Now some of you are probably considering this a cop out. After all , Rock Band 2 is not exactly a new game; it came out last year, and it was the sequel to a game that came out the year before. Well, I don’t really care if you think it is a cop out. It’s one of my top 10 games of all time, and in my opinion it may be the best party game of all time. As such, it is a perfect candidate for review in the 30 Reveiws in 30 Days series.
Okay, okay, I’ll get serious. There is no denying the fact that Rock Band was a revolutionary game. Harmonix took what it had learned from making Guitar Hero and Karaoke Revolution and created something that went beyond being just a game, becoming an experience. I’ll never forget the first time I heard the crowd singing along as I was doing well on a song; a part of me felt like a rock star.
Well, some people were surprised when Harmonix announced Rock Band 2 just a year after the first one. When Harmonix started talking about both the improvements to the game and the set list, however, that surprise and apprehension began to turn into excitement. It was obvious that the company was not content to just make incremental improvements to the game: it wanted to make Rock Band 2 what it had intended to make the first game. The only question was would it succeed?
Taking the World by Storm
As good as the original Rock Band was, there was one major drawback to the game: you could only play World Tour mode with multiple people. Add the fact there wasn’t even a career mode for bass, and some players began to get a little bored with the game.
Rock Band 2 changed all of that. From the very beginning. you could create a band. and any of your band members could play any instrument as opposed to being locked to one. You could even set it up so your band was always with you, having the same characters play with you throughout tour mode. Harmonix Dropped the career mode, substituting it with the tour mode, a move that made the game much more enjoyable. Each instrument is now represented, and you cam play this mode both single player or coop, online or off.
Rock Band 2 lets you create your own band. Mine’s called Slide Rock.
That is not the only change to the gameplay. Harmonix has introduced Challenges into the mix, ranging from decade specific sets to sets consisting of 15+ songs. On top of that, there are the Battle of the Bands, where you and your friends can compete with other bands on specific songs or challenges to see who reigns supreme.
Party Like a Rock Star
While Rock Band 2 is a lot of fun to play alone or online, it is at its heart a party game. I have never seen a game draw more attention from a group of people gathered together than this one. With the 100+ songs in the game (the ones on the disk and the 20 free downloads Harmonix could not fit on the disk), there is something for everyone. Seriously, i mean everyone. I have played this game with friends my age, the youth at church and my mom, and we have all enjoyed it thoroughly.
Rock Band was fun as well, but there was always one drawback to playing the game at parties: someone who did not know how to play could end a song very quickly. To help alleviate that, Harmonix added in a No Fail mode. With this activated, you will be able to finish the song no matter what, something that helps encourage new players to try the game out.
You know a game is good when writing the review makes you want to play it.
Keep On Rocking the Free World
What really sets Rock Band 2 apart is the music. The game comes with some of the standards of rock, including “Eye of the Tiger,” “Carry On Wayward Son,” “Everlong,” “Aqualung”…. You can honestly find soemthing for everyone. the game also let you import all but about 3 songs from the original Rock Band into it. Just from having the original game and the 20 free downloadable songs, you have a lot of music.
Harmonix did not just leave it at that impressive list, however. Every week, new music is released on Xbox Live and Playstation Network for Rock Band 2, with anything from indie artists to full albums by some of the most well known bands out there. Add to that Harmonix’s promise that all songs downloaded for any Rock Band game will be playable in any other Rock Band game, and you have no reason to not have this game in your library. Rock Band 2 gets a 5 out of 5.