There is no ending to: Rock Band

Accordion Band

There is no ending to: Rock Band

Rock Band is a party game. The common complaints I have heard are that the difficulty isn’t high enough, and that the guitar controller doesn’t ‘click.’ These complaints seem to come mostly from people who like Guitar Hero. Both of these complaints are true: the difficulty is not as high as Guitar Hero 2, and the Guitar is harder to use on Expert Difficulty to hit quick notes. Both of these don’t matter as much as the fact the game is meant to be played with 4 people, each with a beer in hand.

Rock Band is a party game. It plays like Guitar Hero, and the drum parts are very challenging, but it is not designed to be a challenging game. As most of us know, Guitar Hero 3 is made by Neversoft (Not the original development house of GH1 and 2). Harmonix went from GH1 to GH2 to Rock Band. We all liked Guitar Hero 1. It had a good song selection and a great difficulty curve for newcomers. Guitar Hero 2, however, was not welcomed as warmly. It’s song selection was not as strong/interesting, the difficulty created with random strings of notes in the middle of songs rather than difficult/interesting chords, and the song difficulty isn’t as smooth. The xbox360 version, which launched later, has a restructured song list in an attempt to have a better difficulty curve. Some people may disagree with this assessment, but these are generally the same people who like Guitar Hero because of the challenge (practice songs repeatedly, trying to get a high score/stars) rather than because you feel like you are playing music or pretending to be a rock star. One thing I would find it hard to argue with: If Guitar Hero 2 had launched the series, it would not have been as popular.

Harmonix listened to this. Neversoft did not. Guitar Hero 3 increases the difficulty again, and incorporates more battle modes for the competitive gamer. Harmonix toned back the difficulty (somewhere between GH1 and 2 for the Guitar parts). This has been met with mixed reactions. The odd part is: those coming from Guitar Hero like the challenge, but it is the vocals and drums that provide that in Rock Band; the guitar and (especially) the bass that are easier to pick up and play.

I like Rock Band’s direction. The first thing I hear from friends is “that’s because you suck at guitar hero.” So? I’m busy beating Fallout, Bioshock, Rainbow Six Vegas, No More Heroes, watching Space: Above and Beyond, and working on this site, rather than sitting in practice mode playing sections of a song that I don’t even like. I don’t really want to play well on expert. I just want to play on the lowest difficulty I can and still progress with Band World Tour mode. I play the game for the multiplayer Band aspect, rather than score.

(I also like Rayman Raving Rabbids, Mario Party, WarioWare: Smooth Moves, Chu Chu Rocket, and Super Smash Bros.)

2 thoughts on “There is no ending to: Rock Band

  1. I think both guitar hero and rock band are pretty good games, but are for slightly different audiences (since the “mustical instrument controller genre” has taken off).

    Rock band is for party mode, since it does allow up to 4 players and the drums and mic provide an musical outlet for those that never really got into the guitar controller. It’s fun and really makes the game a team based effort since the use of star power to increase the life of another player or to save another player gives the game another dimension. Guitar hero also does span all levels, so you can be a newcomer or someone who has played a lot of guitar hero and still have fun. Lots of fun.

    Some of the issues with Rock band though are, and I just want to touch up on them because some of the issues Aaron dismiss out of hand even though they are still important.

    1. Rock band guitar is unusable by me at harder difficulty levels. Yes, Aaron can say that this isn’t an issue for him since he plays at lower difficulty levels, but it still affects me. Since it is a party game and you’d want to cater to both your friends who are new to the game and friends who have played lot before, it would be nice to have a guitar that is usable at all difficulty levels.
    2. Guitar hero being harder at higher difficulty levels actually doesn’t really affect it at the lower difficulty levels. If someone were to be able to play rock band on medium difficulty, they would be able to play guitar hero 3 on medium difficulty as well. The extra difficulty only comes in at the very high difficulty levels. The difficulty in itself doesn’t affect the ability of someone at a party to pick up rock band or guitar hero.
    3. Where are all the female vocals? Rock band can pick up the pitch if it is exactly one octave higher or lower, but it would be really nice if some of the songs were songs that women would actually sing. Hopefully this gets solved with the downloadable content though.
    4. Hardware quality. I am actually quite concerned that at some point my guitar would stop registering strums and my drums would stop registering hits. Out of the 3 people that I know that have guitar hero, we had all sent back our guitars because they weren’t registering well, and Aaron has sent back his drums. Hardware quality with guitar hero guitars are also pretty shoddy.

  2. I sent back Claire’s GH3 wireless guitar. It had neck issues.

    What do you mean by female vocals? You mean Pop songs (songs girls like to sing)? Because it has Flyleaf and Garbage(?).

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