Review by SpaceCorn
"Everything it's predecessor lacked, and much, much more."
Intro: In case you have only played the Guitar Hero franchise, or if you're totally new to the idea altogether, Rock Band and Rock Band 2 are rhythm games based of the incredibly popular series of Guitar Hero games. With Rock Band, players can take control of four instruments, Lead Guitar, Bass Guitar, Drums, and Vocals. Other people can play with you, essentially creating a full band experience. Instruments from previous games such as Guitar Hero 3 and Rock Band 1 are compatible With Rock Band 2, so if money is tight, you can simply buy the game alone, without having to buy the whole bundle, and use controllers from past games. Any USB mic can work with the game, ranging from SingStar to Karaoke mics.
Gameplay: 10/10: Rock Band makes a smooth transition from circles to rectangles. But like the Guitar Hero games, gameplay is relatively the same. Notes will move down the board, requiring you to play the note once it gets to the end. For vocals, lines will stream across the screen moving up and down with the song's lyrics, requiring you to use tone and precision to get the pitch right. Many modes are also included, such as a World Tour story-esque mode, which the original lacked, a simple quickplay mode, training, and online battles and co-op. This is what I consider to be the biggest improvement from the original. With online, you can go against or play with any person with any instrument, much like the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. As for the actual playing, the timing window could not be better; hammer-ons and pull-offs can be pulled off (pun intended) with extreme simplicity. For drums, it's the exact same thing as the guitar and bass, with more flailing. Speaking of flailing, there is also a "No Fail" mode, allowing new players to enjoy the game without losing the crowd. Endless drum pounding will ensue!
Graphics: 10/10: Rock Band 2's graphics will, I assure you, blow it's predecessor out of the water. I was amazed that it could have that kind of spark from a Wii, a console never famed for it's graphics. The quality is sharp and pristine. In the World Tour mode, venues will range from many different places, all of which look just like they do in reality. Backstage, you can see your character Rock Out on his respective instrument in perfect color.There really is nothing to complain about; that's right, the graphics are really that great.
Soundtrack: 9.5/10: By the far, the best music game soundtrack. You have genres ranging all over the broad term. Metal, like Megadeth, Metallica, Avenged Sevonfold, Classic Rock, like The Steve Miller Band and Norman Greenbaum, Punk, like The Libyans and AFI, Alternative, like Rage Against the Machine and The Replacements, and much more. There are very, very few songs that aren't up to par, such as Rebel Girl by Bikini Kill and Visions by Abnormality, but other then that, you have a perfect setlist.
DLC: 10/10: Yes, a huge improvement which the original lacked, Rock Band 2 now comes with a Music Store. Users can buy Wii Points from the Wii Shop Menu and use them to buy song from the Music Store. Songs from the backlog that were already made available for 360 and PS3 owners are weekly added to the Store, as well as totally brand new content. Like the in game setlist, different genres are spread like wildfire, ensuring songs that are great for everyone.
Customization: 10/10: Yet another feature is added that Rock Band 1 didn't have. By completing venues in World Tour mode and earning money, players will be able to customize and shop for their "Rocker". This includes buying shirts, pants, shoes, piercing, and even instruments. Different Guitars, basses, drum sets, and mics can be used for you to rock on. When customizing their character, users can choose many different styles, such as Punk, Goth, Emo, Metal, Rocker, and many other unique types. Once you're all done, you can play and see your Rocker in action on stage!
Overall: 10/10: This is game so rich, so unique, so great, that from the moment you play that first note, you'll be hooked for a long, long time. Once you conquer the in game setlist, venture online and buy many other songs for more challenges and fun. Having friends over and hosting parties are what this game was made for; you and your friends are in for an awesome time as you try your skills with all four instruments. And it doesn't stop there! You can go online and battle others, or post your scores onto the Rock Band database for others to marvel at your accomplishments. What the original lacked, Rock Band 2 make up for in more ways then you can imagine.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/07/09
Game Release: Rock Band 2 (Special Edition Bundle) (US, 12/18/08)
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