with the game is that the easy difficulty is actually way too easy. The first song we played, I played on easy thinking that it would take some getting used to, but I was bored out of my mind during the entire song because I was hitting notes every 5 seconds. It was slow and tedious. The problem is easily remedied by moving up to medium, but people who have never played a rhythm game like this (yes there are a few) will be bored with easy and frustrated with medium.

The price tag on the game (around $170) is a bit high but if you have your friends pitch in, which they should, it’s more than bearable. While the game can be played on single player, it is really more of a multi-player game. Unless you find a way to effectively play all instruments at the same time, and trust me you’ll have an easier time making friends.

The music catalog available is great. While there were some songs that I didn’t know, I did know most of them and as one of my friends said, “It’s more fun to play songs you actually know.”

Naysayers may declare that Rock Band is a gimmick and that it is Guitar Hero with some extra instruments, and in many ways they would be right, but the presentation, the fact that you could customize your character, and the ability to play something else other than guitar or bass makes Guitar Hero look paltry in comparison. -- Elvis Ramirez

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