Rock Band 2 Review

11 November 2008 | ps3 review,Xbox 360 Review

Rock Band 2 doesn’t mess with their original formula. They’ve made some much needed improvements to band setup and the menus, gotten rid of the broken “play songs in this order” single player modes and added in a multi-tiered challenge mode along with a Battle of the Bands Online component. There’s also the 84 tracks and 20 downloadable songs that come with the game as well. All in all, it’s a safe sequel that improves on the essential flaws, but I’m expecting more innovation and nuance for the next go around.

Graphics: 9/10
You have to have quite the dicerning eye to differentiate RB1 from RB2 in-game. The most notable graphics changes/additions are some new venues and new filters. The characters are still excellently animated and all the venues and filters look pretty great. The crowd still could use some more polygons, and it really irritated me that I couldn’t import my old character from RB1 into RB2 – the creator is pretty much the exact same with some new head shapes, clothes, etc…. so WTF? why did I have to do this all over again? The menus and user interface are vastly improved and much sleeker.
Gameplay: 9/10
The gameplay for Rock Band 2 still revolves around pressing and timing notes to music. Rock Band 2 is definitely more difficult than Rock Band and as the aforementioned new modes. It’s really nice that they allow band members to swap between instruments in world tour…rather than tying your create-a-character to 1 instrument. The whole interface for World Tour, Quickplay, etc. is so much faster and smoother. The online world tour works pretty damn good too, with no noticeable lag. The new tiered challenge mode makes a lot more sense for a party game like Rock Band vs. keeping ties to the old Guitar Hero play every song in order method. A quick note on the new instruments – The RB2 guitar is better than the RB1 guitar but still vastly inferior to Guitar Hero guitars…the strum bar just sucks. The new wireless drums are great – reinforcing the kick petal and adding velocity sensitive drum pads. Why is there a wireless mic? Why not include the all-in-on wireless microphone controller?
Sound/Music: 10/10
The ability to use all your existing DLC and spend $5 to export all but 3 RB tracks into Rock Band 2 is absolutely amazing. Then there’s the 84 tracks the game comes with and the 20 free DLC songs that you can register and download. There’s just an unsurpassed amount of songs for the game. I would also like to give props to the new calibration system which perfectly calibrates the music/sound to your TV visuals.
Lasting Appeal: 10/10
Music games like Rock Band 2 depend on…well…music and Rock Band 2 has the most songs and is constantly releasing new songs every week (500 available by the end of the year supposedly). The music keeps you playing and definitely doesn’t get repetitious. The Battle of the Bands mode is a really cool online leaderboard challenge mode where the challenges keep rotating and changing (they also use DLC songs). You’ll always find yourself checking for a challenge you may like. There’s also the same extensive World Tour mode (which shows BattleofBands Challenges on your map) which is now online as well. The game is an instant hit and parties and has limitless replayability.
Average: 95.00%
Tilt: +/- 0.00%
Rock Band 2 is the same great game that was released last year with more songs and the major issues fixed and some great new online modes. There’s definitely more improvements that need to be made gameplay wise for the next installment. First off, the vocal overdrive activation needs to be available at all times… include a mic with at least a d-pad and a-button on it for RB3 and allow a tap of the a-button to initiate overdrive…. this will remove the needless failing when you have overdrive problem. I also suggest that there be songs that have lead guitar and rhythm guitar a la GH2. It would also be nice to allow the bassist and guitarist to switch parts between songs (currently you select bass/guitar prior to a set) or after a song is failed prior to retrying it. I’m sure there’s other improvements that could be made as well, but enough talk… get this game, call up all your friends, and enjoy playing together because that is what this game is about.
Verdict: 95%

One Response to “Rock Band 2 Review”

  • 1 Rock Band game HYPE url Says:

    Well it's not the real thing and certainly nothing like playing real instruments, but its very entertaining. The audio is incredibly crisp and the multi player action gives it a boost.

    I Hyped Rockband 2 on Everhype and gave it 86% which I think is fairly accurate.

    I wouldn’t mind getting some opinions on it . If you get on there, rate me a 5 & request friendship.

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