Rock Band 2 Review: Feel The Music

Rock Band 2 is the latest game to emerge from Harmonix Studios from the previous rhythm game that was the first of its kind to provide party knockers and rollers guitar, bass, and vocal instruments all in a sexy blue box. Rock Band 2 still sticks to the roots of the first games, providing the same instruments but Harmonix definitely made an effort to refine and perfect features that were introduced in the original game and make everything more lively. Some new modes have strummed out, and the development team has completely streamlined the interface, making it better to navigate and go into a game than flip through confusing menus and over practical layouts. Rock Band 2 is definitely thee version of the Rock Band series that anyone wants to play. With a new interface, new band smashing modes, and dozens of new songs and downloadable content to enrich the experience, Rock Band 2 definitely has immense potential for the holiday season and for WhatIfGaming’s Game of the Year 2008- Best Music Game.

Everything you love about Rock Band is in Rock Band 2 and with an extreme sense of utter satisfaction that would make any singer fall down the stage in utter surprise. The instruments are back, and better than ever. The Rock Band 2 guitar is of a sunny design on the body and wood grain on the neck, but the buttons and strum bar are much more responsive and give feel better than those on the original cheap-ish feel guitar. The microphones bring up our keen side. Can we help it? We review hardware for a living. The standard drum kit has also been redesigned and now features quieter pads, and is completely wireless along with the rest of the instruments minus the microphone. The microphone isn’t your pre-amp sort of deal, but a standard microphone that comes with a USB interface. Now how many Kbps are playing every second? Good question. For those that don’t know, more Kbps = more quality from the microphone. This is a Rock Band game after all, and all rock bands have the best equipment. Then again you aren’t paying $4,000 for a Heil microphone. Nevertheless, the amount you pay should come with some quality. Standard 192 Kbps. Not bad! Close to audio quality, but not quite. Either way, it works.

The interface is the same essentially, but extremely improved. You can jump to play all of an album or certain selection of music; all you have to do is click the header for that item. Also, the difficulty level display has been broken down into individual elements, showing how difficult the song is for individual instruments and for the entire band, a welcome new addition.

Rock Band 2 modes are taking a turn for the best, making the formlessness of visual and instrumental experimentation a reality. In Rock Band 2, Tour Challenges mode is the latest thing. This mode is designed to be completed however in any way. If your band is new to the Rock Band experience, then the first set of challenges is a great place to start. The World Tour is seeing some changes immerge. The core premise behind the mode is the same: go from city to city and play different venues but now you can hire management and street teams. As you progress through the game, you can hire different kinds of managers that will have a different effect on what happens as your band travels the world. If you want big money, hire the guy in the suit. Want to be real with your fans? Get an indie street group to do your etching.

Something Rock Band 2 does is making the single-player so real. You can take your band on the road and tour different cities and venues using our World Tour mode. Want to jam out with real people? Rock Band 2 now allows you to bash online with any of your friends. Simply sing, have a concert, listen in on what other people are doing, it’s all up to you. The unmatched integration is the key that makes Rock Band 2 such a success as not just a music game, but a game that has the relationships of a band.

Rock Band 2 gameplay is pretty much the same as the original Rock Band but the difference is the leap and improvement Harmonix has made from the first game. The instruments feel more responsive, the new game modes really make the gameplay flow with the goals that the developer had for the game during development, and the redesign and tweaks in everything prior makes it much improved. Whatever the note, Rock Band 2 promises a future of a great Rock Band experience for anyone who decides to buy.

I'm all about one thing: reviews that are easy to understand and make sense of.

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