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Rock Band 2 First Impressions


For a guy that writes on a gaming site, I don’t get new games that often. The problem is that I’m poor and publishers don’t send me free games (for shame!). The one exception was Rock Band 2. My wife and I have been waiting for Rock Band 2 as a family activity, so it would have been stupid not to get it this weekend. After playing it for about five hours here’s my world shattering thoughts:

Simply put, if you own the first game and you’re looking for a entirely new experience Rock Band 2 is not it. You’ll notice many minor tweaks that makes the game better than the first, but I really wouldn’t call it a true sequel, more like an expansion pack. The game has the same look, almost the same exact interface, and even many of the same options for character building are there like the clothing and guitars. That’s okay though, there’s plenty of great additions to Rock Band 2 that make it worth purchasing. Hell, if you figure you’re paying a buck a song for all sixty tracks on the disc you’ve already got reason enough to buy this disc.

One really awesome addition I’d like to point out is the practice mode for drums. If you’re having trouble with drums (like me) and want to get better, you need to try this out. There’s a ton of different beats and practice drum fills for the novice to the expert to use for improving your performance. The practice mode also delivers the open ended drum mode that everyone wanted from the beginning.

The most disappointing thing about Rock Band 2 is not the overall sameness, but rather they took out one of my favorite modes.* I loved the way that solo tour was organized previously. Sure it wasn’t as fancy as the World Tour mode, but I enjoyed going through the list of songs one by one and unlocking them. Why in the bloody hell was this removed? Now the only way that I can figure out to unlock songs is by going through the World Tour mode, which A) Ensures that I’ll play a bunch of songs repeatedly to get to the new ones, B) has a selectable difficulty for every song making it not as fun to say, “I beat Solo Tour on Hard” since it doesn’t keep track of them in that manner, and C) Guarantees I have to play World Tour at least twice, once with my wife and my band and once as a solo act. If this doesn’t bother you at all, then just ignore everything I just said.

Other than that Rock Band 2 so far seems to be a great purchase. It might not be as stunning and world changing as the experience you get when you first fall in love with Rock Band, but it certainly should keep you entertained for some time to come… or at least until Guitar Hero: World Tour comes out.

* Again, this is a first impression article, so if I somehow missed the old school solo tour I’m retarded.

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